CCoH Field Trip Sept. 25, 2019 
Cataloochee Elk, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Waynesville, NC

(late afternoon/early evening until elk leave the valley)



RSVP to [email protected] or via the Exchange Group, participants only

CCoH Release Form:  Download, print, complete the form and sign. Bring it with you.


4:15 PM:  Meet at Lowes, 19 McKenna Road, Arden, NC. Park at the far end of Lowes lot near Best Buy.
4:30 PM.  Depart and caravan to Cataloochee Valley.  Mike Merrill will lead the caravan.

Directions:  Turn right onto I-26 West, toward Asheville, and proceed to I-40 West. Continue on I-40 West to exit #20, US 276 S to Jonathan Creek.  Take the first paved on the right, Cove Creek Road, follow the signs to Cataloochee Entrance Road.  It is approximately 1 hour + 10 minutes from Arden, NC to the Cataloochee Elk area.  We should arrive at ~5:45 PM.


Google Maps: For those members who may want to meet us in the Cataloochee Elk area, or travel on their own, you can use Google Maps to get maps and directions.  Enter Palmer Chapel Methodist Church, Cataloochee Entrance Rd, Waynesville, NC 28785 in the search bar of Google Maps.  Click on “Directions” and enter your starting address.  This will bring up a map and written directions to the area where the elk are located.  Palmer Chapel Methodist Church is in the area where the elk roam and live.  Some of us have photos of elk in the church yard.

Note: There are restroom facilities in the park, near the fields.

Please feel free to participate in all, or any portion, of the field trip. Join, or leave, us at any point along the way.

1. Cataloochee Elk, Smoky Mountain National Park 5:45 PM—until elk leave the area
        Palmer Chapel Methodist Church
Cataloochee Entrance Rd, Waynesville, NC 28785
The elk come into the fields late in the afternoon, before dusk, to feed. They will graze and slowly move through the fields until sunset. There may be groups on both sides of road.  Sometimes they will cross the road to get another field.  The elk are acclimated to tourists and photographers.  As the dark approaches the elk will disappear into the woods.

There will be Park Rangers and volunteers in the area to enforce the regulations.  People are not allowed in the fields.  Be smart!  Read the signs and be safe.  Keep your distance. The elk are big, especially the bulls.  They can be unpredictable and can cause serious injury; even death.

The light can be very good at this time of day depending on the weather. Most likely they will be in the fields when we arrive.  A tripod and a long lens are recommended.  See the wild elk up close is a memorable experience.

 RSVP to [email protected] or via the Exchange Group, participants only