Autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains is a special time when a glorious leaf season of several weeks is enjoyed by visitors as fall colors travel down the mountainsides from the highest elevations to the foothills. The fall color display usually reaches peak at middle and lower elevations between mid-October and early November. This is the park’s most spectacular display as it includes such colorful trees as sugar maple, scarlet oak, sweetgum, red maple, and the hickories. For more information about fall colors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fallcolor.htm Fall in the SmokiesBy the beginning of October, trees in the Smoky Mountains high country show bright fall colors are the yellows of American beech and yellow birch and different shades of reds on mountain ash, pin cherry and mountain maple. Lower elevations show a slower transition into color, usually first showing the vibrant red of sumac, black gum and Virginia creeper. Gatlinburg in FallBy late October, at the lower elevations of the Smoky Mountains, fall colors are developing. Black gum, dogwood, sumacs, and sourwood trees continue to show vivid reds. Golds are present on tuliptree, black walnut, birch, beech, spicebush, and hickories. It is not unusual for some autumn color to last through certainly the first week of November in the Smoky Mountains, but if weather cooperates autumn displays could last through mid-November as well. Recommendations: Good places to see fall colors in the Smoky Mountains include Newfound Gap Road from Alum Cave Trailhead to Kephart Prong Trailhead, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Foothills Parkway East & West, and Heintooga Ridge Road to Balsam Mountain Campground. Suggested hikes include Rich Mountain Loop, Chestnut Top Trail, Smokemont Loop, Kanati Fork, and Sutton Ridge Overlook (Lower Mt. Cammerer Trail).