As I’m writing these notes it’s the last week in August but for many visitors booking your trip over Labor Day weekend is critical. The Smoky Mountains National Park area hosts the most visitors in the fall during the last three weeks of October, when the peak foliage is most likely to occur. If possible, plan your trip at least two to three months in advance, or even earlier. In Episode 010 – Fall in the Smokies Podcast, Join Chuck Schmidt, travel host for an overview in his Fall in the Smokies Podcast. Learn about the best places to see the brilliant colors of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well events and festivals in the surrounding communities. Learn about attractions, hiking trails, driving tours and more.
Not surprisingly, the most popular way to see the foliage is driving. Be aware that Cades Cove and Newfound Gap Road (US 441) in the Park become congested in mid-October. Consider taking a bike on Cades Cove to beat the traffic. From early to mid-October, fall colors develop above 4,000 feet. To enjoy them, drive the Clingmans Dome Road, the Blue Ridge Parkway, or the Foothills Parkway east or west. Roaring Forks Motor Trail is beautiful also.
To get away from the crowds consider some of the driving tours in Sevierville; Boyd’s Creek Fall Foliage Tour, English Mountain Driving Tour, The Middle Prong Driving Tour
Hiking has become an increasingly popular alternative, with the Appalachian Trail, Inspiration Point on the Alum Cave Trail, Look Rock Tower, Oconaluftee River Trail and Sutton Ridge Overlook within the park boundaries. Other hikes include; Andrews Bald, Gregory Bald, Mt Cammerer and Mt LeConte via Alum Cave. Check out Episode 010 – Fall in the Smokies Podcast for details about each of these hikes.
Other ways to travel include helicopter & airplane tours, motorcycle rentals and Hot Air Balloon.
As for area events and festivals each town has their own unique twist. Pigeon Forge has Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, thousands of carved and illuminated jack-o-lanterns immersing families in fabulous fall fun. The largest addition ever made to Dollywood’s fall festival, Great Pumpkin LumiNights features artistic sculptures, whimsical scenes and delightful, family-friendly fun throughout Timber Canyon.
Gatlinburg has Ober Gatlinburg’s 10th Annual OktOBERfest, Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, Gatlinburg’s Taste of Autumn, Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, Trick or Treat Kick Off Karnival, Chili Cookoff presented by Bush’s Chili Beans and a stirring Veterans Day Obervance Ceremony. Check out Episode 010 – Fall in the Smokies Podcast for details about each of these events.
Sevierville hosts; 12th Annual Kyker Farms Corn Maze, The Trail and Zombie Blasterz at Kyker Farms, History & Haunts – Have a howling good time in historic downtown Sevierville each Saturday evening in October from 5pm until 9pm. Each event brings a new harvest of activities everyone will enjoy, from guided historic walking tours and costume contests to storytellers, live music and lawn games.
Wears Valley, Townsend also have festivals and events sure to entertain you this fall season. Don’t miss a trip the Bryson City and the Great Smoky Mountins Railway and their PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express, Carolina Shine Moonshine Experience and Uncorked! A Unique Rail Line and Wine experience. Again Episode 010 – Fall in the Smokies Podcast has details about each of these events.
Hopefully you’ll find Episode 010 Fall in the Smokies Podcast helpful in planning your Fall getaway!
Are you planning a visit to the Smokies and are wondering how to fit it all in? Check out our sample itineraries: https://dancingbearfoot.blog/2018/08/30/smoky-mountains-vacation-itinerary-day-1/
If this is your fist time coming to the Smokies and renting a cabin check out out blog post in what to look for when renting a log cabin.
Thank you for reading. If you’d like to learn more about our cabin or other great things to see while visiting the Smoky Mountains please visit us at Dancing Bearfoot.com.
Like our Pizza Bear? Check out the other great artwork from Kenton Visser https://www.kentonvisser.com/