In the coming weeks, dazzling displays of fall foliage will hit their vivid peak across the country. From New York to Nashville, nature’s colorful parade marches toward the end of Autumn. Though national parks located in many of these areas are currently closed to visitors due to a partial government shutdown, opportunity to take in nature’s display is not limited solely to our national parks.
For an extravagant display of color, check out the Great Smoky Mountains, where single, radiant leaves multiply to fill a vast, misty canvas stretching along the Tennessee/North Carolina border. The foothills and surrounding region, renowned for charming leaf-aficionados and general fall vacationers alike, boast a variety of satisfying excursions.
Currently, the park’s main thoroughfare, Highway 441, is open for travelers, with a few byways and lookouts open as well. However, on both sides of the park, the treasures of rustic townships and rich, historical landscapes welcome travelers with unique fascinations.
Here are a few highlights sure to fill your days and build travel memories as colorful as the legendary hills.
North Carolina side:
Plans may be underway to open the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to tourists before the colors fade, yet even with the park closed, there are dozens of possibilities for a fun family vacation.
Enjoy the ride and happy leaf viewing!