Fall in the Smokies is a season of vibrant transformation. As the air turns crisp and leaves trade their green hues for a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, and yellows, Sevierville becomes a leaf peeper’s paradise. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a casual nature lover, this guide will take you through the best scenic hikes to experience autumn in all its glory.
Andrews Bald: The Early Bird’s Fall Palette
When to Go: Mid-Late September
What to See: High elevations, early autumn colors
Trail Length: 3.5 miles round trip
Landmarks: Foothills Parkway, Clingmans Dome
Local Tip: Pack a picnic; the bald offers a perfect setting for a scenic meal.
Andrews Bald is your go-to for early fall hues. The trail offers high elevations, making it an ideal spot for witnessing the first signs of autumn. The hike culminates at a grassy bald, providing panoramic views that are nothing short of breathtaking.
Mt. LeConte: A Symphony of Colors
When to Go: Early Autumn
What to See: Variety of viewpoints, early autumn colors
Trail Length: 11 miles round trip
Landmarks: Cliff Tops, Myrtle Point
Local Tip: Start early; the trail is long and you’ll want to spend time at the viewpoints.
Mt. LeConte offers a challenging yet rewarding hike. With a variety of viewpoints like Cliff Tops and Myrtle Point, you’ll get a symphony of colors that make the trek worthwhile.
Gregory Bald: Peak Colors at Peak Heights
When to Go: Early-Mid October
What to See: Peak colors above 4,500 feet
Trail Length: 11.3 miles round trip
Landmarks: Gregory Bald Summit
Local Tip: Bring a camera; the summit offers Instagram-worthy shots.
Gregory Bald is your ticket to peak fall colors. The trail takes you above 4,500 feet, where the American beech and yellow birch burst into bright yellows and reds.
Alum Cave: A Fall Color Adventure
When to Go: Mid-Late October
What to See: Variety of elevations, mixed fall colors
Trail Length: 4.4 miles round trip
Landmarks: Alum Cave Bluffs, Arch Rock
Local Tip: Wear sturdy shoes; the trail can get slippery.
Alum Cave offers a shorter hike with a mix of elevations, perfect for capturing a range of fall colors. The trail features landmarks like Alum Cave Bluffs and Arch Rock, adding a touch of adventure to your leaf-peeping quest.
Porters Creek Trail: Walk Among the Autumn Trees
When to Go: Late October-Early November
What to See: Lower elevations, late-season colors
Trail Length: 4 miles round trip
Landmarks: Fern Branch Falls
Local Tip: Ideal for families; the trail is relatively flat.
Porters Creek Trail allows you to walk among the autumn-colored trees at lower elevations. The trail is family-friendly and features Fern Branch Falls, a picturesque waterfall that adds a splash of excitement to your hike.
Sevierville offers a fall hiking experience for everyone, from early season leaf peepers to late autumn wanderers. So grab your hiking boots, hit the trails, and let Sevierville’s landscapes lead you to an unforgettable fall adventure.