Tri-Am RV Blog

  • Published on Sep 25, 2016
    The Best Places for Fall Colors in Tennessee

    The Best Places in Tennessee for Fall Colors

    It’s hard to believe that fall is officially here and before we know it, winter will be right around the corner. For now though, let’s enjoy the best parts about fall in the coming weeks and months. On the top of many people’s list is the changing into fall colors. There are many scenic drives and lookout points that offer the best views of fall foliage around the state. We’ve got your guide to the best places in Tennessee right here.

    Although it’s still early in the season right now, the temperatures will begin to drop and the trees will begin to change in the coming weeks.  The best time to see the colors of Tennessee at their peak varies from mid to late October in the East, to early November in the middle of the state, and mid to late November in the west.  There are over 400 species of trees that change colors every year so there is ample opportunity for some pretty fall colors no matter where you are at.

    Not only is there plenty of opportunity to take in the beauty of Tennessee’s painted landscape, there are various ways to experience the season at its best. Scenic drives are the best way to experience the most of the fall colors at one time.  The Great Smokey Mountains are top of the list for viewing fall foliage.  The Cade’s Cove driving tour is an 11 mile loop that takes you through the western portion of the park and offers spectacular views of the Smokey’s at their finest. For an even longer trek, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444mile drive on a 2 lane highway from Bellevue, TN to Natchez, Mississippi.  This drive takes you through an ancient trail that was used by the Native Americas and European settlers to move goods and from the Gulf of Mexico to Tennessee.  

    It may seem odd to explore via boat in the fall but some of the best views of the fall colors come from the interworking of the water ways. The Southern Belle Riverboat in Chattanooga has a fall leaf cruise that runs through November 10th. It’s a 4 hour trip from Ross’s Landing through the Tennessee River Gorge.  The trip includes lunch, live entertainment and narration. For more information on this river cruise, visit

    Hiking through the heart of the colors is often the best way to view them. There are many different hiking locations throughout the state that offer wonderful views.  Portions of Big South Fork Park that runs along the Tennessee-Kentucky border have over 170 miles of hiking trails that offer gorgeous backdrops of cliffs, gorges, and waterfalls nestled among the colorful foliage. The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area also has plenty of hiking trails with spectacular views. They also offer a Fall Frolic weekend to celebrate the season.  Visitors can go on hayrack rides, play games, listen to live music, and of course hike the many trails throughout the park.  This years’ event runs November 10th-11th.

    If you have ever wanted to experience the colors of Tennessee by air, now is your chance.  Ace High Ballooning and Fly Aeromax offer hot air balloon rides over the areas of Nashville and Franklin, TN.  To see the colors painted on the tree tops below would be like flying over a sea of colorful yellows, oranges, and reds.  If you are interested in a unique and one of a kind experience, consider taking your fall trip by air.

    No matter how you view the vast expanse of fall colors in Tennessee, just remember that they don’t last for long. You can check the Department of Tourism’s website for tips on planning your fall foliage trip.



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