Just outside of Gaitlinburg, Tennessee, you can easily enter Great Smoky Mountain National Park and take a drive along the one-way Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. It’s a fascinating drive, and there are a number of waterfalls that can be accessed from the motor trail. Some of them require medium length hikes to view the falls, and on the day I was there, there was moderately consistent thunder, so I decided against those hikes.
There are a few waterfalls that can be easily viewed from the trail, though. One of them is unnamed, and is discussed here. The other, better advertised waterfall, is the Place of a Thousand Drips, which happens to be an amazingly cool name for a waterfall. I would assume it gets its name from the way it seems to split into many different drops, recombine, split again, and so on. It’s a rather fascinating view.
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There has been much controversy concerning the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the idea of it’s inception. The area now know as Elkmont within the park is no exception. The area started as a logging camp around 1901 when Colonel Townsend founded the Little River Railroad and the Little River Lumber Co.
As logging began to make the area more accesible the tourism trade grew. Townsend sold some of the land to outdoor and hunting enthusiast who soon began to build summer cottages. The former logging camps of Elkmont and Tremont were turned into vacation destinations which led to the creation of the Wonderland Hotel and the Appalachian Club.
By the 1920’s many people began to notice how the logging operations had devestated the land and the push for a national park began. The problem with the national park idea was that the land was owned by private…
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Any age, any level of rider could ride Climbworks Gatlinburg Mountain Biking Course. It's built for everyone to enjoy. The bikes are well maintained, and great models for general riders. The trail is well laid out, can be fun for experienced riders, but very doable for beginners. The uphill is a gradual climb (about a half a … Continue reading Mountain Biking in Gatlinburg TN
A waterfall along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail (April 2013)
Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a great place to find waterfalls, and in the short time I visited, I wasn’t able to see very many of them. (It gives me a good reason to go back!) If you take the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, which is very close to Gaitlinburg (a surprisingly commercialized town), you will have the chance to visit a number of waterfalls such as Grotto and Rainbow Falls. Just plan more time!
On the day I visited, I had stopped to see Mingo Falls and Laurel Falls. The hike to Mingo Falls was shorter, Laurel Falls somewhat longer. I then stopped went into Gaitlinburg and ended up taking way more time than planned to find dinner! So once I got to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, I didn’t have a huge amount…
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The Little Pigeon River, which got its name because the birds seemed to favor the area, has long been at the center of Pigeon Forge’s beauty and history. Little Pigeon River is located entirely within Sevier County, Tennessee and is made up of a series of streams which flow together on the dividing line … Continue reading Little Pigeon River
Leaving Chattanooga, we made our way back across the border into Tennessee for a relatively modest, three-hour drive to Pigeon Forge, in the western foothills of the Appalachians just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Driving through Pigeon Forge is an experience in itself – under the influence of so many visitors to the mountains, the town has clearly grown into a major tourist destination or, more accurately, a tourist trap. The main strip through town is mile after mile of CRAZY – hotels, motels and restaurants, riddled with the most outlandish of attractions you can imagine, such as an upside-down building, the Titanic (well, the front half of it, anyway, plus fake iceberg), a giant shark, King Kong on top of a replica New York skyline, and so much more. Every trick that might tempt a tourist to part with some of their money has been…
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This route follows the Little Pigeon River to Trillium Gap. No trucks, trailers or RVs are allowed. The road leads to the John Messer Barn and the trailhead to Ramsay Cascades, arguably the best waterfall in the Park. The hike is 8 miles roundtrip and is challenging. A lesser visited area of the Park, the … Continue reading Greenbrier Road Auto Tour
The Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee are a top destination in the country for weddings due to the gorgeous scenery of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Peaks and valleys provide breathtaking views that mirror the promise of lifelong wedded bliss. Every year, over 10,000 brides plan Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg weddings in and around … Continue reading Weddings in the Great Smoky Mountains
Great trip. It sounds like you had an awesome time. Great pictures too.
I believe you meant Clingman’s Dome when you said Cades Cove
the summer road trip continued. the drive from charlottesville, va to gatlinburg, tn was six hours.
we made it to gatlinburg without getting lost : ) we stayed at Smoky Bear Campground in the teddy bear cabin. it was thankfully not in the hubub of gatlinburg. it was tucked away off route 321. there were a few other cabins on the campground alongside rv’s and thee pool. our cabin had a loft, futon in the living room (for gr3 to sleep on), a kitchen, full bath, and bedroom. the bonus was the faux fireplace that gr3 fell in love with. he sat by it and watched the glow. he turned it on every chance he had.
the first full day we did the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. you could hear the “roar” of the water. we stopped at jim ogle’s log cabin, an old appalachian home where fellow…
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