East Tennessee is one of the best places to explore when viewing the changing foliage that takes place this time of year. With its rolling landscape, proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other natural areas, Blount County offers endless opportunities to view the beautiful color palette leaves put on display each coming fall. From hiking trails where you can take in the colors from a higher elevation, to peaceful drives through tunnels of foliage, there are so many ways to make the most of the fall leaf viewing in Blount County.  

On Foot 

An Autumn Hike at Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountain National Park 

Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in the Smokies and located right outside of Townsend, TN. A trip to the park offers one of the best ways to see the changing leaves. Immerse yourself in them on an Autumn hike, and view them from a higher point once you’ve reached the trail’s summit. Cades Cove offers a number of different hiking trails at varying difficulty levels. The Goldmine Loop provides lake views, which can be an especially breathtaking sight when water reflects the trees. The West Prong Trail is quiet and forested. The Rocky Top/Thunderhead Mountain trail offers a panoramic view from the top. Whatever trail you choose, the leaves won’t disappoint. View the rest of Cades Cove Trails to start planning your hike.

Stroll Through the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway

If hiking sound too strenuous, you can always opt for a walking (or biking) trail that’s much more flat and accessible. The Maryville-Alcoa Greenway features a 9-mile asphalt path that goes from Springbrook Park in Alcoa to Sandy Springs Park in Maryville. There are plenty of trees for viewing along the way.  

By Car 

Take a Scenic Drive Through Townsend 

Townsend and much of Blount County is described as “the peaceful side of the Smokies.” You’ll get an authentic outdoor experience from this area, which typically isn’t overcrowded by tourists. This makes it one of the best places to observe the changing leaves. 

If you’d like to take in the views from the comfort of your car, Blount County offers a scenic drive right in the midst of it all. Foothills Parkway (US-321) is nestled within the trees between Townsend and Maryville. In addition to Foothills Parkway, there are countless roads you can explore by car in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.    

Other Things to Enjoy 

Downtown Maryville

While downtown Maryville won’t give you the best view of fall foliage, the town’s charm is enhanced by crisp autumn air, decorations, and the liveliness of the season. There’s always something special about Maryville during the fall, so it’s worth stopping by. 

Special Events for Autumn in Blount County 

In addition to exploring downtown Maryville, be sure to check out the local events taking place around Blount County. Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day, The Blue Ribbon Country Fair, and Grain & Grits are just a few of the exciting celebrations that make these East Tennessee towns great to explore during the fall.