5 Best Places to View Fall Foliage in Northeast Tennessee

Best Places to View Fall Foliage in Northeast Tennessee_Wood Construction and RemodelingFall in northeast Tennessee is absolutely magical. So if you are thinking about moving to northeast Tennessee or are new to northeast Tennessee, you will love the changing season each year because fall here is absolutely breathtaking.

In fact, people come here from all over the country just to see the full spectrum of fall colors of the Appalachian Mountains located in northeast Tennessee. Fall is when the leaves provide a picturesque display that will have anyone that looks upon them in complete awe.

That's why we want to give you a list of the best places to view the fall foliage in northeast Tennessee so you can enjoy this beauty as well. But let's go over a few basics first.


When Do Leaves Change Color in Northeast Tennessee_Wood Construction and RemodelingWhen Do the Leaves Change Color in Northeastern Tennessee? 

The leaves change color from early to mid-October in the higher elevations (above 4,000 feet). Then peak in the lower elevations somewhere between mid-October and early November.



Best Way to Drive the Fall Foliage in Northeast Tennessee_Wood Construction and RemodelingWhat Is the Best Way to Drive the Tennessee Fall Foliage?

According to nps.gov, the best way to enjoy the fall foliage is to drive the Clingmans Dome Road, the Blue Ridge Parkway, or the Foothills Parkway. Additionally, if you're looking for more fun things to do in northeast Tennessee or need other trip ideas, there are plenty of those as well.


What Are the Best Places to View Tennessee Fall Foliage?


1. Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium - 853 Bays Mountain Park Road, Kingsport, TN 37660 - 423-229-9447

This picturesque park has 3500 acres of park, a 44-acre lake, 39 miles of hiking trails, 32 miles of trails that are approved for mountain biking, high ropes, low ropes, a 310-foot thrill ride zip line called The Flying Squirrel, a state-of-the-art Planetarium Theater (which is closed right now because of COVID-19 but hopefully you can see that next year), and plenty of wildlife. And in the fall, you will have an up-close and personal view of all the fall foliage. So Bays Mountain Park is a place you and your family can enjoy year-round.


2. Norris Dam State Park - 125 Village Green Circle, Rocky Top, TN 37769 - 865-425-4500

If you want to see Fall's array of colors, you can experience it all from the tranquil waters of Norris Reservoir. Norris Dam State Park is located on over 4,000 acres and has more than 800 miles of shoreline. This lake offers houseboat and pontoon boat rentals, as well as other types of boat rentals all of which would be perfect for viewing the fall foliage from the comfort of an open air boat. This park also offers cabins, camping, events, and other fun things to do if you want to make a weekend of it.


3. Cherokee National Forest - Elizabethton, TN 37312

The Cherokee National Forest is nestled in the Southern Appalachian Mountains in East Tennessee. The park is a 650,000-acre forest and is divided by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park offers varying levels of hiking trails. The USDA Forest Service opened a variety of trails and access points to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in mid-May 2020.  Alternatively, you can drive through the mountains and forests to see the breathtaking fall foliage from the comfort and safety of your vehicle.


4. Pinnacle Mountain Lookout at Buffalo Mountain Park - 570 Highridge Rd, Johnson City, TN 37604 - 423-283-5815

Buffalo Mountain Park sits on 725-acres and is open year-round. The Pinnacle Mountain Lookout was transformed from a wooden structure to a metal structure in 2011 and includes an all-metal covered viewing platform perfect for enjoying the leaves changing colors in the fall. This structure is a 40-foot tower and it offers views of this area's highest peaks. These views include Mt Mitchell in North Carolina, as well as the Unaka Mountain and the Roan Mountain in eastern Tennessee. You will also be able to see views of the Tennessee cities of Johnson, Unicoi, and Erwin. There is also a 5.9 hike and bike Pinnacle Mountain Trail that can be taken up to the tower.


5. Roan Mountain State Park - 527 TN-143, Roan, TN 37687 - 423-547-3900    

Roan Mountain State Park sits on more than 2,000 acres and is thick with beautiful hardwood forests and the winding Doe River that makes its way through the center of the park. This is the perfect place to take in all the fall foliage or make a vacation of it by reserving one of the 30 cabins or the 107-site RV and tent campgrounds.  Roan Mountain State Park has a variety of fun things to do. You can fish, hike along the creeks, tour the old Miller Farmstead, hike or bike along the 12 miles of trails with varying difficulty levels, and so much more.


The Top Recommended Hiking Trails in Northeast Tennessee

Top Recommended Hiking Trails to View Fall Foliage in Northeast Tennessee_Wood Construction and Remodeling

Here are some of the top recommended hiking trails perfect for viewing the fall foliage in northeast Tennessee:

Appalachian Trail
Oconaluftee River Trail
Look Rock Tower
Inspiration Point on Alum Cave Trail
Sutton Ridge Overlook (inside of Cosby National Park)

For your convenience, here is a Park Trails Map for any of the Tennessee State Park trails. Fall in northeast Tennessee is one of the most breathtaking places on earth. You don't want to miss it!


With COVID-19 still ever-present in all our lives, it's extremely important to check your desired destination to confirm whether it's open or closed and to follow all the local safety guidelines regarding this virus. When you are outdoors and around others, please wear your mask and keep at least six feet of distance between you and any other visitors who are there enjoying the views.  


What's Next?

If you are new to northeast Tennessee or are moving to northeast Tennessee from another area and are interested in a renovation, porch addition, deck, fencing, or anything else, please Contact Us today. Wood Construction & Remodeling only employs professionals who are properly licensed, insured, bondable, and thoroughly vetted and we promise to treat you and your project with all the care and respect it deserves.