We are at peak or just past peak leaf peeping season in East, Middle and the Cumberland Plateau regions of Tennessee. This season was unique as colors in Middle Tennessee tracked ahead of their Plateau and East Tennessee neighbors. Near peak conditions are emerging in the woods and forests west of the Tennessee River. High winds and storms across the state on Oct. 26 took down a significant portion of leaves that had already turned. Fortunately, fall foliage is an enhancement, but not the only reason, visitors flock to Tennessee State Parks in autumn.
Where are the best parks to see these colors change?
Most of our State Parks have wonderful views of the trees. Park staff suggests these state park locations are among some of the best places to see the leaves change color:
Color Watch as of Monday, October 27
Big Ridge – Reserve a Cabin
Peak color has arrived around the Norris Lake and good weather this weekend make firey colors stand out one last time.
This weekend will be colorful and lovely around Tellico Lake!
Norris Dam – Reserve a Cabin
On the western end of Norris Lake, colors are show forth. Fall Color Cruises are running through Oct. 31. Enjoy the wonderful mosaic of natural colors during a two hour cruise on Norris Dam State Park’s pontoon boat. Groups are encouraged to register early. Limited to 10 people per ride. Rides begin at 11 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. EDT. For more information call (865) 426-7461 or email email@example.com.
Roan Mountain – Reserve a Cabin
The most brilliant yellows and reds have fallen. We’ve had good weather throughout October and are left with lots of good peeping season memories.
Cumberland Mountain – Reserve a Cabin
Folks are coming to see the famous CCC Bridge and other memorable park structures made with Crab Orchard stone. We lost some color from high winds, but it’s still the best view when dining on the Plateau.
Fall Creek Falls – Book an Inn Room online or Reserve a Cabin
The Plateau is now slightly past peak leaf peeping season but the weather is fantastic.
Frozen Head – Reserve a Cabin
Frozen Head is now offering some of the most splendid colors on the Northern Cumberland Plateau.
Pickett – Reserve a Cabin
Colors are past peak but visitors are still coming to Pickett to stay in the famous stone cottages built by CCC workers more than 75 years ago.
Get your hike on this Halloween Weekend along the Southern Cumberland Plateau. Weekend weather forecast is sunny with daytime highs in the low sixties through Sunday. Ranger Jason says the colors in South Cumberland State Park and on the Cumberland Trail are within a few days of peak.
Standing Stone – Reserve a Cabin
The last weekend of October continues to draw visitors to the often overlooked yellows and orange just south of Dale Hollow Lake.
Montgomery Bell – Book an Inn Room online or Reserve a Cabin
Last of the oak trees peaked this week and high winds took down most of the remaining color along Woodhaven Lake. Season came earlier and didn’t last as long as usual this year.
Colors are past peak, but Radnor trails still offer an oasis in metropolitan Nashville.
Tims Ford – Reserve a Cabin
Tims Ford Reservoir is great in early November for vacationers, golfers and hikers.
Meeman-Shelby Forest – Reserve a Cabin
Meeman-Shelby Forest is starting to show some nice color. The reds of Virginia Creeper and Dogwood really stand out against the greens and golds. With good rain last week, this weekend our colors should really come alive and should peak the first week of November.
Natchez Trace – Book an Inn Room online – Reserve a Cabin
The park and forest are known for their evergreens, but smart park goers also known where to look (or how to ask) when finding the hardwoods lining the park’s four different lakes that feature brilliant reds and oranges. Sourwoods are currently showing some color, but peak is at the end of October.
If you have specific questions about a state park or particular fall color leaf watch, you can call 1-888-TN-PARKS or ask.TNSTATEPARKS@tn.gov for updates on a specific park.
Check out inn and cabin reservation options for all our Tennessee State Parks.
Check out the full October Event Schedule for Tennessee State Parks
Statewide Fall Foliage Info
Our partners at the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development also have put together a helpful Leaf Watch feature called Fall Foliage Info that provides current foliage information from across the state.