Great Smoky Mountain National Park

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Roaring Fork is a stream in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park of Tennessee, located in the Southeastern United States. Once the site of a small Appalachian community, today the stream is home to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Roaring Fork Historic District. Like many mountain streams, Roaring Fork is notoriously volatile. While the stream presents as a peaceful trickle on any given day, it quickly becomes a raging whitewater rapid after a mild rain shower. The "roar" of the water is amplified by its echo on surrounding mountain ridges.

The source of Roaring Fork is located nearly 5,000 feet  up along the northern slopes of Mount Le Conte, where several small springs converge. The highest of these springs, known as Basin Spring, provides the water source for LeConte Lodge. From its source, Roaring Fork drops 2,500 feet over just two miles, spilling over Grotto Falls and absorbing Surry Creek before steadying in a narrow valley between Mount Winnesoka and Piney Mountain. The mouth of Roaring Fork is located at the northern end of Gatlinburg, where it empties into the West Fork of the Little Pigeon River.

The Roaring Fork valley is underlain by a Precambrian Class II sandstone of the Ocoee Supergroup, a rock formation formed from ancient ocean sediments nearly a billion years ago that comprises much of the Smokies. Roaring Fork Sandstone is found throughout the mid-level elevations of the northern Smokies, and is especially common in Greenbrier to the east and the Sugarlands to the west.

 

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Great Smoky Mountain National Park
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