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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 is slowly diminishing while an exhilarating, yet refreshing chill begins to fill 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 fall season is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the abundance of beauty that envelops this small Smoky Mountain town. Whether you prefer a drive up the mountain to see the exquisite beauty of the colorful leaves or an amazing nature hike, all you 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

Laurel Falls Waterfall Hike in the Smokies

Laurel Falls is one of the most popular waterfall hikes 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 set amidst the beautiful fall colors. Laurel Falls is also stroller-friendly, which makes the hiking trail perfect for visitors of all ages.


Porters Creek Trail

Porters Creek Trail

Porters Creek Trail is a peaceful 2-mile hiking trail that winds along the river and offers side adventures around every corner. Along the trail is a historic barn that you can go inside of and the end of the trail awards hikers with a beautiful waterfall. It’s an excellent trail for kids and pets.


Baskins Creek Falls

Baskins Creek Falls

One of the best-kept secrets of the Smoky Mountains is Baskins Creek Falls. 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

Cove Mountain Trail

Cove Mountain Trail is 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.


For even more fun fall hikes in the Smoky Mountains, check out these incredible waterfall hikes! Remember trail safety and, most of all, have fun!


Originally written by Laura Prater.


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