Fall Color Reports

Other Reports


November 6

Lead Cove Trail (B-E) – Some nice Sugar Maples and Sourwood. A few Frazer Magnolia with colorful foliage.

Bote Mountain (From Lead Cove Tr. to Finely Cane Tr.) – Many outstanding Sourwood and Sugar Maples, one of best displays of Scarlet Oak that I have seen, some nice Red Maples, Hickory, Sassafras and Frazer Magnolia foliage. Note: A number of ridges coming down from Thunderhead Mountain have nice red foliage on the crowns.

Finely Cane: (B-E) – A few Sourwood and Sugar Maples have colorful foliage; however for the most part the foliage on this trail could be described as: subdued, bland and beyond peak.

October 14

Bote Mountain: Sourwood outstanding close to peak, Red Maple changing and Blue Berry foliage nice. Ridges coming down from Thunderhead (in distance) are showing nice red foliage.

Anthony Creek: Ridge on the northside of the trail on the first mile down from Bote Mt. Trail has brilliant red and orange foliage with some yellow and gold foliage. Very beautiful. Colors on Sourwood and Virginia Creeper on the trail are nice. Beech is coming along.

Crib Gap: Some Sourwoods are changing.


October 11

In the second week of October, leaves in the Smokies are still mostly green with a few yellows and reds visible mainly in mid- and high elevation areas. Recent dry conditions have caused many trees to drop their foliage. Throughout the park, the forest floor is coated in a blanket of crisp leaves smelling strongly of autumn. With these drier conditions, please be careful to avoid fire hazards. At this time, all fires are prohibited in the back-country and are permitted only in front-country campsites.

Some species with visible color change include sourwood, striped maple, red maple, buckeye and poplars. Posion ivy and Virginia creeper vines are also turning red now.

Good places to see fall color include Newfound Gap Road, Clingmans Dome Road, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Heintooga Ridge Road to Balsam Mountain Campground. Little River Road is also said to be showing some excellent early color. Suggested hikes: Thomas Divide Trail, the Appalachian Trail to Charlies Bunion, Sweat Heifer Trail, the spruce-fir self-guiding nature trail, Gregory Bald Trail, and Mt. Cammerer.


October 10

Mt. Sterling: Some of the Red Maples, Beech and Sassafras leaves are changing.

Baxter Creek: Some of the Sourwood, Red Maple and Beech foliage are changing.


October 4

Meigs Creek: Foliage changing to autumn colors includes Sourwood, Blue Berry, Red Maple, Frazier Magnolia and Beech. Note: A good number of the leaves are turning brown or yellow and falling.


October 3

From NPS: October has brought with it beautiful leaf colors in the high-elevation areas of the park. Although low-elevation areas are still predominately green, a trip to Clingmans Dome reveals yellows and reds in the Mountain Ash, Birch, and Viburnum. Take time to explore these colors and cooler temperatures on some of our high-elevation hikes in the park. Remember to plan for more vehicle traffic with increased visitation this month. Being patient and driving safely will help make a better experience for all visitors.

September 30

Rich Mountain Road, from the park boundary to Indian Grave Trail – Many of the Sourwood tree foliage is brilliant red – at peak display, Dogwood (changing), Red Maple (changing) Beech (many changing) and Blackberry (changing).

Indian Grave Trail, from Rich Mt. Rd. to Rich Mt. Trail – Sourwood (first mile many at peak display – brilliant vivid red), Red Maple (changing), Sugar Maple (few changing) and Tulip Poplar (Some changing).

Rich Mountain Trail (B-E) – Sourwood (many have brilliant red foliage), Sassafras (Good number of them have brilliant colourful foliage) Red Maple (starting to change), Tulip Poplar (many are changing) and Blackberry (Changing).


September 23

Huskey Gap Trail – Some of the Blueberry and Dogwood foliage are changing; Sugarland Mountain Trail – Some of the Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Sourwood and Blueberry leaves are changing colours (Some of the Blueberry leaves are very colourful).


September 13

Green still dominates the scene in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but the vibrant hues of spring and summer are subdued. The rich canvas is splattered with color where a few trees provide a glimpse of the show to come. Maples and sourwood reveal the ruby reds that will soon race down mountain ridges. Beech, birch and buckeye brighten the day with streaks of sunshine yellow. Right now, the real palate of color shines through wildflowers dotting the roadways with rainbow: scarlet bee-balm and hearts-a-bustin’, orange and yellow jewelweed, goldenrod, coneflower, blue and purple asters. So while the canopy has yet to captivate, look down near the ground to see nature’s paintbrush at work.


September 2

Blueberry, Blackberry, Red Maple, Sourwood and Sassafras leaves are changing colors.

August 30

Some of the Sourwood, Blueberry, Blackberry and Dogwood leaves are changing colors.


August 12

Little River (B to Huskey Gap Trail): Some leaves on Dogwood Trees changing.

Huskey Gap (B-E): Sourwood, Galax and Blueberry – some of the foliage is changing to beautiful bright shades of red.


August 5

Cooper Road, Hatcher Mountain and Little Bottoms trails – Sourwood, Blackberry and Blueberry have foliage changing to red. On the Little Bottoms trail, some of the Sumac have red leaves on them. On the Cooper Road Trail, one Dogwood has leaves changing to red.


August 2

Abrams Falls (B-E) – Some of the following have foliage that is changing to red: Sumac, Red Maple, Sourwood, Blueberry and Blackberry.

Great Smokies

Welcome Center

Hours of Operation

(subject to change)

Open year round (closed December 25)

January - February

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

March - November

Open Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Great Smokies Welcome Center is located on U.S. 321 in Townsend, TN, 2 miles from the west entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can get information about things to see and do in and around the national park and shop from a wide selection of books, gifts, and other Smokies merchandise. Daily, weekly, and annual parking tags for the national park are also available.

Physical Address

7929 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway Townsend TN 37882


865.436.7318 Ext 320