Explore the most popular scenic driving trails in Tennessee with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The trail road ride was amazing. Had beautiful views and many areas along the road to pull over and take in the scenes and take pictures. Then you can hike up Grotto Falls, which you won’t regret. The trail is easy and accessible to the falls. We hiked it during the month of May, 2018 and the weather was perfect, not hot and definitely not cold. The water at the falls was that typical cold mountain water that’s just waiting for you to dip your feet in, so yes, go ahead.

short strenuous hike. Absolutely beautiful waterfall at Machine Falls.

Overall really loved this hike! Ran into 6 different snakes though. Going down to machine falls is super steep so coming back up is worse!

scenic driving
16 days ago

Great drive with spots to pull off and take pictures!

scenic driving
22 days ago

Lots of cars but it was still nice. Saw a mamma bear and two cubs napping in a tree.

Great hiking, but the paths to the falls are very steep and narrow. Absolutely worth the drive and hike. It is beautiful!

wow what a wonderful hike

Great short hike with a pretty Machine Falls. Easy hike!

Don’t recommend this as a hike, as all of it is on a gravel road, but it is a pretty drive with an amazing view of the country side at the top of the mountain.

This park and especially the trails,is a hidden gem! I’ve been day hiking at Fort Pillow for many years. Trails marked well but make sure you check in at the ranger office in the museum and get the paper map as trees fall across the trails and might leave you wondering which way to go. This park can be a creepy place and can offer strange occurrences from time to time. I have talked to other hikers over the years who felt they were followed or unwanted by the “dead” who fell at the battle of this fort. Just google Fort Pillow Ghosts and you’ll see what I mean. Moderate hills, hiking shoes best and a pair of hiking poles. The Park Rangers( Ranger Robbie) are super nice and helpful. Purchasing a cool park t-shirt helps the park stay in operation and build the new swinging bridge on the trail.

Great hike for families, kids, and dogs. There are a few trails and loops to take and all are clearly marked. There were a lot of wildflowers. Would be a great place to hang out all day with the family and a picnic. Watch out for ticks.

three stars only bc there is alot of driveway and store crossings. its great for biking and walking. super easy on the river side. the other side has a few hills that take your breath away but my kids 12 and 7 did great on them. Also had the kid trailer on our bikes and had no issues. would recommend bring your lock and wallet and check out the stores and eat at the apple valley restaurant very good, but worth the price. all in all great 10 mile ride..

scenic driving
1 month ago

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer

First I did this as a scenic drive. The Roaring Fork Nature Trail is one of the highlights of the GSMNP. I been at least 4 times. There are abundant wildflowers thru the month of April. There are scenic cabins. There are 4-5 pullouts with scenic creeks/rivers. And there is one scenic view of the mountains.

The only downside is the the road is VERY busy after Memorial Day and it’s also narrow. You can only park at the pull offs and sometimes that means you’ll need to walk back to the photo you want.

Always love the drive, whether spring or when open in the winter.

Bring water shoes in your pack. Went after the rains and the waterfall was in it’s full glory. Wildflowers and the trees in bloom. Perfect day

This loop takes you back in time. It never ceases to amaze me what our forefathers were able to accomplish

Hiked up this road before it was opened for the season. Only saw a few folks. If going from Ely's Mill, the first 2-3 miles can be steep, but it's all paved and you can take a breather at one of the many beautiful falls. At the Thousand Drips waterfall, my young son climbed up into an deep alcove. We really enjoyed this hike.

Note that we did get a report of bears crossing the path ahead of us, but they were gone when we passed by.

I will avoid every trail along this path from now on. It takes an hour + to do with cars constantly stopping and going and all tourists who likely aren’t hiking.

1 month ago

This is a great short hike with plenty to see and do. The steep descent and climb back up is well worth it to check out Machine Falls. With more than 6 total miles of trail in the Short Springs Natural Area, there is plenty to fill an afternoon. All of the trails are well maintained.

Beautiful hike! It is dog friendly, but unless your dogs are really great on a leash, you'll have to unleash them for a bit to get down to the falls. It's a little difficult to access because it's STEEP and quite slippery. Was a little crowded for my taste, but other than that, the falls are beautiful and definitely worth the hike!

Hiked there many times. There was a time before the State bought this area when very few people knew where it was...that was when it was the best but those days are gone.
Pretty easy hike but the trail does get steep going to the river although there are now some stairs (use to be none! )and the rocks near and in the water can be very slippery...take it slow....
Very crowded lots of days especially on weekends

Good local walking trail -especially in the off-season when traffic isn't so heavy.

Absolutely amazing hike. I went counter clockwise at the trail entrance and did the stairs first down to the waterfall and was happy someone suggested this. I was glad I took my trekking pole to assist me on the slippery rocks when walking in the water and climbing up into the waterfall. Wear waterproof shoes and bring extra socks! I picnicked up right next to the waterfall, it was beautiful. Be sure to follow the white paint on the trees to stay on the trail to the waterfall, anything with two colors together; means it’s a joining trail and not necessarily headed towards the waterfall.

Great short hike! You do have to cross water at times, so wear water proof shoes or bring extra socks!

VERY crowded and because it's a one-lane one-way road, you feel rushed because there's a line of cars behind you. So stopping to enjoy the view would mean backing up traffic in the middle of the forest. We caught a very tiny & quick glimpse of a bear that was very far away and in order to do that we had to pull over into the grass, get out of the car & walk to make our way through a heard of cars & crowd of people who were standing on the tip of their toes trying to see passed the person in front of them. There was a blockade set up so people cdnt get further in to see & some people were on the blockade to see if they catch a glimpse of the bear. We managed to make our way to a boulder that was big enough for us to stand on. just as we finally got up there and was able to see something in the distance, a ranger came and told everybody to disperse. so then you have a crowd of people trying to get back to their vehicles all at once. We sat in our car for what seemed like forever because we couldn't get out. it was a disaster. And we drove 2 hours to get there for that. I think the idea what Cades Cove was supposed to be is a great one, but when you take that idea and put it into practice it's a disaster.

2 months ago

Had an amazing time hiking the machine trail. it was absolutely beautiful, we will be headed back soon.

My review is from the prespective of an amateaur landscape photographer.

I completed this "hike" as a scenic drive. Since I live in Maryville, TN I've probably done this trip well over 30 times. It's a nice drive and fairly scenic, but it's just not the same caliber experience as other nearby scenic drives. If you want a "backdoor" to the GSMNP and want to avoid the craziness that is Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, then take this route.

If you are looking for a scenic drive and photographic opportunities, your time would be better spent on the nearby Foothills Parkway, Newfound Gap (441), Little River Road, Cades Cove Loop Rd, or the superb Blue Ridge Parkway.

The falls are beautiful!

This is a hard run but the view is worth it

super fun pretty and easy hike. had to cross over the river and some places to stay on the trail because it was so high but that made the hike even better!

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