Autumn is just a few days away and some are still holding onto the last few days of summer, but fall is by far one of my favorite seasons. Having been born and raised in the Smoky Mountains, it must be in my DNA because I cannot help falling in love with fall every year! For those of you dreading the end of summer and for those of you who have never experienced a true Smoky Mountain autumn, here are some of my favorite things about the season:

Leaf peeping: The pallet of colors we experience here is amazing and absolutely beautiful.  The array of the reds, yellow and oranges are stunning, and I would encourage anyone to take in the natural beauty. Due to the elevation differences anywhere from 1,500 feet above sea level to almost 6,000 feet in Graham County, we have almost a month of color for peepers to enjoy.

Apple picking: There is nothing better than a crisp fall day, bundling up in sweaters and heading out to the orchard to sip on hot apple cider, eat an apple donut (have you ever had one of these? If not, you need to, now!) and then fill a sack full of the freshest apples.  The leaves falling, the smell of a fire and apple picking, this is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Halloween: Halloween is the culmination of the fall activities and is taken very seriously.  It is not just about dressing up and getting free candy (but, hello, bonus.) it’s also about haunted houses, trail walks, corn mazes—there’s no limit to the haunted activities you are apt to find in the Smokies. So, anticipate some spooky fun if you are around in October!

These are just a few of the many things that make fall in the mountains an amazing thing. Hopefully you will take the opportunity and enjoy just some of the activities!picking