10 August 2014

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail to Close Oct. 31 for Bridge Repairs

If you have any plans to take a road trip on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail out of Gatlinburg, now's the time to do it. Roaring Fork will close for the season on the evening of Oct. 31, 2014 and will remain closed until April 30, 2015 to replace eight bridges along the roadway. The road will be closed to all public use, including hiking and biking.

The Roaring Fork area 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, grist mills, and other historic buildings. To access Roaring Fork, turn off the main parkway in Gatlinburg, TN., at traffic light #8 and follow Historic Nature Trail to the Cherokee Orchard entrance to the national park.

The Noah “Bud” Ogle self-guiding nature trail provides a walking tour of an authentic mountain farmstead and surrounding hardwood forest. Highlights include a streamside tubmill and the Ogle’s handcrafted wooden flume plumbing system.

Just beyond the Rainbow Falls trailhead you have the option of taking the one-way Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This narrow, but paved, road twists and turns for six miles beside rich forests, waterfalls, and mountain streams. Buses, trailers, and motor homes are not permitted on the motor nature trail. An inexpensive booklet available at the beginning of the motor nature trail details landmarks along the route.

“Roaring Fork” is the name of the stream which the road roughly parallels. It is one of the larger and faster flowing mountain streams in the park. Drive this road after a hard rain and the inspiration behind the name will be apparent.

Several homes and other buildings have been preserved in this area. And a “wet weather” waterfall called Place of a Thousand Drips provides a splendid finale to your journey.
According to smokiesadventure.com, the Place of a Thousand Drips is something you won't want to miss. Their website says it's a low-flow waterfall that can be seen from your vehicle.

It is located just before the one-way road comes out to Gatlinburg. The waterfall comes out of high rocks and a small cave and cascades down 20-30 feet.  Due to the small amount of water that flows over the falls the name "Place of a Thousand Drips" seems to be fitting. Since it is best viewed during rainy season, now should be a good time for a visit. The Place of a Thousand Drips is a must-see, however, because of the intricate pathways and carvings the water has created over time.


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