As far as weather goes, it’s been a fairly cold winter this past year and an extremely hot summer in parts of the Great Smoky Mountains. Still, there is one question that remains the same when the evenings start getting cooler and footballs are seen flying through the air: When do the leaves start changing colors in Sevierville and the surrounding areas?
This summer’s extreme heat was not exactly what everyone was looking for in hoping for an eventual vibrant autumn season. The good news, though, is that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is made up of 100’s of deciduous tree species and each are located in a variety of elevations. So, to say that extreme heat was felt by everyone and everything would be false.
So what does all this mean you ask? It means that there will still be more than enough color for you and everyone else visiting the Great Smoky Mountains this fall… Frankly, there is no such thing as a “bad” or “undesirable” fall in the Smokies! And it’s a great time for hiking in the Smoky Mountains, whether it be a short day trip, or a weekend excursion.
Once the colder weather starts to set in, the leaves will slowly start their autumn transformation. You’ll see the vague hints of this annual event beginning to happen in the Smokies’ higher elevations with a multitude of tree species. Until mid October, if you’re coming through town expect to see mostly golden yellow colors mixed with some orange hues. These oranges and yellows will make their way down the mountains and into the valley as the vibrant reds slowly follow before mixing in. If the cold weather sits in and autumn feels a bit more winter-ish, the colors will peak in the mountains and valley around the final week of October and throughout early November.
One suggestion I’d highly recommend, keep track of the official Great Smoky Mountains National Park website which follows the revolving colors of the fall foliage. They even have a page dedicated solely to fall foliage at: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fallcolor.htm. Also, take a look at their webcams:
Finally, be sure to check out the Park’s tips for fall hiking and scenic drives: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fall-suggestions.htm
Once again, the best time to see the fall colors is the last week of October and throughout early November. It’s our favorite time of the year in the Great Smoky Mountains… I hope you enjoy it as much as the locals do!