Where We Be
Smoky Mtns - Roaring Fork Motor Trail
This great little loop road packs a lot of punch
into its six short miles. The loop begins and
ends in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, winding its way
through a forested section of Great Smoky
Mountains National Park. The road dips down to
numerous rushing streams and passes three
different historic farms with intact log cabins,
each more photogenic than the next. Once in
awhile the road breaks out of the trees and
offers tremendous views, especially in autumn.

The road is quite narrow in places so it's a good
thing it's one-way. The speed is only 10 mph and
I did much of it in first gear while still having to
ride the brake on the steep downhill stretches.
That probably explains why it's closed in winter!
But in spring, summer, or fall it's a scenic drive
you'll remember. Take your time, keep your eyes
open for wildlife, and be sure to get out of the
car and walk around at the cabins and streams.
Streams like this one encourage you to
slow down and appreciate the little things
All the structures, like this corn crib at the Ephraim Bales
place, are original -- but who knows how long they'll stand?
This is the Ephraim Bales place (1890-1930). Just imagine Ephraim and Minerva
Bales living here with their nine children! The small cabin has just one tiny window.
Wood can warp, weather, and turn gray
and yet its texture still remains beautiful
The folks who built this tiny cabin were part of the
Tiny House movement before it was a movement!
It's easy to fall in love with the quiet beauty of the Great
Smoky Mountains. We're already ready to come back!
It's kinda fun to imagine yourself living in one of these
rustic log cabins, back in the day when life was simpler
Autumn is undeniably the best season
to enjoy overlooks like these
The one-way road offers a terrific combination of natural beauty
and rustic farmsteads slowly being reclaimed by the forest
Every once in awhile the road ascends out of
the forest and offers panoramic view like this one
This was the farmstead of Noah "Bud" Ogle from 1883 to 1925. It's one of three
historic farms you'll see during your drive along Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
But nothing beats a
living forest in autumn!