TENNESSEE – GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NAT’L PARK – Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Photo Experience: I spent some time here on an overcast afternoon with occasional light rain. Stop #3 faces west in case you happen to be on RFMNT at sunset. However, virtually all of the photography opportunities I found were located after the Grotto Falls trailhead where the road heads steeply downhill. (Make sure your vehicle has low gear – and you use it – along this section.) Places to pull off the road are somewhat limited. Go too fast and you might miss one. At stop #7, there is a trail across the road that goes downhill to the edge of Roaring Fork. After stop #7, the road will cross the stream several times. Just after stop #10, wildflowers, primarily trillium and phlox, will appear in abundance along the sides of the road. Stop #15, called Place of a Thousand Drips, can provide a number of opportunities with water, rocks, and moss.
Other Info: To get there: From stoplight #8 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, turn uphill onto Airport Road. It is about 3 miles to the beginning of this 6-mile, one way, narrow, winding paved road. (It is easily drivable in a 2-wheel drive vehicle.) However, before you begin your adventure on RFMNT, stop at Bud Ogle Place, about 2.6 miles from stoplight #8. Around the cabin and on the short, easy trail to the tub mill can be good locations for wild geraniums and dwarf crested iris.