The hike to Grotto Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains starts from the Trillium Gap Trailhead, located just outside Gatlinburg. Turn onto Gatlinburg's Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road from Light 8. Turn right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, where you will enter the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, after driving for 0.7 miles. After driving another 2.2 miles, you will enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. Drive another 0.9 miles on the loop before turning right onto the Roaring Fork's Motor Nature Trail. The parking area for Grotto Falls will be on the left side of the road after driving about 1.6 miles along this one-way road. The trailhead is just beyond the parking area on the opposite side of the road. Because of the popularity of this hiking trail, there are additional parking spaces further up the road. Your best bet is to arrive early during the peak visitor season.
There is a picnic table and restroom where you park. The waterfall spills over rocks far enough where you can walk underneath the waterfall. Best flow is early spring. There are four more waterfalls if you hike above Grotto. It is difficult getting to the other falls as you have to climb up the steep hillside after Grotto and then you don't have true trails above. You will need to remain close to the water as you go above the falls. Very beautiful and you feel really secluded from things. Best to go with someone or at least tell someone you are tempting the falls above. There is a section where you can stand at the top of where Grotto falls spills over the edge of the rock.
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