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Best locations to view fall leaves in the Great Smoky Mountains

Unique locations offer spectacular views of the autumn leaves in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 2:03 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Where is your favorite place to see fall leaves in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

The Blount Partnership Tourism Department offered a few suggestions of places to visit:

Set in the beautiful fall colors, the Methodist Church is one of the first you will find in...
Set in the beautiful fall colors, the Methodist Church is one of the first you will find in Cades Cove. This particular structure has stood since 1902.(Jens Lambert | Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • “Rich Mountain Road in Cades Cove – This one-way gravel road leads you up to Rich Mountain and provides a variety of views. This windy road sees a lot less traffic and ends in Townsend. It is only open seasonally, so be sure to schedule a trip before it closes to the public on November 9.”
The Foothills Parkway now has two finished sections at each end of the 72-mile corridor. On the...
The Foothills Parkway now has two finished sections at each end of the 72-mile corridor. On the western side, it goes on for 33 continuous miles from Chilhowee to Wears Valley, which is a new experience for motorists and cyclists. On the eastern side, the other section extends six miles from Cosby to I-40, with views of Mt. Cammerer.(Mindy Payne | Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • “The Missing Link on Foothills Parkway – Another drive that allows visitors to behold the colorful scenery is the 1.65-mile section of the Foothills Parkway located between Walland and Wears Valley, known as the ‘Missing Link’. Known for its incredible mountain views, the ‘Missing Link’ is a popular driving destination that offers pull-off spots with a great deal of parking to observe the foliage from viewing areas and even snap a few pictures.”
The Dragon
The Dragon(Blount Partnership Tourism Department)
  • “The Dragon/US 129 – Motorcycle enthusiasts come from across the country to ride this famed 11-mile stretch featuring 318 curves. Passing through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there are many opportunities for drivers and motorcyclists to enjoy the natural beauty of the park.”
Overlooking Cades Cove From Gregory Bald in late summer
Overlooking Cades Cove From Gregory Bald in late summer(kellyvandellen | Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • "Gregory Ridge Trail – For those who enjoy a good hike, this hiking trail is accessible through Cades Cove. Not for beginners, this 11.5-mile round trip hike leads to Gregory Ridge Bald which offers an outstanding vantage point of the Smokies. To break up the trip, there is a campsite two miles from the trailhead. "
Greenway
Greenway(Blount County Partnership Tourism Department)
  • “Maryville-Alcoa Greenway – This paved greenway offers something for everyone. With hiking trails, parks and beautiful views, the nine-mile greenway bridging the cities of Alcoa and Maryville is a great option to enjoy the changing leaves and excellent for cyclists or families with strollers.”
The Blue Goose
The Blue Goose(Blount Partnership Tourism Department)
  • “Blue Goose Farm and Vineyards – If the idea of savoring an award-winning wine while appreciating the fall weather is appealing, this family-owned winery is ideal. Located just outside of Maryville, their vineyard is famous for its views of the Great Smoky Mountains as well as their locally made wines.”

“Visitors flock to Blount County during the fall to enjoy the seasonable temperatures and amazing backdrop of the changing foliage. Couples, families and friends find no shortage of ways to take advantage of all the natural beauty our area has to offer," said director of tourism, Kim Mitchell.

For more information on visiting Blount County and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Smoky Mountain website.

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