Grotto Falls Trail at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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Grotto Falls is reached on the Trillium Gap Trail, so named for the flowers that grace it in spring. On this short and slightly challenging hike, you make your way over fingerlike roots patterns to arrive at wonderful falls, which are the only ones in the park that you can walk under and are extremely picturesque. Above the stand are old- growth hardwoods that are worth extending your hike beyond the falls. The drive to the trailhead and back to Gatlinburg after the hike is on an interesting historic loop road called the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, in which you travel past old ruins of nineteenth-century homesteads at 10 miles per hour, while you drive through beautiful old and diverse forest. This quiet little ride is only 3 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, so it takes no time to get there and immediately begin to enjoy the natural beauty and the history offered. You will actually reach the falls on the Trillium Gap Trail, so named for the profusion in the spring of beautiful white and yellow trillium along the trail, along with other wildflowers such as white violets and Dutchman’s breeches.
Hiking Tennessee

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Tennessee

by Kelley Roark and Stuart Carroll (Falcon Guides)

Grotto Falls is reached on the Trillium Gap Trail, so named for the flowers that grace it in spring. On this short and slightly challenging hike, you make your way over fingerlike roots patterns to arrive at wonderful falls, which are the only ones in the park that you can walk under and are extremely picturesque. Above the stand are old- growth hardwoods that are worth extending your hike beyond the falls.

The drive to the trailhead and back to Gatlinburg after the hike is on an interesting historic loop road called the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, in which you travel past old ruins of nineteenth-century homesteads at 10 miles per hour, while you drive through beautiful old and diverse forest. This quiet little ride is only 3 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, so it takes no time to get there and immediately begin to enjoy the natural beauty and the history offered. You will actually reach the falls on the Trillium Gap Trail, so named for the profusion in the spring of beautiful white and yellow trillium along the trail, along with other wildflowers such as white violets and Dutchman’s breeches.

© 2016 Kelley Roark and Stuart Carroll/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Gatlinburg
Distance: 3.6
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Local Maps: USGS quad Maryville
Driving Directions: Directions to Grotto Falls Trail at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Apr 2018