Fall in the Great Smoky Mountains is a spectacular display of color so intense that people come from all over the world to see it! Here are five things to know about the season:
1. Changes Start At Higher Elevations
The fall colors start at higher elevations in September and make their way down to lower elevations in mid to late November. The warmer the weather, the slower the change, and an early frost will speed up changes. Usually late September and early October changes begin up around 5,000 feet, and by mid October the foliage is changing at the lower elevations. By the second week in November the beautiful show is typically all but over.
2.Weather Affects The Foliage Colors
This has been a wet spring and summer in the Smoky Mountains and fall in the Great Smoky Mountains will be a little different. Large Tulip Poplar trees thrive in wet weather so their yellow and gold colors will last longer this year. If September is dry, sourwood, red maple, and dogwood will have their intense red displays, and with warmer weather the fall foliage display will last longer than usual.
3. The Fall Change Is Different Every Year
No year is quite the same when it comes to fall foliage in the Smokies! To get up to date
information specific to autumn 2014, we suggest checking out the Fall Color Report on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website.
4. You May See Elk
Elk were reintroduced into the park in 2001 after they disappeared in the mid 1800s. These great animals are fun to watch, but be sure to keep your distance. Adult males reach 700 lbs and stand five feet tall. They have acute eyesight, a keen sense of smell, and are very defensive about their herds.
In late summer and early fall, asters, Joe-Pye-weed, ironweed, and goldenrod are still in abundance. Good places to look are at Grotto Falls on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, and on the paved trail to the 80-foot tall Laurel Falls outside Gatlinburg.
Timber Tops Luxury Cabin Rentals is the perfect place to spend autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains. Guests at our cabins enjoy some of the very best vantage points for enjoying the fall foliage. Check out our selection of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg cabins with spectacular views to start planning your next vacation in the Smokies!