Synchronous Fireflies: A Magical Spectacle in the Smoky Mountains

Every year, nature puts on one of its most enchanting displays of synchronous fireflies in the Smoky Mountains. These tiny insects light up the forest in perfect harmony, creating a mesmerizing sight that draws visitors from all around the world. But catching this natural phenomenon requires some planning and luck. Here’s everything you need to know about when and how to view the synchronous fireflies in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee.

When to Go:
The synchronous fireflies typically emerge during their mating season for a couple weeks typically between late May to early June around the Elkmont Campground. And the spectacle typically starts around 9:30 PM and continues through the night. However, the exact dates can vary depending on weather conditions and other factors. Important timeline to keep in mind…

  • Late April: Viewing dates are announced and the vehicle pass lottery becomes available. Note the lottery is only open for a few weeks.
  • Mid-May: You’ll be notified of your lottery results, hopefully you’re one of the lucky ones!
  • Early June: The fireflies are in their mating and the viewing spectacle is in full swing, typically 2 weeks.

How to Secure Tickets:
To manage the high demand and protect the delicate ecosystem, the park has implemented a lottery system for viewing the fireflies in the most popular spot, Elkmont. The lottery typically opens in April and closes in early May. Visitors interested in attending must apply for the lottery through the park’s official website. It’s $1 to apply and $24 if you successfully secure a ticket. Winners are randomly selected, and each winning entry allows the recipient to purchase a parking pass for the event. The number of passes distributed varies each year, but it’s essential to apply early and be flexible with your dates.

Viewing Ethics:
This natural phenomenon is really special, so be sure to be considerate of others and the environment when viewing.

  • Minimize use of your car headlights as soon as you’re close to viewing areas
  • Use a red-filtered flashlight or headlamp (instead of white light)
  • Remain quiet and respectful
  • Stay on designated trails
  • Practices “Leave No Trace” outdoors ethics
  • Pick up all trash

Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

Alternatives for Viewing:
If you weren’t lucky enough to secure a lottery ticket, don’t worry. There are still several other options for experiencing the magic of synchronous fireflies in the Smoky Mountains. Reports of sightings at other areas in the Smokies are around the same elevation as Elkmont and near water. It’s generally recommended to plan your visit for a clear night with minimal moonlight.

  1. Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest (link): This is a primitive forest with giant, centuries-old trees, suitable for day-hiking & picnicking.
  2. Cades Cove: This scenic valley offers ample opportunities for viewing fireflies. Visitors can park at designated areas and take short hikes along the trails to find a suitable spot. Remember to bring a flashlight for safety and follow park guidelines for minimal environmental impact.
  3. Molly Branch Fireflies (link): Located at 9100 Hogskin Rd. Corryton TN, 37721
  4. Rainbow Falls Trail: There have been some reports of fireflies sightings in this area, so your results may vary.
  5. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: This picturesque drive through the forest provides excellent opportunities for spotting fireflies along the roadside. Pull over at designated overlooks or find a quiet spot to enjoy the show. Be sure to arrive early, as parking can fill up quickly during peak times.

In conclusion, witnessing the synchronous fireflies in the Smoky Mountains is a truly magical experience that should be on every nature lover’s bucket list. Whether you’re fortunate enough to secure a lottery ticket for the official viewing event or opt for one of the alternative viewing spots, be sure to respect the park’s guidelines and cherish the beauty of this natural spectacle. With proper planning and a bit of luck, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime amidst the twinkling lights of these enchanting insects.

Uncover the Ultimate Year-Round Guide: Month by Month Adventures in the Smoky Mountains

Discover year-round adventures in the Smoky Mountains with our comprehensive guide, with the best activities and attractions month by month. There’s always something fun going on, no matter when you visit.

January:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 52°F and lows of 29°F. Average snowfall is about 4″ for the month.

Activities:

  • New Year’s Eve Celebrations: Experience lively New Year’s celebrations in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, including fireworks and special events.
  • Winterfest Lights: Enjoy the beautiful Winterfest lights display that continues through January and the 2nd week of February, especially in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
  • Ober Gatlinburg: Go skiing or snowboarding at Ober Gatlinburg, and enjoy indoor ice skating and other winter activities.
  • Hiking Trails: Experience the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains with a winter hike. Lower elevations might have less snow, providing excellent hiking opportunities.
  • Indoor Attractions: Explore museums, indoor water parks, and enjoy dinner shows.
  • No crowds or traffic: This is the low season for the Smoky Mountains, so you’ll experience all the attractions for less cost and no crowds.
  • Dollywood: Note that Dollywood closes Jan-Feb for annual renovations, but usually is open with it’s Winter decorations until the first week of January.
  • Closures: Some venues and attractions are closed or on limited hours during January and February. Anakeesta is only open Friday – Sunday during these low season months. Be sure to call ahead for any major attractions to confirm hours.

February:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 56°F and lows of 32°F. Average snowfall is about 2″ for the month.

Activities:

  • Valentine’s Day Specials: Many restaurants and venues offer special events and packages for couples.
  • Winter Sports: Similar to January, you might find opportunities for snow-related activities.
  • Christmas lights: The Christmas lights typically stay up until around the 2nd week of February for the Pigeon Forge Winterfest.
  • Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center: Learn about the rich cultural history of the region through exhibits and educational programs.
  • Arts and Crafts Community: Explore the largest group of independent artisans in North America, where you can find unique handmade crafts.
  • Chocolate Wine Trail: Sample chocolates and wines along the Rocky Top Wine Trail for a sweet Valentine’s experience.
  • Horseback Riding: Enjoy a romantic horseback ride through the picturesque Smoky Mountains. Options are with The Stables at County Manor (or Airbnb link), Jayell Ranch, Big Rock Dude Ranch, and Gold Rush Stables
  • Hiking: Some trails may be accessible, but caution is advised due to possible ice.
  • No crowds or traffic: This is the low season for the Smoky Mountains, so you’ll experience all the attractions for less cost and no crowds. Note that Dollywood is typically closed Jan-Feb for annual renovations
  • Closures: Some venues and attractions are closed or on limited hours during January and February. Anakeesta is only open Friday – Sunday during these low season months. Be sure to call ahead for any major attractions to confirm hours.

March:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 63°F and lows of 38°F

Activities:

  • Whitewater Rafting: As the weather warms up, consider going whitewater rafting in the nearby rivers for an adrenaline rush.
  • Wildflower Hikes: Witness the blooming of wildflowers in the national park, especially on trails like the Alum Cave Bluffs.
  • Dollywood Opening: Dollywood, a popular theme park, typically opens in March with exciting rides and entertainment (including a visit from Dolly herself and a parade). Dollywood usually does a Music Festival during March and into April.
  • Springfest Events: Join in the festive atmosphere with special events and blooming flowers throughout Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Spring is great for observing blooming flowers and baby animals.

April:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 70°F and lows of 45°F

Activities:

  • Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage: Join this annual event to learn about the diverse flora and fauna of the Smoky Mountains.
  • Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Wine Fest: Sample a wide variety of wines from Tennessee wineries along with live entertainment.
  • Scenic Drives: Enjoy the beautiful scenic drives through the Smoky Mountains, with the dogwoods and redbuds in full bloom.
  • Dollywood: The park does an incredible Flower & Food Festival each Spring and early Summer that’s not to miss!
  • Outdoor Adventure: Go ziplining, try ATV tours, or embark on a canopy tour for an adrenaline-pumping experience. The Hiking trails are generally fully accessible with milder weather.
  • Mountain Crafts Festival: Explore the crafts and artwork of local artisans in Gatlinburg.

May:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 77°F and lows of 54°F

Activities:

  • Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Festival: Taste the best beans and cornbread in town while enjoying live music and family activities.
  • Dollywood Flower & Food Festival: Experience Dollywood in full bloom with impressive floral displays and delicious food offerings.
  • Dollywood: The park does an incredible Flower & Food Festival each Spring and early Summer that’s not to miss!
  • Fishing: Take advantage of the excellent fishing opportunities in the streams and rivers of the area.
  • Cades Cove: This is a great time to visit Cades Cove for wildlife viewing and enjoying the scenic loop road. Enjoy the blossoming flora and fauna of the region.
  • River Tubing: Start the tubing season on the Little Pigeon River for a refreshing adventure.

June:

Hiking Smoky Mountains by kirk thornton

Weather: Average high temperatures of 84°F and lows of 62°F

Activities:

  • Hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park: June is a fantastic time to explore the park’s numerous hiking trails. The weather is warm, and the lush greenery is in full bloom.
  • Dollywood’s Splash Country: Cool off at Dollywood’s water park, which opens in June. It’s a great way to beat the summer heat. They also run their Summer Celebration festival all Summer long
  • Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community: Explore the largest group of independent artisans in North America. You can find unique, handcrafted items in this historic 8-mile loop.
  • Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair: This event, held in early July, features over 180 of the finest craftspeople from around the United States. You can see and buy their work, and even watch some of them demonstrate their craft.
  • Summer Shows and Concerts: Many theaters in the area start their summer season in June. Enjoy live music, comedy, and entertainment.

July:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 87°F and lows of 68°F. Note that it can get relatively humid during the day and especially in the sun.

Activities:

  • Independence Day Celebrations: Both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg host spectacular Fourth of July celebrations, including fireworks, parades, and live music.
  • River Tubing: Rent a tube and float down one of the scenic rivers in the area. It’s a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Dollywood: Enjoy the Splash Country as well as the Summer Celebration festival all Summer long
  • Cades Cove Loop Road: Take a scenic drive through this beautiful valley, known for its abundant wildlife and stunning mountain views.
  • Ober Gatlinburg: While known for skiing in the winter, Ober Gatlinburg offers a variety of summer activities, including an aerial tramway, alpine slide, and wildlife encounter.
  • Outdoor Adventure Activities: Try activities like ziplining, white-water rafting, or horseback riding for an adrenaline rush.

August:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 86°F and lows of 67°F. Note that it can get relatively humid during the day and especially in the sun.

Activities:

  • Tunes & Tales: Enjoy live street performances by costumed characters, musicians, and artisans in downtown Gatlinburg.
  • Dollywood’s Summer Celebration: This event features extended park hours, nighttime shows, and a fantastic fireworks display.
  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: This one-way loop road offers some of the best opportunities to view the park’s lush forests, streams, and historic buildings.
  • Gatlinburg SkyLift Park: Take a ride on the SkyLift to the top of Crockett Mountain for stunning panoramic views of the Smokies.
  • Fishing: August is a great time for fishing in the streams and rivers of the area, especially for trout.

Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

September:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 80°F and lows of 60°F

Activities:

  • Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival: This juried art show features fine artists from around the country displaying their work in downtown Gatlinburg.
  • Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair (Fall Edition): Similar to the July fair, this event showcases the work of talented artisans.
  • Horseback Riding: Explore the beauty of the Smoky Mountains on horseback with guided trail rides.
  • Harvest Festivals: Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg both host events celebrating the harvest season with decorations, entertainment, and special activities.
  • Fall Foliage Viewing: While the peak of the fall colors varies each year, late September can be a great time to start experiencing the vibrant autumn foliage.

October:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 72°F and lows of 49°F

Activities:

  • Hiking with Fall Foliage: October is often the peak month for fall colors, making it an excellent time for hiking in the Smokies.
  • Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center: Learn about the cultural history of the region at this museum, which often hosts special events in October.
  • Haunted Attractions: Experience the spooky side of the Smokies with haunted houses and ghost tours, especially popular in the lead-up to Halloween.
  • Fall Festivals: Numerous fall festivals take place in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, featuring crafts, food, music, and more.
  • Apple Orchards: Visit one of the nearby orchards for apple picking, cider tasting, and other seasonal treats.

November:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 60°F and lows of 38°F

Activities:

  • Winterfest Kickoff: Both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have festive events to mark the beginning of their holiday celebrations, with millions of twinkling lights.
  • Christmas Shows and Events: Enjoy special holiday-themed shows, parades, and events throughout November and December.
  • Holiday Shopping: Explore the unique shops and boutiques for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts.
  • Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas: Experience the magic of the holiday season with millions of twinkling lights, festive decorations, and special holiday shows at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge.
  • Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights: Take a guided trolley tour through the beautiful holiday light displays in downtown Gatlinburg. It’s a delightful way to get into the holiday spirit.
  • Hiking and Outdoor Activities: The cooler temperatures make November an excellent time for hiking and outdoor activities in the Smoky Mountains. Consider trails like Laurel Falls or Alum Cave Bluffs for scenic beauty.

December:

Weather: Average high temperatures of 53°F and lows of 31°F. Average snowfall is about 1″ for the month.

Activities:

  • Winterfest in Gatlinburg: Witness the spectacular Winterfest lights that adorn Gatlinburg’s streets, creating a festive atmosphere. Don’t miss the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade.
  • Christmas Shows: Enjoy special Christmas-themed performances and shows in Pigeon Forge theaters. The Smoky Mountain Opry and Country Tonite are popular choices.
  • Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort: If the weather allows, engage in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding at Ober Gatlinburg. It’s a great way to experience the winter wonderland.
  • Gatlinburg SkyLift Park: Take a ride on the SkyLift and walk across the SkyBridge for incredible panoramic views of the snow-capped Smoky Mountains.
  • New Year’s Eve Celebrations: Join the festivities in Gatlinburg for the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show. It’s a memorable way to ring in the new year amidst the mountainous scenery.

Above are general temperature averages and typical events and activities month by month, actual conditions may vary. Always check local forecasts and conditions before planning outdoor activities. What are your favorite month by month adventures in the Smoky Mountains? Comment below!

Book Now: This goes to our secure portal to review your info and confirm booking.

Send Inquiry: If you’re not quite ready to book, you can send an inquiry with any questions.

Spooktacular Sojourn: Unveiling the Best Halloween Haunts in Gatlinburg!

Halloween is a fantastic time to visit the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge. Amidst the beautiful changing colors of the leaves, to harvest season, to the spooky Halloween haunted houses, there are plenty of things to do for all ages. Here are the best Halloween haunts in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area.

1. Gatlinburg’s Halloween Spooktacular Event: Gatlinburg hosts a family-friendly Halloween event featuring live music, games, costume contests, and trick-or-treating throughout downtown.

2. Gatlinburg Ghost and Haunt Tours:Take a guided tour through Gatlinburg’s historic and allegedly haunted locations. Learn about local legends and spooky stories.

3. Ripley’s Haunted Adventure: A year-round haunted house attraction in Gatlinburg featuring live actors, special effects, and animatronics to create a thrilling experience.

4. Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights: Dollywood theme park transforms into a Halloween wonderland with thousands of illuminated pumpkins, displays, and entertainment.

5. Haunted Houses and Escape Rooms: There are several haunted houses and escape rooms in the area. These include places like The Mysterious Mansion and Gatlin’s Escape Games which may have special Halloween-themed events. The Mysterious Mansion is one of the longest standing and best Halloween Haunts in Gatlinburg.

6. Halloween at Anakeesta: Anakeesta, an outdoor adventure park in Gatlinburg, hosts Halloween events with a haunted rail yard, costume contests, and a magic show.


Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

7. Fright Nights at Fannie Farkle’s: Fannie Farkle’s is a classic arcade in Gatlinburg. During Halloween, they may have special events or spooky decorations.

8. Rocky Top Mountain Coaster’s Coasts & Goblins: During the month of October, Rocky Top Mountain Coaster is hosting the annual Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Coasts & Goblins. As if a thrilling mountain coaster ride is not enough, during these nights riders will enjoy the hills and thrills with incredible lights, goblins, ghouls and ghosts! These special Halloween-themed nights are not for the faint of heart. Bring your friends and prepare for a scare! October 6-31.

9. Haunted Mansion Dinner & Show: Experience a spooky dinner and show at the Grand Majestic Theater in Pigeon Forge, featuring special effects and a captivating storyline.

10. Kyker Farms Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze: Get lost in the corn maze and try to find your way out! This fall experience is a great way to welcome the harvest season. Open September 30-Oct 31.

11. Wears Valley Fall Fest: Sixteen acres of family fun including over 240 crafters, interactive activities, entertainment, children’s events and a great variety of food awaits all in attendance October 20 – 22 at the 10th Annual Wears Valley Fall Festival coordinated by Keep Sevier Beautiful.  The wide array of activities at this year’s event will give families a great way to make memories, experience a variety of fun activities and enjoy the incredible beauty of fall in the Smokies. 

12. Ober Gatlinburg’s Oktoberfest: While not directly Halloween-themed, Ober Gatlinburg’s annual Oktoberfest event offers a festive atmosphere with Bavarian food, music, and activities.

13. The Island in Pigeon Forge: The Island is a popular entertainment complex in Pigeon Forge. They usually do a free trick-or-treat in the evening of Halloween, and to top it off, they often have seasonal decorations and a lively atmosphere.

Please note that it’s always a good idea to check the respective websites or contact the venues directly for the most up-to-date information about their Halloween events and activities. Enjoy your spooky adventure in the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge!

Book Now: This goes to our secure portal to review your info and confirm booking.

Send Inquiry: If you’re not quite ready to book, you can send an inquiry with any questions.

These are our picks! What are the best Halloween Haunts in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge that you’ve been to? Comment below!

Unveil Mother Nature’s Masterpiece: The Top Secret Spots for Fall Foliage in the Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, is a popular destination for experiencing the vibrant fall colors of the Appalachian Mountains. The best locations to see the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains include:

End of September

The leaves are starting to turn, but can be a little spotty. Get to elevations above 6,000 feet for best results

  1. Blue Ridge Parkway: While not within the national park itself, the Blue Ridge Parkway, which connects the Smoky Mountains to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, is renowned for its fall foliage. You can access the Blue Ridge Parkway from the park and enjoy the vibrant colors along the way.
  2. Graveyard Fields – Near Asheville, NC this hiking trail is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway
  3. Rough Ridge – This is a 1.2 mile hike just off the Blue Ridge Parkway
Great Smoky Mountains

Beginning of October

Get to elevations above 5,000 feet for best results

  1. Clingmans Dome: This is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers stunning panoramic views of the fall foliage. The observation tower at the summit provides a fantastic vantage point.
  2. Beach Mountain
  3. Mount Mitchell
  4. Grandfather Mountain

Early October

This is usually the prime time in higher elevations for the fall change of colors on the leaves, especially for elevations around 4,000-5,000 feet. You’ll see amazing colors around most of Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

  1. Blue Ridge Parkway
  2. Nearly all of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  3. Newfound Gap Road: This scenic drive through the park offers breathtaking views and many opportunities to see the changing colors. There are pull-offs and overlooks along the way where you can stop and enjoy the scenery.
  4. Linn Cove Viaduct: This is a concrete bridge and roadway that cuts through part of Grandfather Mountain, making for an incredibly scenic drive during this time.

Mid/Late October

You’ll start to see areas in 3,000-4000 feet elevation come in with fall foliage in the Smoky Mountains during this time.

  1. Skyline drive – This runs North and South along the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the Shenandoah National Park. You’ll find fall foliage in the higher elevations along this drive.
  2. Pisgah National Forest
  3. Boone, NC
  4. Banner Elk, NC
  5. Maggie Valley/Waynesville

Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

End of October

This is typically the prime time when the fall foliage really starts to explode around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg areas, around 2,000 – 3,000 feet elevation.

  1. Cades Cove – This valley is one of the most popular spots in the park, offering a mix of open fields and wooded areas. It’s a great place to see wildlife and fall colors together.
  2. Chimney Rock/Lake Lure – This is a State park on the North Carolina side.
  3. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: This one-way loop road is known for its dense forest and beautiful fall colors. It’s a great place for a leisurely drive or a short hike to see the leaves up close.

As for the best dates to see the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains, they typically peak in mid-October at higher elevations and in late October at lower elevations. Keep in mind that fall foliage can be somewhat unpredictable and can vary from year to year due to factors like temperature and rainfall. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information, you can check with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website or local visitor centers for fall foliage reports and updates closer to your planned visit. Planning your trip for mid to late October will increase your chances of experiencing the vibrant autumn colors in the Smoky Mountains.

Book Now: This goes to our secure portal to review your info and confirm booking.

Send Inquiry: If you’re not quite ready to book, you can send an inquiry with any questions.

When have you visited to see the fall foliage in the Smoky Mountains? What viewing spots or scenic drives do you like most? Comment below!

Magical Christmas in the Smokys: Exploring Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg’s Holiday Wonderland

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee are popular destinations during the Christmas in the Smokys, offering a range of activities and attractions for families. Here are some things you can do around Christmas time in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg:

Christmas in the Smokys & Things to Do

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas: Visit Dollywood, a renowned theme park in Pigeon Forge, which transforms into a winter wonderland during Christmas. Enjoy festive lights, beautifully decorated trees, holiday shows, and thrilling rides.

The Island Winterfest: Explore The Island, a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex in Pigeon Forge. They often have special Christmas events, including a tree lighting ceremony, festive decorations, and live music.

Winterfest: Experience the Winterfest celebration in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, where the entire area is adorned with millions of twinkling lights. Take a scenic drive along the Parkway to enjoy the stunning light displays.


Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

Cozy Cabin Getaways: Renting cabins in the Smoky Mountains during Christmas can be a cozy and memorable experience for families. Our cabin gets decked out with a beautiful Christmas tree next to our fireplace, so you feel right at home while sipping egg nog and opening presents. Enjoy quality time together amidst the beautiful winter scenery off our back deck!

Christmas shows and theaters: Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are known for their excellent entertainment options. Catch a Christmas-themed show or visit one of the theaters offering holiday performances, including musicals, comedy shows, and concerts. Some of the best shows are Dolly Parton’s Stampede Christmas Show, Christmas disaster at Hatfield & McCoy, Comedy Barn Christmas Show, and Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Christmas Show.

Ober Gatlinburg: Head to Ober Gatlinburg, a mountain-top amusement park and ski area, for a variety of winter activities. Enjoy ice skating, snow tubing, skiing, snowboarding, and breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Take advantage of the natural beauty surrounding the area by exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy hiking trails, scenic drives, and the chance to spot wildlife in their winter habitat.

Gatlinburg Winter Magic Tunes & Tales: Experience live holiday performances by musicians, storytellers, and characters along the streets of downtown Gatlinburg. It’s a festive and interactive way to celebrate the season.

Santa’s Claus-et: Visit Santa’s Claus-et, a Christmas-themed shop in Gatlinburg, offering a wide selection of ornaments, decorations, and unique gifts. It’s a great place to find something special to commemorate your visit.

Christmas shopping: Explore the numerous shops, boutiques, and outlets in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, where you can find holiday gifts, handmade crafts, and local specialties.

Seasonal Dining: Many restaurants in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg offer special Christmas menus or holiday-themed dishes. It’s an opportunity to indulge in delicious meals, festive treats, and warm beverages while enjoying the holiday ambiance. See our locals-guide to the best eats in the area.

Remember to check the specific dates and availability of events and attractions, as they may vary each year. Enjoy your Christmas vacation in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg!

Christmas in the Smokys & Weather

The weather in the Smokys around Christmas typically features cold temperatures and the possibility of winter precipitation. Please note that these are historical averages and actual weather conditions can vary from year to year. For the most up-to-date forecasts, it’s always best to check a reliable weather source closer to the specific date.

Here are the historical average weather conditions for Pigeon Forge around Christmas:

  1. Temperature: The average high temperature during the day is around 45°F (7°C), and the average low temperature at night is around 26°F (-3°C).
  2. Precipitation: December is considered one of the wetter months in Pigeon Forge. You can expect occasional rain showers or snowfall. Snow is possible, but the average snowfall is relatively low, around 1 to 2 inches.
  3. Humidity: Humidity levels tend to be moderate during this time of year.
  4. Sunshine: You can expect around 5 to 6 hours of daylight per day during December.

Keep in mind that these are historical averages, and actual weather conditions can vary. It’s always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before traveling to ensure you are prepared for the conditions during your visit.

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Send Inquiry: If you’re not quite ready to book, you can send an inquiry with any questions.

What are your favorite things to do during Christmas in the Smokys? We want to know! Comment below.

10 reasons Fall in the Smoky Mountains is the Best Time to Visit

Fall in the Smoky Mountains is truly a magical time, and one of the best times to visit offering a range of delightful experiences and breathtaking scenery. Here are some of the best things about fall in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Vibrant Fall Foliage

The Smoky Mountains come alive with an explosion of colors during the fall season. The leaves of deciduous trees turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and gold, creating a stunning tapestry of color across the landscape. See all the fall colors.

2. Scenic Drives

The park’s scenic drives, such as the Cades Cove Loop Road, Newfound Gap Road, and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, offer picturesque views of the fall foliage. You can enjoy the vibrant colors from the comfort of your car and stop at designated overlooks for photo opportunities. See the official auto tourism site from NPS.

3. Hiking in Autumn Splendor

Fall is an excellent time for hiking in the Smokies. The trails are surrounded by the colorful foliage, creating a picturesque backdrop for your outdoor adventures. The cool, crisp air and milder temperatures make hiking more comfortable, and you can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature without the summer crowds.

4. Wildlife Viewing

Fall is the time when many animals in the Smoky Mountains are preparing for the winter months. You might spot black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and various bird species as they forage for food and engage in mating rituals. The vibrant fall colors provide a stunning backdrop for wildlife photography.

5. Harvest Festivals and Events

The surrounding communities celebrate the fall season with various festivals and events. You can enjoy live music, arts and crafts fairs, traditional Appalachian food, and local produce. The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair and the Townsend Fall Festival are popular events that showcase the region’s culture and heritage. (Click here for the full list of seasonal events)

6. Smoky Mountain Heritage

Fall is a time when you can experience the rich heritage and traditions of the Smoky Mountains. Visit historic homesteads, such as the Mountain Farm Museum in the park, to learn about early settlers’ way of life and their connection to the land.


Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

7. Cool and Comfortable Weather

The fall weather in the Smokies is generally mild, with cooler temperatures and lower humidity compared to the summer months. It’s a pleasant time to explore the park without the scorching heat and humidity that can be present in other seasons.

8. Waterfall Beauty

The park’s numerous waterfalls take on a different charm during the fall season. Surrounded by the colorful foliage, these cascades become even more picturesque. Some popular waterfalls to visit in the fall include Laurel Falls, Abrams Falls, and Rainbow Falls.f

9. Tranquility and Solitude

Fall is considered the shoulder season in the Smoky Mountains, meaning fewer crowds compared to the summer months. This allows for a more peaceful and serene experience in the park, with fewer people on the trails and more opportunities to connect with nature.

10. Photography Opportunities

The stunning fall colors, misty mornings, and soft light create ideal conditions for photography enthusiasts. Whether you’re a professional or a casual photographer, the Smoky Mountains in the fall offer countless opportunities to capture breathtaking images.

These are just a few of the best things about fall in the Smoky Mountains. The combination of autumn foliage, outdoor activities, cultural events, and the natural beauty of the park makes it a truly remarkable season to visit.

Book Now: This goes to our secure portal to review your info and confirm booking.

Send Inquiry: If you’re not quite ready to book, you can send an inquiry with any questions.

Have you come to the Smokys in the Fall? What are your favorite things about the Fall in the Smoky Mountains? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below!