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Cherokee Orchard Road and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Scenic Byways or Routes
Grotto Falls is just a short walk from Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This falls is a 2.6 mile round-trip hike, and is the only falls in the park that you can walk behind. – NPS

ADA Accessibility Notes

Most homesites along the Cherokee Orchard Road and Roaring Fork are not wheelchair accessible. Place of a Thousand Drips is one of the few waterfalls in the park viewable by the roadside.

Accessible pit toilets are available at the Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls parking lots.

Travel through an emerald green forest along the side of the Roaring Fork and LeConte Creeks to learn more about the history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and maybe see some wildlife too.

This one-way, paved road is a spectacular auto tour for folks in passenger vehicles but does have some size and length restrictions.

Vehicles of 20 ft and longer may not access this route. Please do not attempt to drive the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in an RV, Tour Bus or other high-clearance vehicle.

The one-way Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is closed for the winter season on December 1st and will not reopen until mid-March.

Driving Directions

Follow Historic Nature Trail-Airport Road from traffic light number 8 in Gatlinburg away from the main street in town. When you reach a fork in the road, stay right to reenter the park.

Highlights and Key Points Along the Route

This route has abundant cultural and natural features. Make sure to stop at the Noah "Bud" Ogle Cabin just 2 miles from the entrance on your right. This log home is the first of many along this route and includes a short walking trail that is excellent for Spring wildflowers.

Just before the end of your 9 mile journey be sure to stop on your left to see one of the park's few roadside waterfalls, the Place of a Thousand Drips.

Length of Byway or Route

9 miles

Pet Friendly Notes

No trails in the Cherokee Orchard or Roaring Fork areas are pet friendly. Pets are not allowed inside any historic structures inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Nearby Places