Content by Wildernet
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a nature trail for your car. It forms an 11-mile loop along with Cherokee Orchard Road. The one-way road runs for 8 miles. It is not suitable for bicycles, RVs, trailers, or buses. Cherokee Orchard Road is a two way road without these restrictions and leads to the Rainbow Falls parking area. Airport Road in Gatlinburg turns into the Park's Cherokee Orchard Road.

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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Parks and Outdoors Review of Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: (865) 436-1200
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.