The Walker Sisters Place is one of many Smoky Mountain homesteads. The five spinster sisters clung to the old self-reliant way of life and became legends in the Smokies. Their lifetime lease on the property ran out in 1964 when the last sister died. Their parents, John and Margaret, had moved to the homestead in 1870 and raised 11 children. Margaret (1870–1962), Martha (1877–1951), Nancy (1880–1931), Louisa (1882–1964), and Hettie (1889–1947) stayed on the homestead and raised sheep to make wool for their clothing and grew their own food.
Visiting the Walker Sisters Place is a wonderful, easy hike up the Little Greenbrier valley. Like the hike to the Avent Cabin, this is a short (1.1 mile) walk on a fairly level trail, with an historical destination as your goal. To reach the trail, turn into the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area along Little River Road between the Sugarlands Visitor Center and the Townsend Y. Cross the bridge and go a short distance, looking for the sign for the Little Greenbrier School. Park near the school and look for the trail starting just above the cemetery.
A longer (1.8 mile) hike to the homestead would pick up the trail just across the bridge in Metcalf Bottoms, walking 100 yards upstream and then an easy half-mile to the Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse.
All of the buildings on the Walker homestead are great examples of primitive Appalachian architecture, built of hewn logs with half-dovetail notching.
The springhouse pictured above and below was used to keep food cool before the availability of refrigerators. The interior walls contain storage shelves, and the cool springwater gathered in a pool on the floor.
After your hikes, please consider a stop at the William Britten Gallery on Glades Road Arts and Crafts community. My complete display of Smoky Mountains photography might contain a special item to remember your trip to the Smokies!