Top 5 Places to See the Smoky Mountains Fall Colors in Pigeon Forge

Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge, TN is a fall lover’s paradise as a manifest of color change signifies the start of cooler weather. You can see the fall foliage in Pigeon Forge in numerous places around town, however we’ve pulled together a list of some of the places that offer the most spectacular views of the color change.

 

Chimney Tops1.  Clingman’s Dome
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect place to view leaves as they change throughout the season. There are multiple spots to take in the beautiful colors depending on how active you want to be. Let’s start from the top. Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Smokies at 6,643 feet. You can drive up Newfound Gap to the parking area, and for a 360- degree view, make the half of a mile walk up to the top of the observation tower.
Chimney Tops2. Chimney Tops Trail
The Chimney Tops Trail, while challenging, is worth the climb for the scenic view at the peak. Although the trail is only 2 miles long, it gains 1,400 feet during that climb with a rock scramble at the summit.
Roaring Fork3. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
If you’re looking for a colorful view without the climb, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a great option. It is a five and a half mile long, one-way, loop road through the woods with some opportunities to stop at several hiking trails and historic buildings. There are also several overlooks throughout the park where you can pull over and take in the fall colors without ever leaving your car.
Wonders of Flight4. Dollywood
Another great viewing spot that should be on your list is Dollywood for the annual Harvest Festival. With a colorful patchwork of orange, red, yellow and gold painted throughout the hills and valleys of East Tennessee, fall provides the perfect backdrop for festive family fun at Dollywood.
Wheel5. Great Smoky Mountain Wheel 
Another great viewing spot that should be on your list is the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at the Island in Pigeon Forge. Take a ride on the 200 feet-tall wheel in an all-glass gondola to see the mountains and foliage like never before. After your ride, take a walk around the Island to see the many fall decorations throughout.

 

TIPS:

  • Colors start to change at higher elevations first and then spread down to the trees on the lower elevations. Generally this change begins for higher elevated areas in early October. The colors will peak within the mid and low elevations around mid-October through the start of November.
  • The first trees to change are the Yellow Birch, American Beech, Hobblebush, Pin Cherry, and the Mountain Maple. At the height of the fall foliage season, you can expect to see trees like the Sugar Maple, Sweetgum, Red Maple, Scarlet Oak, and the Hickories in all their autumn glory.
  • To check in on the Smoky Mountain fall foliage progression view one of the parks webcams: Purchase Knob looking Northeast and Look Rock looking East.