Hints of fall pop in the Smokies

Hints of fall color have started to pop at the highest elevations of the Smokies.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:12 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) - The fall leaf season started with a hint of color at the highest elevations in the Smokies.

“I got a chance drive to the highest areas and I started to see pops of color at the highest elevations had an opportunity to drive to the highest peaks of the mountains today, starting to see some of the birches with some of those beautiful yellows popping up at the higher elevations,” said Dana Soehn with Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Soehn said there were several reasons why fall color is the best here, ranging from elevation to the different types of trees we have.

“The Smokies has one of the longest fall color seasons because of our elevation and the number of trees we have more than 130 more than all of Europe. So this is a fabulous place to experience fall color,” said Soehn.

Along with the fall foliage comes fall business. Hotel managers said that they look forward to a strong October, however this season’s bookings have been different.

“I can’t do my pace reports because people are last minute they’re making a lot of reservations and canceling and then a lot of the people last minute so I can’t tell but fall October is looking good at the moment,” said Karl Thomas, with the Ramsey Hotel & Convention Center. “Gas and food prices. Grocery store prices, everything’s gone up. I think people living on the edge that go week to week are having a hard time traveling right now because of the inflation.”

With plenty of fall to come if you’re trying to pick the right time for trip mid-October is a good estimate for the peak.

You can follow the progress all fall through the Great Smoky Mountains Association.

“If you will follow our partner great smoky mountains association. They are going to start doing their fall color reports the first of October so you’ll be able to see those every week,” said Soehn.

Hints of fall color have started to pop at the highest elevations of the Smokies.
Hints of fall color have started to pop at the highest elevations of the Smokies.(Kyle Grainger, WVLT)