Fall Activities in The Smoky Mountains

The fall season awakens the spirit and sparks the desire to get outside, breathe in the crisp air, and take in all the gorgeous amber, orange, yellow, and scarlet foliage bursting forth. If you want to experience all of the beauty and fun that the fall season offers, there is no better place to do it than near the Great Smoky Mountains and the Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville communities that sit in the foothills of this geological landmark.

Top Things to Do

Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, there is something for everyone during autumn in the Smoky Mountains. Some of the most popular fall activities include:

Outdoor Adventures

The cooler weather in this area during the fall makes it ideal for outdoor physical activities. With more than 800 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there is no shortage of hiking opportunities where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. In addition to hiking, you can also enjoy other exhilarating activities, including guided horseback rides, zip lining, fly fishing, or water activities, like boating, on our beautiful rivers and lakes.

A family favorite is to take a group ATV trip. There are great ATV rental locations throughout the Smokies where you and your family can ride through the trails for an off-road experience.

Popular Routes in the Area to Take a Scenic Fall Drive

Hiking trails in autumn weather offer plenty to do for avid adventurers, but local wildlife can become a concern. For this reason, many travelers prefer to tour the area by taking scenic drives through the mountains and local historic landmarks. Here are some places you can visit without needing to ever leave your vehicle.

Cade’s Cove

If you want to know what life was like in Appalachia when it was first settled, you need to take a drive through Cade’s Cove. The loop can easily take several hours to drive through, and you’re able to get out and walk around whenever you feel like it. Included are historic cabins, churches and graveyards where the first settlers in the area lived.

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

You can enter this trail in Gatlinburg and follow it into Smoky Mountain National Park. It’s a one-way road, so you need to follow the entire loop once you enter it. In addition to being able to see fall colors, you can also observe waterfalls and wildlife. There are several hiking trails you could take as well.

Newfound Gap Road

You shouldn’t visit the Smoky Mountains and not adventure to their highest point. The Newfound Gap Road takes you all the way up to Clingman’s Dome, and you can take the half-mile hike all the way to the top for a serene view of the mountains. You’re able to see up to seven states from Clingman’s Dome on a clear day. 

Fall Festivals

The fall ushers in a wave of fun and exciting festivals in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the Smoky Mountains area. In particular, there is the Dollywood Harvest Festival in October, where you can experience live music, crafts-making demonstrations, and much more. Locals and tourists also enjoy the Fall Harvest at the Island in Pigeon Forge, where you’ll find bluegrass music, fall-themed décor, and beautiful views from the 200-foot-tall Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. And for guests with a true appreciation for art and craftsmanship, Robert Tino’s Smoky Mountain Gallery is the perfect way to celebrate Fall in the Smokies.

Ziplining Tours

If you’re an adrenaline junky, ziplining is just for you. One of the best ways to get a close look at the nature scenes in the park is to schedule a ziplining tour. You’ll be propelled through scenic routes in the Smoky Mountain National Park while hanging freely from a zipline. It’s an unforgettable and exciting experience. 


Tennessee is home to many thriving local apple orchards, some of which are close to the Smoky Mountain National Park. One of the most popular orchards is The Apple Barn and Cider Mill in Sevierville as well as the Carvers Apple Orchard in Cosby.

Book Your Fall Adventure at Oak Haven

If you want to experience all of the fall activities in the Smoky Mountains, there is no better place to stay than Oak Haven Resort & Spa. Located near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, our custom luxury log cabin rentals are beautiful and offer scenic views, a bevy of amenities, and all of the comforts of home. Our cabins provide the perfect getaway for individuals, couples, and families of all sizes, so give us a call and get your getaway planned today!

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