Fall in the Smoky Mountains

The air is finally getting crisp and the leaves are beginning to turn shades of gold, red, and amber—it must be fall! This is one of the most enchanting times of year to visit the Smoky Mountains, as there is so much to do and beauty to take in. Nature enthusiasts from all over the world descend here to witness the magnificent fall foliage and make the scenic drives on Newfound Gap Road and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Outdoor enthusiasts come to take part in an array of outdoor activities, from hiking and horseback riding to fly fishing and zip lining. But perhaps one of the most enjoyable things to do during fall in the Smoky Mountains is to check out the beautiful fall foliage.

Top 5 Places to See Fall Foliage in the Smoky Mountains

You can see the Pigeon Forge fall foliage in numerous places around town, however there are some places that offer spectacular views of the color change.

  1. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park gets the #1 spot. The majestic national park is like no other in all seasons of the year, but especially during the fall.
  2. Clingmans Dome offers the highest point in the park and from the observation tower, you can get a grand view of the fall foliage.
  3. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a great start for a scenic drive. There are many stops along the way that will allow you to see the fall foliage from many different realms…from waterfalls and creeks to mountain farms and the treeline of the mountains. So much beauty surrounds!
  4. If you are up for a good hike, drive up to Cades Cove and take a hike on one of the many trails that originate there like the Cades Cove Nature Trail or the trail up to Abrams Falls. This spot will leave you in awe no matter where you look.
  5. You can get a bird’s eye view of the city from atop the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at the Island. This is a great spot to take in the fall foliage as well as the mountains. No driving or walking, just sit back and relax in the glass enclosed gondola. You will “ooh” and “ahh” as you reach the top and can see all the beautiful fall colors.

To check in on the Smoky Mountain fall foliage progression view one of the parks webcams: Purchase Knob looking Northeast and Look Rock looking East.

Fall Festivals

In addition to looking at the vibrant fall landscape, you can also go to one of the many fall festivals in the surrounding Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, communities. Some of these include:

  • Smoky Mountains Harvest Festival – During this 12-week celebration, Gatlinburg is decked out with vibrant fall decorations that are simply a must see! This festival includes events such as the annual Chili Cookoff, as well as haunted house attractions around Halloween.
  • Oktoberfest at Ober – Festive German flare abounds at the annual Oktoberfest event at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Mountain. This annual Smoky Mountain event features Lederhosen, Bavarian-style food, drink, and music.
  • Fall Harvest at the Island – Pigeon Forge has its own festival to celebrate the fall season. Enjoy live bluegrass music and stunning views of the changing fall foliage from the 200 feet-tall Great Smoky Mountain Wheel.
  • Dollywood’s Fall Festival – During the month of October Dollywood is brimming with fall décor. In the day you can enjoy gospel music shows and at night you can explore the park’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights event, where you can see dozens of illuminated, grinning Jack-O-Lanterns.

Fall at Oak Haven Resort & Spa

At Oak Haven Resort & Spa, we take fall very seriously! We adorn our luxury cabin resort with elaborate autumnal displays that capture the comforting, feel-good energy of the season. In addition to our fall décor, guests love our spacious private cabins, which each have cozy features such as a fireplace and hot tub. And when you’re not hanging out in our inviting cabins you can walk our nature trails, get warm by the fire pit, or try your luck at the catch-and-release lake. As you can see, there are several fall activities to enjoy without even leaving the resort!

Contact Oak Haven Resort & Spa today to learn more about our resort and all of the magical fall activities to enjoy in the Smoky Mountains.