Top 5 Places to See Fall Colors in the Smoky Mountains

Beautiful fall colors in the Smoky Mountains.

The fall is one of the very best times of the year for a tournament at Rocky Top Sports World! In addition to comfortably cool weather, autumn also brings breathtaking foliage to Gatlinburg, TN and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When you’re not playing at Rocky Top, you can enjoy some leaf peeping with your family or teammates.

The fall colors in the Smoky Mountains are expected to be at their peak during the last two weeks of October, but visitors can still see some spectacular foliage around mid-October and early November. To help you make the most of your time in Gatlinburg, Rocky Top Sports World has put together a guide to five of the best places for admiring the fall leaves in the Smokies.

1. Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook

Situated along the Gatlinburg Bypass, the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook is one of the most photographed spots in the Smoky Mountains. This lovely pull-off offers an incredibly picturesque view of downtown Gatlinburg and the national park. During the fall, visitors to the Scenic Overlook will see brilliant red, yellow, and orange leaves cascade down Mount LeConte and other prominent peaks in the Smokies. If you’re looking to take a family picture with the fall colors behind you, this is the place to do it!

2. Roaring Fork Motor Nature TrailStunning view of the fall colors from the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is another one of our favorite places to see the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains. Conveniently located minutes away from the heart of Gatlinburg, this 5.5-mile, one-way loop road passes through a lovely forested area that is simply magical during the fall. Auto tourists on the Motor Nature Trail will also have the chance to see well-preserved historic buildings, beautiful mountain views, and a scenic stream.

3. Greenbrier Picnic Area

Considered something of a hidden gem in the Smokies, the Greenbrier Picnic Area is the perfect spot to enjoy lunch amidst the splendor of the fall leaves. This peaceful area features a gorgeous river, charcoal grills, and ample picnic tables. The entrance to the Greenbrier section of the national park can be found off of the East Parkway in Gatlinburg.

Laurel Falls in the Smoky Mountains.4. Laurel Falls Trail

The Laurel Falls Trail is a phenomenal fall hike! This 2.6-mile roundtrip hike features fantastic views of the autumn leaves and an impressive 80-foot high waterfall. The Laurel Falls Trail is one the few paved trails in the national park and takes around 2 hours to complete. If you are hiking with young children, be sure to keep a close eye on them, as the trail has steep drop-offs and can be slippery after it rains. Climbing the rocks around the waterfall is strictly prohibited.

5. Cades Cove

While Cades Cove is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year, it is absolutely stunning during the fall! Offering unparalleled views of the technicolor mountains, this idyllic valley is the most frequented section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the autumn. In addition to the brilliant fall colors, Cades Cove features excellent wildlife viewing in the autumn because black bears are out and about stocking up on food before winter.

About Rocky Top Sports WorldA beautiful field at Rocky Top Sports World.

Located minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg, Rocky Top Sports World is one of the very best tournament destinations in the nation. Boasting seven fields, six basketball courts, 12 volleyball courts, team rooms, and an onsite grill, our 80-acre athletic complex has everything you need for an unforgettable sports event. Check out our Tournaments page to read about all of the fun arriving at Rocky Top Sports World in the coming months!