Oct 27, 2022 - Things to Do

Hurry to catch the fall color in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains a week ago today, from the Shuckstack Lookout Tower. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

If you want to catch the last of the glorious explosion of color that happens each fall in the Great Smoky Mountains, best leaf now.

What's happening: Trees at higher elevations have already dropped the last of their leaves, but the sweep of oranges, reds and yellows haven't escaped from the sweetgum, red maple, sugar maple, scarlet oak and hickory trees at lower elevations yet.

What we did: I flew Allegiant from PIE into Knoxville, caught a ride to Newfound Gap, then beheld breathtaking vistas while walking the Appalachian Trail southbound to Fontana Dam β€” about 40 miles of the so-called "People's Path" through one of the country's great national parks.

If you go: There's no reliable taxi cab or ride-share service in the region β€” a shocking fact β€” so plan ahead if you need transportation.

Ben Montgomery and friend hiking the appalachian trail through glorious leaves.
Ben and his friend Michael Kruse hike the Appalachian Trail through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios
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