My husband and I have been going to the Smoky Mountains for over 20 years and in that time we have most certainly driven Roaring Forks Motor Trail in Gatlinburg TN at least a handful of times. This month (July 2015) we took the time to do so again and I must say it is amazing what you observe (or don’t) on such outings.
Just before you enter the “trail” there is a city park, Mynatt Park, I had never noticed the park on our previous trips, but I took notice this time. In my own defense previous trips on the trail were for purposes of reaching trailheads that lead to two very popular waterfalls in the Smokies, Grotto and Rainbow, or during times of weather too cold, or too wet to be hiking. Also now that we manage our own rentals and have social media to posts places of interest, photos and the like on maybe I am paying more attention and even searching for those spots that I think our cabin guests or visitors to the area might enjoy. Whatever the reason I am glad I spotted Mynatt Park.
To get to the park turn at traffic light #8 in Gatlinburg and follow Historic Nature Trail Drive, just before you enter the Cherokee Orchard entrance to the national park, Mynatt Park will be on your right on Ashbury Lane. Beautiful setting, great picnic areas, grills, and restrooms. They also have a covered pavillion for a nominal fee if you need to host a family gathering. Tennis and basketball courts, a baseball field, horsehoe pit, playground area and a fishing stream for children are also part of the amenities offered at Mynatt Park. Plenty of great scenery to take in as well! Here is a photo of one of the picnic areas there more along the stream.
For those that want a great place to picnic or play this is it. Right in the heart of Gatlinburg, right outside the national park, easy to get to, and a hidden little gem that most other visitors don’t know about. After enjoying your time at Mynatt be sure to drive the Roarking Fork Motor Nature Trail, visit the 3 historic homesites and take in all the surrounding beauty of the rushing mighty stream, the place of a thousand drips and the glorious shade of the forest canopy. You’ll be glad you did.
To view more information on the city parks offered in and around Gatlinburg click here.