Fall Activities In The Smokies

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - by Swain County Chamber of Commerce
- photo by Swain County Chamber of Commerce

When is fall color at its peak?  It's the most often-asked question from people planning an autumn trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. With its wide range of elevations, the Smokies typically delivers one of the longest leaf seasons in the country. Fall colors appear first at the highest elevations in late September and work their way down over a 5-6 week season. So you should be able to find beautiful color no matter when you visit in the fall.

"This fall could be one of the best leaf color seasons in Western North Carolina in recent memory," according to fall season 'sage' Kathy Mathews, associate professor of biology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

Not only do the Smoky Mountains explode with beautiful color in the fall, the small town of Bryson City itself puts on a festive fall show, too.

Colorful fall flowers and scarecrows hang out on the streets mixing with the beautiful fall foliage changes. You can go for a hayride, visit a pumpkin patch and a corn maze, hear ghost stories and legends, fish some trophy waters, sample local produce at our Friday Farmers Market, watch artisans create one-of-a-kind arts and crafts, and more.

Some of the area's fall events:

• Leaf-looker trains & Pumpkin Patch rides on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

• 1st Annual Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Festival

• Bryson City's 25th Annual Chili Cook Off & Fall Festival

• NOCtoberFest Great Pumpkin Pursuit on the Nantahala River

• Daily Ranger-led programs in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park



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