As the first cool breezes move through the Smoky Mountain forestry, the first rustling of the leaves signals the next cycle of nature and the beautiful transition from summer to fall. While the trees, mountains, and streams prepare for their natural slumber, the Smoky Mountains come alive with bright colors and cultural festivities celebrating art, food, music, and more.
Experience the relaxation and fun of an amenity-packed Pigeon Forge cabin with views of the breathtaking colors of the mountains from a rocking chair or outdoor hot tub in between days of perfect weather, boisterous festivities, and our 8 favorite things to love about fall in the Smoky Mountains!
- Perfect Weather to Explore the Great Outdoors
As the warmer summer months bend to the cooler breezes in September and October, it creates some of the best days of temperate weather, great for getting outside and exploring the Smoky Mountains without suffering from that summertime heat. Take advantage of some of those last warm days and tour the Pigeon River with Wild Water Rafting before the end of the season on September 27. Hike those longer trails to Alum Cave and Mt. LeConte with those crisp autumn breezes to cool you off during your trek. As the lush mountain forestry begins to transition from bright shades of green to sultry autumn colors of red, orange, and yellow, your views from Andrews Bald and Clingmans Dome become an incredible fall canvas against the long horizons.
- Touring the Smokies on a Bike Ride
Speaking of the perfect weather to play outside, in the heart of the Smoky Mountains rests a mountain valley home to a historic cabin community and an 11-mile scenic road with bike-only traffic on Wednesdays and Saturdays before 10 a.m. from May 9 to September 26. In the early fall following Labor Day, Cades Cove bike rental shop reports less visitors to the area, perfect for those bicyclists interested in wildlife viewing and a quieter ride along Loop Road as the first shades of autumn begin to creep among the leaves. While the entire route is 11 miles, there are 2 cut-through roads providing a 4-mile route and 8-mile route, both lending scenic views of the Smokies and historic early 19th and 20th century homes and churches.
- Crisp Mountain Evenings by the Fire
After fun-filled days of exploring, shopping, and unique attractions like, the Escape Room, MagiQuest, and WonderWorks, unwind by your Pigeon Forge cabin’s stacked-stone fireplace, outdoor fire pit, or deck fireplace. Our extensive cabin listings provide exactly the kind of end-of-the-day spot to kick back with a few beers or sip on hot cocoa with the kids. Cold nights under the bright stars or quiet evenings cuddled on the couch call for some romantic flames to warm you up.
- Plaid shirts and Hayrides
Another way to explore Cades Cove that just screams “fall festivals” in the south is a scenic hayride with Cades Cove Stables! The fully-narrated tour is the perfect way to learn and soak in all the beauty of the autumn-splashed mountains while relaxing in a hay-filled trailer pulled by a truck. Put on your thick plaid shirts and jeans and listen to tales of early life in the mountains as white-tailed deer leap through the valley plains, wild turkeys chuckle in the forests, and black bears forage for their last meals before hibernation.
- Golfing Weather and Picturesque Scenery
With all the changing scenery, picturesque views, and the perfect temperatures, the Smoky Mountains act as an incredibly beautiful backdrop to some very fun golf courses! Perfect your golf swing next to serene mountain streams in the rolling valley of Bent Creek Golf Course, a par-72 course designed by 3-time Masters champion, Gary Player. Take your time playing 18 holes while enjoying the breathtaking views of one of America’s most gorgeous courses, Gatlinburg Golf Course, great for seasoned and beginner golfers.
- Smooth Tennessee Whiskey to Warm You Up
While sitting by the fire warms your hands and feet, sips of that good ole’ Tennessee moonshine and whiskey can really warm your chest. Smooth flavors and years of tradition create spirits you can’t find anywhere else. Take a self-guided tour any time of year along the Tennessee Whiskey Trail among the 3 major Smoky Mountain cities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg.
However, this fall on October 6, 2018, all of the distilleries on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail come together in one location at the Park Vista Hotel to celebrate tradition, the changing season, music, and fun for the Tennessee Whiskey Experience! Your ticket gains access to unlimited sampling, your own commemorative glass, shuttle service, live concerts, and delicious fare to pair with your distinctive Tennessee whiskey samples all while surrounded by the incredible beauty of autumn in the Smoky Mountains!
- Scenic Train Tour of the Fall Foliage
Travel through hundreds of acres of jaw-dropping, soul-stirring autumn scenery on a diesel or steam powered locomotive through the Smoky Mountains for an experience you will cherish. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad winds through the mountains from Bryson City, North Carolina, on the east side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With fall an exceptionally beautiful time of year and unique train ride experiences such as Uncorked, a First Class wine tasting car, and the Narration Car where Smoky Mountain poet Horace Kephart guides you through the rich history and tales of the Smokies, this drive to Bryson City is more than worth it this autumn.
- Fall Festivities
Perfect weather and natural beauty bring not only you and your family, but all the Great Smoky Mountain natives out to play and celebrate this time of year! Multiple events celebrating the long traditions of artisanship, the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair and the Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Show, bring hundreds of talented people and curious onlookers to the Gatlinburg Convention Center each fall.
Colder weather deserves hearty, flavorful foods, so naturally the best of Smoky Mountain cuisine comes together for the Taste of Autumn along with one of the biggest holiday season commencement celebrations, Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff on November 7 in downtown Gatlinburg! Fall festivals pop-up all over the Smoky Mountain region, from Wears Valley to Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg, celebrating harvest time, the cycles of nature, Halloween, and good times with family and friends, just check-out our calendar of events!
Come, experience the soft, cool breezes, the spectrum of colors like a mosaic laid upon the mountains, and the ability of a Pigeon Forge Cabin to make you feel right at home during this magical time of year in the Great Smoky Mountains.