A Must-See Showcase of Vibrant Colors from Mother Nature – Smoky Mountain Fall Color
Many people say that the best time to visit Gatlinburg is during the famous Smoky Mountain fall color or autumn foliage in and marvel at the fall colors. If you haven’t been there yet during this season, you might want to check it out real soon. Its stunning display of gold, red, yellow, and orange can put New England’s fall colors display to shame. This is actually one of the reasons why most tourists prefer to go here around October. The temperature cools down, the days become shorter, and everyone gets to flock on the most popular areas of the park.
To make the most of your visit, book a cabin that is located near the forest yet still accessible to the city. The Smoky Mountains Company has many different types of cabins that may suit your needs and taste. Each cabin costs differently, depending on the amenities. Some are equipped with a game room, a spacious deck, a hot tub, a breathtaking mountain view, and many more. The size of the cabin also affects the price; they have a cabin that can accommodate huge families and even intimate suites that are perfect for couples and honeymooners. Just let the staff know about your preferences, and they will gladly take care of everything for you!
Now that your cabin is taken care of, you can focus on planning your autumn foliage getaway. As mentioned earlier, people visit this place around October to early November because this is the peak of the season. Smoky Mountains Fall Color is filled with sugar maples, hickories, sweet gums, scarlet oaks, red maples, and many other different trees that create a colorful show of nature. It usually lasts for seven weeks or more, depending on the temperature and other factors.
Top 5 Places to go and Witness the Smoky Mountain Fall Color
The Great Smoky Mountains is most popular during the summer and autumn seasons. But the truth is, it is a great place to visit all year long. It always has a proud display of nature, with over 100 species of native trees in growth. What makes it extra special during fall is that these trees turn their color to crimson, gold, amber, and red. It’s like the mountain range is covered in a rainbow blanket. The colors first appear at the highest elevations in the mid or late September. They will slowly spread down the hillside as the fall season settles and usually lasts until early November. With that in mind, you can plan your visit accordingly to have a truly unforgettable Smokies’ foliage experience.
Here are some of the sites that you must go to for a guaranteed autumn extravaganza:
- Newfound Gap Road
This is one of the first places that Smoky Mountains fall colors appear. The elevation causes the temperature to be more relaxed than usual, and you’ll also notice that there are changes in the ecosystem. Since many people come to visit this spot, you might want to get out of the road early to avoid traffic.
- Blue Ridge Parkway
If you like taking pictures, this should be worth your drive. This is a famed stretch of highway that showcases a long line of sugar maples in the eastern part of North Carolina. And since it is one of the highest elevations in the Smokies, the Smoky Mountains fall colors are apparent here early on. Make sure to stop by the trails on this area to get a closer look of the foliage.
Clingman is the third highest point in Tennessee. It’s beautiful view of the entire landscape. Also, dress in layers as the temperature may unpredictably change. This is one of the best places to see Smoky Mountains fall colors.
- Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
There are numerous stop-overs on this route because the scenery is simply irresistible. And while you are here, go ahead and do the self-guided nature walk – pass by nature creek and hike a little more to reach the amazing Grotto Falls. You might also like the fact that it’s inaccessible to motorhomes and buses. This means that there are less traffic and people here.
- Foothills Parkway
If you’d like to see the famous autumn foliage in the Smokies, but hate long lines and busy streets, then this is the perfect place for you. You may call it ‘the road less traveled,’ with minimal crowd and only a few vehicles passing through. It’s a partially-finished route that can be accessed from two points – Cosby in the East and Walland in the West. You’ll surely enjoy the uninterrupted drive here with vivid fall colors all around you.
Don’t Miss Out on the Parties During the Smoky Mountain Fall Color
Aside from the breathtaking play of colors from Mother Nature, autumn in Gatlinburg is well-known for its fun festivals. Check out the exciting events that they have lined up when you come to visit at this time.
Dollywood Harvest Festival usually takes place in the month of October to celebrate the time of harvest. Dollywood is fully-decorated, with gospel music shows entertaining the crown during the day. There are also live demonstrations of skillful artisans on how to make different crafts. In the evening, you can enjoy the fantastic display of illuminated jack-o-lanterns which they call the Great Pumpkin LumiNights.
If you plan to visit Gatlinburg on the 3rd week of October, you can join the Wears Valley Fall Festival that’s notable for its abundant spread of delectable food and impressive local crafts. It is a quiet mountain celebration that’s brought to life by several activities for children. The whole place is decorated accordingly and filled with live music from various artists and bands.
Fall Harvest at the Island is a festivity that takes place in Pigeon Forge. It is completed with live bluegrass music and adorned with fall-themed decorations. And since it’s located at the 200-feet tall Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, it offers a panoramic view of the changing fall foliage like no other.
During the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, you will have the opportunity to see and appreciate the work of numerous craftspeople from across the nation. It usually happens for the entire month of October, at the Gatlinburg Convention Center in the downtown area. The whole place is kept lively and fun by bluegrass and country music. You’ll be amazed at all of the craftsmen’s one-of-a-kind creations that are a product of their imagination. The artists make use of different materials, including clay, wood, metal, and glass. If you’re a big fan of art, you will surely enjoy this event.
If what you’re looking for is some German fun and festivities, you’ll like the Octoberfest at Ober. They usually hold it at the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Mountain and is celebrated with lots of Lederhosen! The locals also prepare mouthwatering dishes such as schnitzel, bratwurst, and a wide array of beers from Germany. And don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes because there will be non-stop partying to German music at this Bavarian festival.
It would be nice if you could go to at least one of these celebrations, but ten-folds better if you could experience all of them! So go ahead, book your cabin, and have the time of your life at the brilliant fall foliage in the Smokies this 2019!