Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fall Activities
Autumn marks the kickoff for all kinds of festivities in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, but Great Smoky Mountains National Park takes the opposite approach: things slow down decidedly after September. That’s not to say there’s nothing to do in the fall; if you prefer quiet hikes to, say, old-timey music jamborees, you’ll find plenty to love about the park in the autumn. Not ready to stretch your legs? Hit the road for a scenic drive before winter makes local roads more difficult to navigate.
Conquer Fall Hikes With Breathtaking Views
Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not limited to the summer months. If anything, it’s more enjoyable in the autumn, when you can either view colorful foliage or far-off horizons no longer blocked by leafy trees.
While peak colors arrive in mid-October, there’s plenty to love about hiking during the month of November. As the leaves fall, visibility increases; the same scenic spot may look completely different depending on when you visit. Near the beginning of November, hiking weather is arguably at its best; the air is cool and crisp, but challenging trails will still work up a sweat.
Excellent hikes for the months of October and November include:
Feast Your Eyes on Fall Colors While Enjoying the Smoky Mountains’ Best Drives
If you’re not feeling up to hiking but still want to view the best of fall colors in the Smoky Mountains, hop in the car and head to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the drive of a lifetime. October is ideal for seeing fall colors, but don’t be too disappointed if you run into traffic; when the weather cooperates and the leaves reach peak color, the park’s best drives draw crowds. In November, however, less foliage means greater visibility and fewer cars on the road.
Not sure where to start? Any drive you take in the Smokies is bound to be beautiful this time of year, but the following trips are especially impressive in October and November:
- Cade’s Cove
- Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
- Newfound Gap Road to Clingmans Dome