Doug and Kathy Peters, Swag event leaders for our last week in September, led enthusiastic guests Larry and Caroline Thompson from Snellville, Georgia, Chuck and Carol Murray from Elm City, North Carolina, and Dean McCumber from Durham, North Carolina on a unique hike in Cattaloochee Valley on The Boogerman Trail. The seven and a half mile “History Hike,” was highlighted by Doug and Kathy’s narrations of descriptions of life in the Cattaloochee Valley in the early 1900’s before formation of the Park.
Robert Palmer, also known as The “Boogerman,” was the grandson of George Palmer who, according to “History Hikes of the Smokies” by Michael Strutin, moved his family to isolated Cattaloochee Valley in 1848. He and his family thrived in Cataloochee and became leaders in the Valley.
The Boogerman Trail traverses approximately 250 acres owned by Robert Palmer which still contains rock walls, old fields, and remnant homesites. Due to the Boogerman’s refusal to allow logging on his land, the hike is an incredible walk through old-growth forests with many stately trees and numerous stream crossings over foot log bridges.
Doug Peters, also our singer/songwriter at the Swag , entertained guests following dinner with his original song “Bridges on The Boogerman Trail” which contains the following lyrics so deftly expressing the importance of The Boogerman’s efforts to preserve these treasures and our responsibility to follow in his foot steps:
Some things in life we treasure
Some things we forsake
And in the end how much should we give
Or should we take?
And what will be our story
That our children’s children tell?
And will tall trees still be growin’ across
The bridges on The Boogerman Trail?