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The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is one of the most popular destinations for visitors in the Great Smoky Mountains. Many families spend an afternoon of their vacation, exploring the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
But this year, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is closing to the public one month earlier than expected.
Beginning on November 1, 2014, there will be 8 bridges undergoing repairs and being replaced. The work will take place throughout the winter months, but construction staff needs an extra month to complete the project. The work is expected to be completed by the end of April 2015, so the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail can be reopened on time the following season.
(See Related: 9 Beautiful Ways to Experience Fall in the Smoky Mountains)
Keep in mind, any trailheads that are accessed by way of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail will also be closed at this time. During the construction period, the Grotto Falls trailhead will be closed.
National Park staff is still making the decision on whether or not the trails that intersect Roaring Fork will be open or closed during the construction. These trails include:
- Trillium Gap Trail
- Grapeyard Ridge
- Baskins Creek
What is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
Like most of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is known for its diverse natural surroundings. There are a few historical structures along the trail, but the highlight of taking this drive is the nature that surrounds you throughout the entire adventure.
In addition to the beautiful, mile-long views as you drive on the trail, there’s so much diversity in the forestry that can be seen along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
History of Roaring Fork in the Smoky Mountains
Just like many other areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there were people who once established the land as their own, farming it and building homes. When the national park was established, the people living in this area were forced to move and live elsewhere. Some of the individuals were given special permission to stay, based on situations like illness and old age.
Those who were able to stay faced many struggles because the land was now a national park. This being said, those individuals were not able to build, farm or cut firewood. These individuals had spent their entire life building the land to meet their needs, so it was nearly impossible for them to live in the area under the stipulations that the national park created.
Many of the people who moved from the national park areas began to settle in the area now known as Gatlinburg. The town was just becoming a tourist area and there were plenty of places for families to settle down, work and even plow the open fields.
Now, over 9 million people visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year. When you visit the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, you can expect to see dense forestry, small waterfalls, streams and a few historically preserved sites like the Noah Bud Ogle cabin.
For more information about Roaring Fork, visit the National Park Service’s website by following this link: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/roaringfork.htm
If you are unable to access the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail on your visit, don’t worry. There’s plenty of hiking trails, and other driving tour trails in the national park. If you are looking for a driving tour, take a day and spend it driving the Cades Cove Loop Road or experiencing everything along Newfound Gap Road.
In addition to all of the great things to do in the national park, the cities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have all turned into bustling areas filled with restaurants, attractions and fun things to do. So, just because Roaring Fork is closed, don’t let it ruin your plans to visit the Smokies!
If you’re planning to visit the Great Smoky Mountains this fall or winter, make sure to take a look at our weekly Smoky Mountain weather videos, so you will know what to expect while you are in the area.