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Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November.

Distance: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet Route Type: Point to Point

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

scenic driving

bird watching

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

To access Roaring Fork, 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 (clos

scenic driving
4 days ago

I’d personally recommend doing this loop as an introduction to GSM if you’ve never been before or maybe tack it on after a hike. We did it when we first got into town and enjoyed it, but I think if we had done it after a few hikes it might not have been as enjoyable. Good views of the forest but didn’t see any wildlife on our drive. Lot of scenic water crossings and a few places to pull over for a quick hike up and around the road.

scenic driving
7 days ago

Beautiful drive! lots of places to pull over and walk. many trails. however warning. it is a pretty narrow trail and as it filled up people created their own parking spots making it difficult for large vehicles to make turns.

9 days ago

lovely ride, lots of pull offs, some trailheads. pretty busy. beautiful.

hiking
13 days ago

Really nice road through the smokies that offers a variety of views from mountain overlooks to forest to streams. Not too long or short.

hiking
17 days ago

This was the highlight of our GSM trip. Breathtaking views, so many side trails, and history. There’s a trail for all levels along the route and places to pull over and explore. We saw a mama turkey and her babies. It was adorable. I read a story about a ghost that walks the trail before we went. I looked for her, but didn’t see her this time. We will definitely be making this a tradition. I like it better than Cades Cove.

hiking
17 days ago

Nice drive, definitely do grotto falls!

18 days ago

Great scenic drive with plenty of opportunities to see wildlife along the way. Also several great trailheads are there to stop for a good hike!

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful drive, views, hiking trails, rushing water

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views & well paved for a motor trail

Great drive. Bears, falls, rivers, overlook views, hiking trails, all right outside gatlinburg. If you want a convenient scenic drive this is it the bear picture was taken by my wife as we drove by. Maybe 20feet away

hiking
6 months ago

What a great place for a winter day walk. We didn’t catch on to the fact it was a drive through trail. But we were really happy because we got to walk a couple miles then turned around to head back out.

7 months ago

This is a great motor trail. We love to use the pull offs and let our boys play in the creek. It is also great to see how the area is continuing to recover from the fires. Be on the lookout for wildlife and enjoy the peaceful drive.

hiking
8 months ago

We drove this beautiful motor trail in September. Lots of history and hiking trails along the route.

hiking
8 months ago

simply outstanding! history, trail, historical places and more. awesome place. you can spend all day here at cades cove and not be bored for one moment. very popular so don't go during the tourist season and give this place a low rating because you don't like being around people.

scenic driving
8 months ago

Very nice route! Saw two bears and an awesome sunset from an overlook.

8 months ago

Took this on the way to grotto falls. Very busy. Go early!!

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful drive! Needed a rest from hiking so drove this loop, pulled off several times to take pictures. Highlights were mamma bear and two cubs as well as an old mill. It rained the night before so the creek was ‘roaring’ throughout the drive.

scenic driving
9 months ago

Beautiful through a section of the Great Smoky Mountains. Have driven this road several times .

scenic driving
9 months ago

I love this drive!!!!!! It’s narrow so be cautious when driving near where hikers are parked not to get too far off the road and damage your car... this is where I saw my first bear several years ago.. husband and I found a peaceful spot along the river away from the crowd that was going to the waterfalls... had our own private waterfalls with the rocks creating peaceful view and noise!!!! Highly suggest this trip any time of the day!!!

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful drive lots of pull offs Rude people was the only negative tried to stay away from the crowd but not so easy. If you pull over 5 cars will pull over to see what you see. I love to just sit in nature great place for that will be back!

hiking
11 months ago

Lots of places to get out and explore on the motor trail. Wasn't super crowded on a week day.

hiking
11 months ago

Good drive through trail with lots of stops and some great views. Saw a mother bear and her three cubs.

hiking
Thu Jul 04 2019

Nice drive, with scenic stops that, where you can walk off trail a little ways for more exploring.

hiking
Thu Jun 27 2019

Great motor nature trail! Steep and winding so be careful.

hiking
Sat Jun 22 2019

If you notice a long line of cars behind you just be courteous and pull over to let them by, the nature trail is also the only road to some of the trail heads and so others are just on it to get from point A to point B and would like to go a bit faster than 3mph to get home after a long hike.

scenic driving
Wed Jun 19 2019

Beautiful senic drive through the Smokies

scenic driving
Sun Jun 16 2019

This trail is primarily a scenic drive for motor vehicles. There are a few places to pull over and to park along with a few hiking trails (1 is currently closed weekdays, so maybe check ahead). The loop offers a booklet that corresponds with numbered viewpoints. We didn't get the book and still enjoyed ourselves. Of the historic buildings we especially liked the farm area. Saw sandhill cranes & other wildlife.

Sat Jun 08 2019

I ran this trail start I g from elys mill going up. good challenging hills and beautiful scenery! I would recommend running early because there is a lot of cars and its a narrow road, I had to hug the edge a couple times

scenic driving
Tue Jun 04 2019

the right times of the year its very peaceful.

hiking
Fri May 17 2019

Beautiful drive. Did this after doing a strenuous hike in the morning. Saw a tagged female bear about a mile in with her 2 cubs nearby in a tree. What a great surprise.

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