Smoky Mountain Fall Fun

It’s fall y’all … one of the most beautiful times in the Smokies and there is something to do for everyone! We all love the changing of the seasons, and fall is a fan favorite – the mountains erupt in an amazing display of colors from the leaves changing, the air gets a little crisper in the mornings, the wildlife is hustling around getting ready for winter, and there are an abundance of festivals and activities for all ages and be sure to get you in the autumn spirit.

Staying at Sanctuary Treehouse Resort gives guests the amazing opportunity to enjoy fall in the world’s FIRST and ONLY interactive treehouse resort that provides fun for people of all ages! Guests enjoy sliding down the 20-foot slides, sending drinks down the drink chute, hoisting their treasures up to the treehouse top deck with the bucket pulleys, or just simply enjoying a restful swing on one of the many swings that hang on the downstairs deck of each Tree Fort treehouses.

Flavors Of The Season

Apples and fall just go hand in hand and the Smoky Mountains offers some of the best apple orchards around.

  • Enjoy a beautiful drive over to Cosby and check out Carver’s Applehouse (they don’t have a website, but you can find them on Facebook at They are located at 3460 US-321, Cosby, Tennessee. Carver’s sells apples that are currently in season along with a large selection of produce and locally made canned products. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth at their on-site candy shop or eat one of their delectable fried apple pies. But, if you are looking for some good country cooking, enjoy a meal at their Applehouse Restaurant.
  • While you are in Cosby, pay a visit to Baxter’s Orchard at 5447 East Parkway, Cosby, Tennessee where you can pick your own apples from their orchard. You may want to call ahead to check their hours and apple availability at 865-217-2281.
  • In Sevierville, pay a visit to the Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store and experience the taste of the Smokies and load up on some delicious apple butter, cookies, muffins or other baked good. You can also enjoy a down home delicious meal at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant & Applewood Grill.


  • The City of Gatlinburg has created the epic Gatlinburg Harvest Festival which lasts all 12 weeks of fall. The hallmarks of the festival are the beautifully designed larger-than-life fall displays, and a Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt that guests can participate in by downloading the Visit Gatlinburg app.
  • Our friends over at Dollywood pull out all the stops at the Dollywood Harvest Festival where the smells of apple and pumpkin fill the air and the Great Pumpkin LumiNights which illuminate the sky during the month of October.
  • From September 29th through October 29th, check out the Smoky Mountain Fall Festival at Ober Mountain. This is where visitors can climb to the top of hay mountain and slide back down, enjoy seasonal food offerings like schnitzel sandwiches and pumpkin spice fudge, participate in Friday movie nights, or enjoy one of the many concerts throughout the month.
  • Check out the Holiday Handcrafters Festival in Townsend where more than 30 local artisans will gather and showcase their unique, handmade and handcrafted goods, giving visitors the opportunity to find one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts for loved ones.

Become One With Nature

  • What better way to check out the beauty of the fall colors than ziplining through the leaves?
    The Smoky Mountains offers a variety of ziplining adventures.  Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park is home to the highest zipline (at nearly 500 feet) in the Smokies and is affectionately known as the Goliath.  Schedule a time to go ziplining at the USA Today Readers’ Choice for 2021 award winning Legacy Mountain Ziplines where guests can enjoy jaw-dropping views of the Smokies from some of the highest and longest ziplines.  Guests of Sanctuary Treehouse Resort can enjoy a discount with your guest perk card that they receive in their welcome packet at check-in to go ziplining at Tennessee’s First Zipline Adventure,  Wahoo Ziplines.
  • Take a Pink Jeep Tour to some of the most beautiful areas in our Smoky Mountains and leave the driving to someone else so you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery. Guests at Sanctuary Treehouse Resort enjoy a discount on their Jeep Tour with their guest perk card.
  • Another great way to soak in the fall colors is to go on a scenic drive through the mountains. Some of the most scenic drives for fall foliage is the Gatlinburg Bypass where you can not only enjoy the beautiful colors of fall, but a must stop photo spot is the Gatlinburg Overlook. Take a drive over to Cherokee on Newfound Gap Road, where you can take in majestic views and stop for some amazing photos along the way. The Roaring Fork Motor Trail is a 5.5 mile loop that offers visitors rushing streams, well-preserved log cabins and other historic buildings, and access to the Rainbow Falls hiking trail.  And there is always the favorite amongst visitors and locals, a trip around the Cades Cove loop where visitors can stop and visit some primitive churches and the visitors center with a working grist mill.  There are many other amazing driving tours through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park; but you may want to check out some other routes including the Steeples & Farmsteads Fall Driving Tour that takes visitors on a tour to some of the farmsteads and churches that share in the rich history in these mountains.

Horseback Riding In The Smokies

For a real adventure, maybe a horseback ride through the fall foliage would be satisfying to your soul?

  • Cades Cove Riding Stables is the only national park authorized riding stables of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cades Cove, and they offer guided trail rides, guided carriage rides or guided hay rides for larger groups.
  • Smokemont Riding Stables is nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains with trails suitable for all skill levels and takes you on a journey through the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • You can also check out Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa, LLC, conveniently located in Pigeon Forge, where you can also spend time at their petting zoo or mining for gems before or after your trail ride.
  • In Sevierville, you can go horseback riding and get up close and personal with deer, goats, kangaroos, camels, wallabies, and more at the Deer Farm Exotic Petting Zoo. Venture over to the Five Oaks Riding Stables where you can enjoy not only a horseback ride, but also go ziplining and have fun at their adventure park.