Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
If you're looking for a nature fix, check out the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. It provides 360 degree views of mountains, streams, mills and other historic buildings. It's a one-way, scenic loop that is six miles long. It's a quick drive that you can easily fit it into your packed itinerary.
Here's what to expect when you take this scenic drive through the Great Smoky Mountains: the trail twists and turns for all six miles. The roadway is narrow, and can only fit cars, trucks and trailers (no RV's). Immerse yourself in the mossy green rocks and boulders, while hearing the water falls in the distance.
The drive on the trail begins at the Noah "Bud" Ogle farmstead, where you can take a walking tour of the historic buildings. You can also find the trailhead for Rainbow Falls nearby, which is a 3-mile hike to an 80-foot waterfall.
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail also provides access to the Trillium Gap Hiking Trail. It's the only place in the Smokies where you can stand BEHIND the falls as the water cascades to the pool. Don't forget to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the scenic turnouts OR at the waterfall after hiking Trillium Gap!
At Traffic Light #8 in Gatlinburg, turn off the Parkway onto Historic Nature Trail Road. Follow this road to the Orchard entrance to the Smoky Mountains National Park. The entrance to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail loop is immediately following the Rainbow Falls Trailhead.
Photos courtesy of nps.gov and gatlinburg.com.