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Those who enter Avery County from the state of Tennessee are greeted almost immediately by the charming village of Elk Park. Once a bustling junction on the original Tweetsie Railroad line, Elk Park was one of the most populated areas of Avery County in the 1940s. The town was filled with workers mining iron in the township of Cranberry. When the iron stores were depleted and the mines closed, Elk Park was left almost frozen in time.

Modern residents of the town have embraced this past and repopulated the historic downtown with antique shops and retail outlets echoing a bygone age. But Elk Park proper is only half the story. One of the primary draws of visitors to eastern Avery County is the striking beauty of Elk River Falls. Several signs guide the traveler through the heart of Elk Park to the parking lot at the trailhead to the Falls. The trail itself is steep but relatively short to reach the plunging cataract that many consider one of the most impressive destinations in the area.

Nearby Roan Mounain is a grassy bald mountain which in late June is covered in pink clouds of blossoms at the world's largest natural rhododendron garden.