For a few glorious weeks, autumn crowns the Smoky Mountains with spectacular color. It’s a sight well worth traveling to see — especially when you take a few roads less traveled. This year consider an alternative scenic drive with plenty of foliage on one of Sevierville, Tennessee’s three self-guided fall driving tours, discover adventurous ways to view fall leaves, enjoy great harvest-themed events and dig into to a harvest of delicious foods.
Peak season for leaf viewing is typically mid-October through mid-November. For those seeking a fall experience they’ve not enjoyed before, Sevierville’s three self-guided fall foliage tours offer little known points of interest and beautiful views. Sevierville’s Middle Prong Fall Driving Tour winds its way through the Smoky Mountain foothills after beginning at the iconic Dolly Parton statue in downtown Sevierville. Those driving the tour will enjoy stops at a Civil War battleground, swinging bridge views, stops at historical churches and more.
Sevierville also offers its English Mountain Fall Driving Tour with stops at a historic cemetery, old grist mill and a drive through a covered bridge. The newest tour travels Boyd’s Creek and includes an old schoolhouse, a historic plantation and a molasses mill. All three fall driving tours can be found online at https://www.VisitSevierville.com/fall.
Daring leaf lookers can combine Sevierville’s outdoor adventures with fall leaf viewing for a heart-pounding autumn experience. Take in the color while soaring hundreds of feet above the mountain foothills on a zipline at Foxfire Mountain Adventures. Or ride horseback through the foothills at Adventure Park at Five Oaks. Trek up mountain trails on an ATV at Bluff Mountain Adventures, then fly high above it all in a 1928 Waco Bi-Plane with Sky High Air Tours.
Harvest events are yet another reason to put Sevierville on your fall travel list. Sevierville’s slate of harvest events begins in late August with the Sevier County Fair (August 27-September 2). Agriculture, carnival rides and a midway round out this traditional fair.
Can’t get enough fresh produce? Pick some veggies and handcrafted goods at the Downtown Sevierville Farmer’s Market (every Friday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through October 4).
Bluegrass music is the soundtrack of fall and the Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival (September 19-21) features original, live bluegrass music from fifteen national and regional acts including Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, The Malpass Brothers, Lonesome River Band, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper and more. Catch more mountain music (and fine arts) at Robert Tino’s Smoky Mountain Homecoming Festival (October 4-6).
When the days get shorter, the harvest season really comes to life with thousands of carved and illuminated jack-o-lanterns during Dollywood’s Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights (September 27-November 2). Live music, award-winning rides, and delicious fall treats make Dollywood a must-see this fall.
Sevierville’s newest fall event is History and Haunts in downtown Sevierville. Guided historical walking tours, live music and fun harvest-themed activities make Saturday evenings in October the perfect time to head downtown for family-friendly fun (October 5, 12, 19, 26 from 5 p.m.-9 p.m.).
Delicious fall food is on the menu and no one serves it up quite like the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant. Situated on a working apple orchard, this restaurant begins every meal with a generous serving of apple fritters, homemade apple butter and their signature Applewood Julep.
Spend some time at the Apple Barn Cider Mill as well where you can watch as apple pies, stick candy, wines and more are made. Make plans for supper at Five Oaks Farm Kitchen, too. Chicken and Dumplins, sweet tea and a caramel apple for dessert make for the perfect meal to end a busy fall day.