We all would love to see beautiful waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but it's not always easy or practical to walk several miles to see one.
While there are lots of waterfalls to see in the Smokies, most of these require hiking several miles through the mountains. Luckily, there are several waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains that you can see from your vehicle or that are only a short walk away.
To help you see as many gorgeous waterfalls as possible, we've made this guide that has the best roadside waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains!
1. The Sinks
The Sinks Waterfall is an impressive 15 Ft waterfall on the Little River Road between Metcalf Bottoms and The Townsend Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This powerful waterfall channels the entire volume of the Little River, so this waterfall is impressive even during a dry period. Best of all, visitors can view these falls with a short walk to an observation platform. This area is wheelchair accessible and there is a sizeable parking lot nearby.
The Sinks waterfall gets its name from the swirling pool of water that forms at its base that resembles water circling a drain. This unusual waterfall was formed as a result of a log jam along the Little Pigeon River. To free up the log jam, the logging company used a large quantity of dynamite to free the jam. In the process of clearing the logs, the explosion blasted a deep hole into the bedrock and altered the course of the river. On warm days, you might see swimmers enjoying the clear, cold water of this swimming hole. However, anyone wading into the water should exercise caution. The currents formed by the river are very strong and this area has been the site of several drownings.
If you'd like to enjoy a moderate hike, the nearby Meigs Creek Trail takes hikers past several waterfalls and cascades.
2. Meigs Falls
This impressive waterfall can be viewed from an unmarked pullout on the Little River Road between the Townsend Entrance and The Sugarlands visitor center.
At 20 Ft. in height waterfall is especially stunning after a rainfall.
Meigs Falls sits about 200 Ft from the road tucked back in the forest, but it can easily be seen from the comfort of your vehicle. Since the waterfall is framed by verdant forest, this spot is perfect for photographers.
3. The Place of 1000 Drips
The Place of 1000 Drips is a popular stop along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail near Gatlinburg. This unique waterfall is a low volume fall that is famous for the intricate routes the water has carved into the rocks.
This cascade is about 20-30 ft. tall and it is a favorite destination for photographers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Additionally, this waterfall can be viewed from the road, so it's one of the most accessible waterfalls in the Smokies. This popular highlight is especially beautiful during rainy weather.
On the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, you'll be able to see several waterfalls and cascades, but The Place of 1000 Drips is definitely the most impressive stop along the way.
Please note that the Roaring Fork Motor Trail is closed to traffic from December to March.
Map of Roadside Waterfalls
Final Thoughts on Roadside Waterfalls
Want to see more accessible waterfalls in the mountains of Tennessee?
The Little River Gorge Road is home to smaller waterfalls like Mannis Branch Falls and Cane Creek Twin Falls, but these waterfalls are only noticeable after a rainfall. Tremont and Elkmont are other areas of the national park where you can see nice cascades and small waterfalls from the comfort of your vehicle. Depending on the time of year, Lower Spruce Flats Falls may be visible from Tremont Road.
We'd love to know, what's your favorite waterfall in the Smokies? Feel free to share your thoughts in our comments section!
Written by Mark Frazier