Fall Brings Excitement to the Smoky Mountains
By Bennie McCann © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Mention the Smoky Mountains in the months of October and November and people immediately focus on the beautiful colors of the fall leaves. This annual color change draws visitors from across the country for a drive through the breathtaking mountains. As fall settles in, however, the Smoky Mountains are also filled with fun and festivals that provide lots of excitement for the whole family. It doesn’t matter if you’re two or eighty-two, spending a few autumn days in the Smokies is a great getaway for everyone.


The cool crisp days of autumn and the beautiful fall foliage make a great combination for a hayride in the Smoky Mountains. This old-fashioned way of travel is available by truck, tractor or horse-drawn wagon. Rides range from 45 minutes to two hours long and are offered during the day as well as at night. Some hayrides even wrap up with a roaring bonfire. Break out the marshmallows! A scenic mountain hayride is definitely a must for your fall visit.

Pumpkins and Mazes

As fall approaches many families, especially those with children, break out the Halloween decorations and begin the search for the perfect pumpkin. Let your search start at one of the many pumpkin patches located near the Smoky Mountains. Whether your preference is tall and skinny, short and fat, enormous or little bitty, there are hundreds just waiting to become a very scary jack-o-lantern.

Feeling adventurous? Most of the local pumpkin patches also offer corn mazes. Try your skills at navigating through a maze that’s been cut out of a cornfield. No GPS needed, just your sense of direction and a little intellect to figure out the clues that lead you to the end. This unique activity is great for families as well as groups from church or school. Don’t worry. They haven’t lost anyone yet!

Holiday Lights

Early November marks the beginning of the holiday season in Gatlinburg with Winterfest. Millions of lights decorate the city as the transition from fall beauty to winter wonderland begins. Climb aboard a trolley car and take a cozy evening tour on the Trolley Ride of Lights. Dollywood also offers a spectacular array of seasonal decorations in its Parade of Lights. Colorfully decorated floats form this parade with a visit from Saint Nick himself.

Smoky Mountain Christmas

Starting November 8th through the end of the year, there are numerous Christmas shows at Dollywood that will definitely put you in the holiday spirit. One of the shows available is Appalachian Christmas, which offers the beautiful sounds of acoustic holiday music. Another choice is to experience a train ride in 4-D on the Polar Express. Young ones will enjoy life-sized toys in an interactive Santa’s Workshop, while those of all ages will be amazed at the show of lights, fireworks and music at the Carol of the Trees by Rivertown Lake.

For a fall getaway, it doesn’t get much better than a trip to the Smoky Mountains. With the mild temperatures, beautiful scenery and many fun-filled opportunities, you may not want to go home.