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Trees with beautiful fall colors near Pigeon Forge in the Smoky Mountains.

4 Interesting Facts About Fall in Pigeon Forge TN and the Smoky Mountains

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has a fall season unlike anywhere else in the nation! With its stunning foliage, the Smokies are a major vacation destination during the autumn months. To help you make the most of your getaway, Amazing Views Cabin Rentals has put together four of our favorite facts about fall in Pigeon Forge TN and the Smoky Mountains:

1. You Can Identify a Tree’s Species Based on the Color of its Leaves

The Pigeon Forge area is home to some 100 species of trees. What makes the fall foliage in the Smokies so spectacular is that each species of tree showcases its own unique colors. Here is a quick look at the colors produced by some of the area’s most famous trees:

  • Birch: bright yellow
  • Black Cherry: yellow
  • Black Maple: glowing yellow
  • Dogwood: deep red
  • Hickories: golden-bronze
  • Oaks: brown, red, or russet
  • Red Maple: bright scarlet or orange
  • Shining Sumac: red
  • Sourwood: brick red
  • Sugar Maple: orange-red
  • Tulip Poplar: golden yellow

While most trees change color in the fall, there are a few species in the Smoky Mountains that remain green. Cedars, spruces, and pines don’t change color because their leaves are covered in a thick wax that allows the trees to hold materials that prevent them from freezing.

(See Also: 5 Reasons to Stay at a Cabin Near Pigeon Forge This Fall)

2. The Leaves Change Because the Days Get ShorterStunning fall colors near the Pigeon River in the Smoky Mountains.

In the spring and summer months, the leaves are green because of the chemical chlorophyll. As part of the process of photosynthesis, chlorophyll absorbs energy from the sun and uses it to produce food for the tree.

During fall in Pigeon Forge TN, however, the days get shorter and there is less sunlight for the leaves to absorb. Because the leaves are unable to undergo photosynthesis, the chlorophyll breaks down, the green color vanishes, and the yellow, red, or orange pigments come to the forefront.

3. The Weather Impacts the Fall Colors

Have you ever wondered why the fall colors can seem more vibrant in certain years? Seasonal temperature and cloud cover can make a significant difference in how bright the leaves will be. The ideal conditions for the brightest and boldest colors is for there to be lots of fall days where the temperature is cool but not freezing.

4. Bears Are Very Busy During the Fall

With winter on the way, black bears in the Smoky Mountains spend the fall gathering food to prepare for hibernation. It takes a lot of food to get ready for a few months of slumber, so bears stay busy gorging themselves on hickory nuts, walnuts, and acorns. Bears will often eat hundreds of nuts and acorns in a single day!

Black bears also spend the end of the fall scoping out dens for hibernation. Rather than sleeping on the ground or in caves, bears in the Smokies like to sleep in large tree cavities. These hollow areas in the trees are usually formed by decay or lightning. Bears search for cavities that are just a little bigger than themselves, so they can trap heat inside for a cozy winter.

A black bear walking through fall leaves in the Smoky Mountains.A cabin rental is the perfect place to spend fall in Pigeon Forge TN! Tucked away in the mountains, our cabins offer breathtaking views of the foliage and all of the amenities you need for an unforgettable getaway. To start planning your autumn vacation, check out our complete selection of Pigeon Forge cabin rentals.