The best way to experience fall in the Smokies is to seek out the Great Outdoors. Hiking in the Smokies is not just for serious adventurers, it is a great way to bond as a family, enjoy time with friends, or even as a prelude to a romantic evening. October and November see some of the most beautiful autumn colors anywhere in the southeast and, with trails that range from less than a mile to all-day trekking, you are sure to find a path meant for you. Make your base camp at one of our cabins in Gatlinburg and take advantage of the full kitchens, fireplaces, and hot tubs for the ultimate autumn vacation.
Go Hiking in the Smokies with the Kids
For a shorter hike that takes in some of the best of the early November colors and is easily accessible, consider Schoolhouse Gap. At less than four miles and with minimal elevation gain, this is a trail that even little feet can manage.
The path takes you through a leafy forest that becomes flush with color in October and into November. Not only do the trees turn, but there are even a few late-blooming wildflowers. It is also a great option for family or casual hikers, as it is only a few miles away from Townsend, making it one of the most accessible trails.
Fall in the Smokies Offers Colors, Cascades
A second option for those that want to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains on an easier trail, Baskins Creek Falls offers plenty of ways to enjoy fall in the Smokies. It is also quick to get to from our cabins in Gatlinburg as it is just off Light No. 8 and makes a great combination with the Roaring Fork Motor Trail.
Only three miles long, the Baskins Creek trail features some of the best fall foliage and takes you by a pioneer cemetery on the way to one of the most underrated waterfalls in the Smokies. The forty-footer makes a great place for a picnic lunch.
Hike to One of the Smokies’ Best Waterfalls
One of the most popular trails in the national park is Abrams Falls, rated “one of the most scenic forest hikes in the Smokies”. Access is through the Cades Cove Loop, which means that going to and from the trail is easily combined with the Smokies’ most popular spot to visit.
In late autumn, it becomes one of the best places to enjoy colorful leaf displays. At 5.2 miles, it is a trail of moderate difficulty, but the forest will offer beautiful views as you crunch through leaves on your way to the cascades. Abrams Falls has the most volume of any waterfall in the park, making it well worth your time.
Whichever trail you choose to enjoy fall in the Smokies, your day should start and end at one of our cabins in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. Our full kitchens make it easy to start with a hearty breakfast and you can return to soak in the hot tub, curl up by the fire, and enjoy the colors from the deck. Reserve now for the ultimate fall vacation!