Best Fall Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains

Fall is a majestic and marvelous time of year in Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains. The heat of summer has diminished and an exhilarating, yet refreshing chill is in the air. The scent of autumn can be such an emotional shift as the aromas of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and apple cider permeates the air. The picturesque beauty of the ever-changing scenery brings to mind a Claude Monet painting.

This time of year inspires us to get outside and enjoy the beauty. Whether we take a drive up the mountain to see the exquisite beauty of the colorful leaves or enjoy an amazing nature hike, all we have to do is get up and get out to experience it. So if you’re looking for ideas for your next outdoor adventure, here are some of the best fall hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains that will be perfect to add to your to-do list!

Laurel Falls - Best Fall Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains
A hike up to Laurel Falls presents adventurers with an amazing view of the waterfall set admist the beautiful fall colors.


  • Laurel Falls. The most popular trail in the Smoky Mountains, this 2.6-mile hike is paved and provides hikers with an incredible view of a gorgeous 80-foot high waterfall.
  • Porters Creek Trail. A peaceful 2-mile trail traveling along the river. Small side adventures are around every corner. The first ½ mile is gravel and the trail is excellent for kids and pets.
  • Baskins Creek Falls. One of the best-kept secrets of the Smoky Mountains, this 3-mile trail is a great choice if you’re looking to escape the crowds. Featuring a short climb and long descent (and steep ascent on the way back), the 40-ft, two-tiered Baskins Creek Falls is the perfect place for a midday picnic.
  • Cove Mountain Trail. An 8.7-mile hike in Cades Cove filled with steep climbs, narrow trails and uneven footing, the trail offers adventure and beautiful shrubbery along the way.


Cades Cove - Best Fall Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains
Spend an afternoon hiking in the Cades Cove area for amazing views of the changing fall colors.


I hope you find the perfect fall hike for you and your family this season! Remember trail safety and, most of all, have fun!


About the Author: My name is Laura Prater and I’m owner of Awe Filled Homemaker. There, you will find me discussing recipes, homemaking, military life and homeschool! I am a mom to 3 amazing boys and an Army Wife (Retired). My goal on the interwebs is to be able to provide my readers with the resources they need to hopefully make their life a bit easier! Come visit me some time, over at AweFilledHomemaker.com