Fall Color is Closer than You Think

There is no better time to be at White Oak Lodge and Resort than Fall, when holiday crafts and festivals abound, and the leaves blaze from the Smokies in a fierce spectrum of color. And that part is coming sooner than you think.

People tend to think mid-October is when fall color befalls Gatlinburg, but it actually begins in September, when shorter days and cooler nights create the perfect recipe for change. Fall color makes its way along the mountains and can be seen it its full glory from October 1 through mid-November.

While the typical peak of fall leaf color is at the middle to lower elevations where the greatest diversity of trees live, emerging changes above 4,000 feet begin the parade of fall colors, which then moves down the mountainsides into the valleys of the Smoky Mountains.

Where are the best places to see fall in all its glory? It depends on the time of year.

September’s suggested hikes are:

Albright Grove
Sugarland Mountain Trail
Andrews Bald
Mt. LeConte
Parson Branch Road Motor Tour

October’s suggested hikes are:

Sugarland Mountain Trail
Appalachian Trail
Scenic Auto Tours: Newfound Gap Road, Heintooga Ridge Road, Foothills Parkway, and
Rich Mountain Road out of Cades Cove.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Additional recommendations for experiencing Gatlinburg’s fall color include: Blue Ridge Parkway, Rich Mountain Loop, Chestnut Top Trail, Smokemont Loop, Kanati Fork, and Sutton Ridge Overlook.

Of course, you can always kick back on your balcony or porch at White Oak Lodge and Resort and enjoy the beautiful view from there.

Have you taken any fall hikes or road tours through the Smokies? Tell us about your favorites.

Cover photo courtesy of  the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Victoria Hoffman

A native of New Jersey, Victoria isn't entirely sure how she ended up in Kansas City, but has enjoyed writing, editing, creating, communicating and marketing for high-profile accounts throughout the city ever since. In her spare time, Victoria is an actor (and active) with local community and city theatre.