The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is an intimate journey though the Smoky Mountain's lush mountain wilderness. In places it reveals some of nature's secrets, while in others it weaves the story of the people who once lived here. Water is a constant companion on this journey. Cascades, rapids, and falls adorn the roadside. The sound of rushing water is never far away. The air feels damp and tropical throughout the summer months, yet the icy water rarely reaches 60F degrees.
Along the route are many hiking trails including the hike to Grotto Falls. This same trail continues to Brushy Mountain and Mt. LeConte.
Healthy second growth forests escort the road on its journey. A few better drained ridges support a pine-oak forest, but cove hardwoods and hemlocks dominate the landscape. Rhododendron's thick, sprawling foliage green the understory year-round. In early July their pink blooms highlight the shadowy forest.
Directions: From Gatlingburg, Travel south on Hwy. 441 and turn right onto Hwy. 321. The motor trail begins approximately 1 mile down the road on the left.
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 Wildernet.com all rights reserved.
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