Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Roaring Fork Motor Trail

While the Cades Cove drive is THE most popular one of the park, there is another that is usually far less crowded, takes only a bit over an hour to drive (on a good day) and is very scenic as well. Bears are supposed to be in the area as well but – sigh – no luck for me.

According to the NPS webpage: An exuberant mountain stream gave this area its unusual name. Roaring Fork is one of the larger and faster flowing mountain streams in the park. The narrow, winding, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail invites you to slow down and enjoy the forest and historic buildings of the area. The 5.5-mile-long, one-way, loop road is a favorite side trip for many people who frequently visit the Smokies. It offers rushing mountain streams, glimpses of old-growth forest, and a number of well-preserved log cabins, gristmills, and other historic buildings.

And the road (one way) is a narrow winding but beautiful trip over small bridges and past a lot of big rocks and streams. There are places to park and go hike to view waterfalls and to just take in the tranquility of the forest.

The valley of Roaring Fork is very very isolated. When there are no other cars driving past you are engulfed by nature and just the sounds it makes; birds and the sound of rushing water. You will also notice how many large rocks there are everywhere – on land and in the water. It was in this isolated place that an Alfred Reagan lived, farmed (the main crop being corn) and had a tub grist mill. To read more about the area and the life of Alfred Reagan, click HERE

Next we drive through the mountains towards the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Now that’s a drive!

Teri 📷


About imagesbytdashfield

Fine art photographer who loves to see and capture the amazing things in this world. Owner of Images by TDashfield photography.
This entry was posted in architecture, History, nature photography, Parks, photography, Travel Photography, Trees and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Roaring Fork Motor Trail

  1. Nancy says:

    Such a beautiful place. An enchanted forest.

  2. I am really enjoying following you through the Smokies and look forward see your adventures on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Keep these beautiful photos coming!

  3. shoreacres says:

    What a gorgeous spot. That’s the kind of autumn I grew up with , and miss.

  4. Timothy Price says:

    Beautiful area.

  5. Pit says:

    Looks ever so beautiful

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