Not only do the Smoky Mountains explode with beautiful color in the fall, the small North Carolina town of Bryson City itself puts on a festive fall show, too.
Colorful fall flowers and scarecrows hang out on the streets mixing with the beautiful fall foliage changes. You can go for a hayride, visit a pumpkin patch and a corn maze, hear ghost stories and legends, sample some award-winning chili, fish some trophy waters, sample local produce at the Friday Farmers Market, watch artisans create one-of-a-kind arts and crafts, and more.
Festivals dot the calendar every weekend with several harvest festivals ending with the Great Pumpkin Pursuit race down the Nantahala River.
Music fills the crisp, mountain air in October – free concerts on Saturdays at the train depot, old-time music jam at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, and The Inspirations Gospel "Singing in the Smokies”.
There's fun for the whole family on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad's Pumpkin Patch Express and Leaf-Looker Train Rides; and you can travel by train to Dillsboro, NC for the WNC Pottery Festival, a unique combination vendor sale and "clay olympics" with lots of entertainment.
To learn more, take a look at Bryson City’s Fall Events.
The most often-asked question from people planning an autumn trip to the Great Smoky Mountains is: "When will the color peak?" The truth is, with the wide variety of trees, elevations and microclimates in the Smokies, the leaf season can last up to six weeks. Depending upon the timing of the first frost, the peak of fall color should arrive during the second week of October in the higher elevations, and during the third week of October in the mid-elevations.
No matter when you visit the Smokies in the fall, you should be able to find beautiful leaf color.
For more information about top events in North Carolina take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in North Carolina