Grotto Falls

If you hate crowds, don't plan on going to Grotto Falls on a nice day during tourist season. Or if it is tourist season, go early before they get up :) The falls itself isn't very spectacular, but the trail goes behind the 15' drop which makes it interesting and a thrill for the kids. The hike is about 2.5 miles round trip and is easy to moderate in difficulty.

Directions: Look for stop light #8 in downtown Gatlinburg and turn east on to Airport Road. Continue 0.6 miles and bear right on to Cherokee Orchard Rd. At 2.8 miles from the stop light, the road forks and becomes one way. You have to bear right. The parking area for Grotto Falls is 5.5 miles from the stop light and is stop #5 on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Parking is limited which keeps the crowds down somewhat. If the parking spaces are full, keep pulling past the trail head and try to find a spot to pull off safely without blocking the road. The trail begins through a hemlock forest and is very easy to follow all the way to the fall. It's a really nice hike through the woods if there aren't many people around. If the falls is crowded, be prepared to wait in line for your picture of the family behind the waterfall.

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