2018 Fall Foliage Report

There is no place more beautiful than East Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains during the autumn leaf change and that is why thousands pour into the area every October.  For several weeks each fall you can watch as the fall colors move down the mountain sides.  The reason for these amazing colors is that the Great Smoky Mountains are home to over a 100 species of native trees that provide an array of different colors from orange/yellow to red/purple.  


It is always hard to predict when the fall colors will be at their Peak; however, the 2018 Fall Foliage Report Prediction Map has been released and this is what they are predicting for 2018 (www.smokymoutains.com).


Week of October 1st– Minimal Change 

Week of October 8th– Patchy Change

Week of October 15th– Partial Change

Week of October 22nd– Near Peak Color

Week of October 29th– Peak Color


Please remember that this is only a prediction and can move a week or more in either direction with Peak occurring earlier for later.  


From Early to Mid-October the colors will first begin to change at the highest elevations.  So checking out Clingmans Dome or the Foothills Parkway will give you the best chance to see the leaves begin to change. Once the colors start to move down the mountain sides in late October the website hikinginthesmokys.com recommends hiking Meigs Mountain Trail, Schoolhouse Gap, Abrams Falls, Curry Mountain Trail, Oconaluftee River Trail, Indian Falls, and the Deep Creek Loop. Also you can never go wrong with a drive or bike ride through Cades Cove.  


Guide to Help Identifying Trees by Their Fall Color


Birch – Bright Yellow

Black Maple - Yellow

Dogwood – Purple & red

Hickory – Bronze

Oak – Red and Brown

Popular – Gold

Red Maple – Bright Red

Sugar Maple – Red and Orange


Make sure you stop by Cades Cove Cellars during your travels for a free wine tasting and to grab a bottle to enjoy on your deck while enjoying the beautiful place we call home, the Great Smoky Mountains.      



Yardley Sawyer