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“You must see Ely's Mill when in the Smoky Mtns”
Review of Ely's Mill

Ely's Mill
Ranked #44 of 108 things to do in Gatlinburg
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“You must see Ely's Mill when in the Smoky Mtns”
Reviewed 27 January 2014

We live in the East Tennessee area and have been in the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg many, many times. We always recommend to friends that they take a drive on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, which is not far off the main streets in Gatlinburg. It is a one-way paved road similar to Cades Cove, but easier and faster to get to. You will find old cabins and buildings along the route where you may park and get out and explore. There are a few little waterfalls that you can see from the car (depending on the rainfall), and there are clearings in the vegetation with magnificent mountain vistas. At the end of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, you will pass right by Ely's Mill. It is open whenever the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is open. It is an old building that now houses an antique store. The owners are family members of the original builder. They also have home made candles and things that you just don't find everywhere. They also have two rentals there that are fantastic. Our family stayed there a couple of nights and we plan to make it an annual trip, especially in the summer since the rental house is right on the creek. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail comes out at Traffic Light 1A on Hwy. 321 that leads from Gatlinburg to Cosby, just a couple of miles from busy downtown Gatlinburg.

Visited December 2013
3 Thank FacebookFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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101 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“All the Comforts of Home!”
Reviewed 30 November 2013

Very historic general store and old mill at Roaring Fork in Gaitlinburg, Tennessee.

On our last trip to Gatlinburg, we stopped in and bought some homemade rugs and learned that they had a couple of cabins to rent. So this visit we reserved a cabin and left with more rugs, pottery cups, Ely's Mill honey (made with their own bees), and beeswax candles. Prices
were very reasonable. (Pay cash if you can..., though they can take credit.). They have hot coffee, a cooler of cold drinks and homemade baked goods.

We wanted to reserve the larger unit for our whole family, but it was unavailable over the Thanksgiving Holiday. We ended up renting several places in Gatlinburg for our large extended family.

Luckily, the smaller one-room cabin across from Ely's Mill General Store (run by Ruth and her husband). It is very large about the size of 4 hotel rooms.

If you ask Ruth will take you on the tour of the mill and you can hear the story of her grandparents trip via motorcycle to San Francisco in 1915 and see all the old tools necessary in the early days and still used occasionally today! While we were visiting we watched Ruth spin alpaca wool into yarn on a spinning wheel. I think she has a goal of making this site a museum dedicated to her family history.

The "cabin" is a very large room which includes a King-sized bed with dual control electric blanket, large sofa, television with cable TV, internet router with wireless, full size washer and dryer, small stove, microwave, full-sized refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker and propane fireplace. There are plenty of plates, bowls, silverware, pots, pans etc. and a kitchen table big enough for 4. (Could have used a serrated knife (there were plenty of sharp knives though), spatula and wooden spoon, but we made do with what we had). We were able to cook for my sister and her husband and it enabled us to relieve them from feeling like they needed to host us the entire trip since they live in Gatlinburg.

The room is homey and includes lots of Tennessee style.

The first day of our trip we took the one way motor trail by car through the national park and stopped to take photographs (Ely's Mill is at the end of this trail.) The next day it snowed and at 8 a.m. I walked a mile into the national park setting the first path of the day in the snow and took photos of turkey footprints and fantastic images of the waterfalls.

If you are looking for a 4 star hotel room with plenty of high class finicky attitudes -- head else where and pay 2-3 times as much for a whole lot less. But if you are looking for a taste of homey Tennesse style living with a national park as your back yard and all the comforts of home -- call Ely's Mill to reserve today. (BTW, we found email was not their style as their email box was full.)

BTW, my parents stayed at the Hilton Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg -- the rooms were not warm enough and heaters blew cold air all night. Their staff checked and indicated it was working, but... not warm enough). They were also told they would need to pay for wireless access to the internet. When they saw where we were staying at Ely's they raised their eyebrows and are re-thinking where they will stay the next time they are in town...

I wish we had been able to bring our son here when he was young - age 7-12 would have been great to show him how life was and still could be.

Tell her Lori from San Francisco recommended you drop by and stay a while...

Visited November 2013
4 Thank LoriGuidos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mesquite, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Old Appalachian Culture feel”
Reviewed 28 November 2013

The last attraction at the end of Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail was Ely's Mill. I expected it to be another souvenir shop. It was, but in a REAL moutainesq type feel. The prices were GREAT and the souvenirs were REAL souvenirs and not like a sweater or a robot necklace LOL! There were home made things like pies, breads and jewelry. Kids bought honey sticks for .25 each. There were no bathrooms, but upon checkout the owner was on the phone confirming a visit from someone who will be setting that up in the near future. At this time there was only a very westerny outhouse. The visit here was exactly what Smoky Mountain culture is about.

Visited November 2013
Thank XcapeDFWcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“What a laid back way!”
Reviewed 28 November 2013

We had wanted to stay in one of the cabins but it was booked during our stay, so we drove to find it for another time. It was dark and late but the door was still open so we went in. You will find the owner Ruth(granddaughter of the original owner) sitting spinning thread and her mill cat Moshi which I might add is HUGE sitting atop a cabinet starring one of those “cat stares” at you! Paul had an issue with bees earlier in the day and they were both concentrating on that issue. We wandered around looking up high and looking low at all the by gone era items along with the crafts and items made today. A place where they don't want to price gouge you, just a fair price. We bought a few things, soap, honey, syrup and lead pencil made out of a twig! Just the thing I need in my car and the soap never left the car it will be the deodorizer, I will have to contact Ruth for a small shipment so I can bathe in it! It was too late to take one of those $5.00 tours, next time. We will definitely plan our stay around the vacancies. Take the time and stop by the store on your way out from the Roaring Fork Motor Trail that is unless you’re lucky enough to stay the night at the Mill.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Kitty K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Historic mill with friendly owners”
Reviewed 23 November 2013 via mobile

General store type place at the end of Roaring Fork motor trail. We stopped in and was greeted by the owner who was doing some bead jewelry work. The place has home made everything!! And very reasonably priced. We bought a real wood cutting board and rolling pin each for $14? Hot apple cider and some pumpkin bread. Loved it!!

1 Thank Crossrn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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