Smoky Mountain Auto Tours: Roaring Fork Nature Trail

Driver driving down mountain road with gps on sunny day

Roaring Fork Nature Trail

The trip begins on Cherokee Orchard Road. In the 1920s and 30s, this area was once a 796-acre commercial orchard and nursery with over 6,000 fruit trees. A short three miles later stands Noah “Bud” Ogle’s Place, located at the end of Cherokee Orchard and the beginning of the one-way motor loop, on a 5-mile winding drive through forest and past pioneer structures.

The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is an intimate journey through the Smoky Mountains’ lush mountain wilderness. It reveals some of nature’s secrets and weaves the story of the people who once lived here. Water is a constant companion on this journey. Cascades, rapids, and falls adorn the roadside. The sound of rushing water is never far away. The air feels damp and tropical throughout the summer months, yet the icy water rarely reaches 60 degrees F. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is open to vehicle traffic from early spring until December 1st each year.