Top Reasons to Visit the Smokies in the Fall

The Smoky Mountains are a beautiful place to visit any time of the year, but the fall is probably a favorite for many.  Here are the top reasons to visit the Smokies this fall.

Fall Foliage

There’s no doubt that people flock to the Smokies when fall foliage is at its peak. The beautiful hues of orange, yellow, and red that line the landscape are a sight to see set amongst the rolling hills of the mountain ranges.  Autumn foliage begins about mid-September and runs through early November in the lower to middle ranges of the mountains and weekends start to get busy about the beginning of October when colors are at their peak. 

Scenic drives are the top activity in the Smokies in the fall.  Two of the best drives to take are the Roaring Fork Motor Trail and the Newfound Gap Road trail. If you are looking for just a quick trip, the Roaring Fork Motor Trail is only 5.5 miles long and is a one way loop on a narrow and winding road.  On the trail you’ll encounter rushing mountain streams, old growth forests, historic log cabins and old grist mills.  The Newfound Gap Trail is a little longer and is the lowest drivable pass through the mountain range at 5,046 feet.  The 31 mile trail takes you from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC.  You’ll climb nearly 3,000 feet and pass through northern hardwood and spruce-fir forests.  Some sights to see along the way include Mingus Mill and the Newfound Gap pass.  Air temps can reach about 10 degrees cooler as you climb the 3,000 ft into the mountain range so be sure to pack a light jacket.

For the best time to view the fall foliage download the leaf peeper app for iTunes and android. 

Cheaper Rates

                Summer crowds to hot spots like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge dwindle in the fall so that means that lodging rates usually decrease this time of year. You do have to be careful of some weekends in October however as people start to come back to the area to experience the beautiful fall foliage.

Fall Festivals

            Ober Gatlinburg is always a fun place to visit and this includes their ever popular Oktoberfest.  They have festivities for the whole family including delicious food from vendors all over Tennessee and beyond, live music from local artists, and drinks especially crafted for fall.  The rides and attractions are still open, weather permitting, so there are plenty of activities to partake in as well.  Oktoberfest in Ober Gatlinburg runs from September 22nd through October 29th.

            Sugarlands Mountain Festival is a fun fall festival for the outdoor enthusiast.  Activities here include competitive races and outdoor competitions in a series of events. Teams and individuals can participate. For a list of events and registration information visit here. You’ll also find live music, crafts, cocktails and homemade brews. 


            Another great reason to visit the Smokies in the fall is that the weather is near perfect.  September through October usually runs temperatures with highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s.  This means outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, mountain climbing and anything else you can think of won’t leave you suffering from heat stroke or frostbite. 

Fall Brew Tours

            Many craft breweries bring out their delicious fall flavors in September and October and there are several good breweries in and around the Smoky Mountains.  Here are a few to check out: Smoky Mountain Brewery, Bearwaters Brewing Company, and  Natanhala Brewing Company.  Fill up on good food and good brews in the Smoky Mountains.

What are some of your top reasons to visit the Smokies in the fall??

Cullum and Maxey

Check out Cullum and Maxey Camping Center in Nashville,TN for all your fall camping needs.  We’ve got a full stock of travel trailers, fifth wheels, motorhomes and toy haulers both new and used. Our service department can help you with any repair or routine maintenance check for your RV, and we have a full stock of parts and accessories. 

Visit us at 2614 Music Valley Drive in Nashville.

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This article was originally posted here.

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