Beginning and ending within miles of downtown Gatlinburg, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains is a one-way drive that takes visitors along a 5.5-mile experience through the National Park. To access Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, follow these directions: turn off the main parkway in Gatlinburg, TN at traffic light #8 and follow Historic Nature Trail Road to the Cherokee Orchard entrance to the national park. Just beyond the Rainbow Falls trailhead, you have the option of taking the one-way Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail (closed in winter).
This motor trail takes visitors back in time, weaving a story of the people who once lived here while showing off the immaculate Eastern Hemlocks. Below these evergreens thrives an underscore of rhododendrons, azaleas, and mountain laurels. An abundance of birds and wildlife greet you, as the river remains a constant companion along your trip.
Along the trek, visitors can find numerous activities that will draw you from your car. Hiking trails can take you on foot into another time. Grotto Falls, one of three waterfall trails, sends hikers to one of the Park’s most dramatic waterfalls and can take you all the way to Brushy Mountain and Mount LeConte. There are also three homesteads that can be visited on the trail, displaying the life that settlers lived many years ago.
With all there is to see on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, it is suggested that you take your time and enjoy the majestic beauty before you. You can get more information on Roaring Fork from the Sugarlands Visitors Center. Be careful and enjoy your trip through time.