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View of the mountains around Cades Cove with bright autumn colors

3 Smoky Mountain Hiking Trails Perfect for Experiencing Fall in the Smoky Mountains

Every year, as the temperatures begin to drop and summer fades into fall, the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains undergo a stunning transformation from being covered with shades of green into shades of red and orange. A highlight of any Smoky Mountain vacation during the fall season is to take in the views of the natural beauty of the mountains.

There are many ways to take in these views, from attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge to various motor trails. Perhaps the best way is to get out in nature and experience it by taking a hike.

(See Popular: 3 Easy Trails for Hiking in Gatlinburg)

Here are a few hikes that will provide excellent views of the changing fall colors:

Chimney TopsView of the greenery in the mountains

One of the most popular trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the Chimney Tops trail. The trail features panoramic views from the pinnacles of the hike that are sure to take your breath away.

This Smoky Mountain hiking trail is popular due to these views and its relatively short length. Coming in at 3.8 miles round trip, Chimney Tops is a moderately difficult trail. The trail is located approximately 7 miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center between the loop and Newfound Gap Road, making it easy to find.

Alum Cave

Another hike in the Sugarlands Visitor Center area, Alum Cave is extremely popular. Fairly short, at only 4.4 miles round trip, Alum Cave is a moderately difficult hike that provides unique views both from the trail and the pinnacle of the hike. As you make the hike, you will be immersed by the changing colors of the leaves. Seeing the fall colors at such a close level will make the hike worthwhile. Due to the popularity of this trail, two parking areas are provided near the trailhead. During peak season, arriving early is recommended.

Fall colored trees in the mountainsBullhead Trail

Located off of the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, the Bullhead Trail features unique geological features mixed in and amongst the changing colors of fall. Bullhead trail is also rated as moderately difficult. It comes in at approximately 5.9 miles round-trip, making it more lengthy than Chimney Tops or Alum Cave. Getting up close and personal with nature and seeing the changing colors of fall is an experience to behold.

To learn about more Smoky Mountain hiking trails, take a look at the National Park Service website:

Getting out and experiencing the changing colors of fall by taking a hike through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best ways to experience the fall season.

Access to the trails in the Smoky Mountains is free of charge and an excellent way to create memories for young and old alike. Hikes are a great way to stay in shape and enjoy the natural beauty of the landmark that brings guests back time and time again. As you plan your next Smoky Mountain vacation, be sure to set aside time to try out one of these top Smoky Mountain hiking trails!