the smoky mountains in the fall
October 3, 2023

Have you been thinking about taking a fall vacation to the Smokies? There are many reasons why the autumn season is a great time to visit– the colorful fall foliage, cooler weather, and seasonal events just to name a few! Take a look at 7 ways you can enjoy the Smoky Mountains in the fall for an unforgettable experience filled with fun and adventure for the whole family:

1. Go to the Great Pumpkin Luminights at Dollywood.

great pumpkin luminights at dollywood

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival is an annual event that you won’t want to miss! From live music to tasty fall treats, this festival provides an extra special experience to Dollywood, especially the night show, Great Pumpkin Luminights! Thousands of pumpkins and lights are arranged to form Hoot Owl Hollow, a night walk that’s easily the highlight of the Harvest Festival.

2. Walk the SkyBridge in Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg SkyPark is an attraction that’s home to the infamous SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America! Spanning nearly 700 feet, this bridge provides panoramic views of the Smokies and the bright autumn colors that are absolutely breathtaking. It’s a one-of-a-kind attraction you won’t experience anywhere else!

3. Take a scenic drive on Newfound Gap Road.

newfound gap road in the smokies

Another popular way to experience the Smoky Mountains in the fall is to drive along a beautiful, winding mountain road. There are many scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains to choose from, such as the Cades Cove Scenic Loop and the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, but Newfound Gap is particularly enjoyable. This road connects Gatlinburg TN to Cherokee NC, and you can expect mile-high views, pull-offs to various historic sites and overlooks such as the Rockefeller Memorial, and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife.

4. Admire the view from Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is one of the best places to see fall colors in the Smoky Mountains because it’s the highest point in the national park. The steep, paved trail is only a half-mile long, and you’re quickly awarded with unobstructed views; on clear days, you can see for miles in every direction! You won’t regret making this stop during your trip to the Smoky Mountains in the fall.

5. Hike the Chimney Tops Trail.

trail to chimney tops in the fall

There are several stunning autumn hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that we could recommend. The Chimney Tops Trail is just one option we know you’ll love during the fall season. It’s a little over 3 miles roundtrip and has an elevation gain of nearly 1,400 feet. Climbing the hundreds of stone steps makes this hike slightly strenuous, but the incredible vista at the top with views of Mt. LeConte makes it all worth it!

6. Have fun at Kyker Farms.

There’s nothing better than a pumpkin patch and corn maze, and Kyker Farms has it all! They have not just one maze, but four, in addition to family-friendly activities such as hayrides, corn hole, tunnel sides, swings, a zip line, concessions, and more! You can even sit by a cozy bonfire in the evenings for the best authentic autumn experience in the mountains.

7. Visit Gatlinburg’s Mysterious Mansion

mysterious mansion in gatlinburg

If you love celebrating spooky season, a trip to a haunted house is a must! The Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg has been in the scaring business for over 40 years and has extra scary presentations each weekend in October! Enter if you dare and walk the eerie passageways and winding staircases…you never know what restless residents might be lurking around the corner!

Now you know a few of the top ways to enjoy the Smoky Mountains in the fall! Looking for a place to stay close to all of the area’s attractions? Browse our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals to find the perfect one for your family. We hope to see you very soon!