Enjoying the Fall Color in the Smokies…

The Campground we are staying at is Twin Creek RV Park, in Gatlinburg, TN. We have found back roads and the Foothills Parkway to detour around the city of Gatlinburg. I find it a jarring experience (think totally touristy shops, restaurants, entertainment etc.) driving through the center of town after spending time in the National Park.

We often stay at Twin Creek when we are exploring the northern side of the Smokies, most years for a couples weeks in the spring and fall. We arrived at the RV Park to find the place decked out in fall decorations…

Twin Creek RV Park Office - Gatlinburg, TN

Twin Creek RV Park Office – Gatlinburg, TN


Most of the flowers out front were past peak bloom…
one of the last flowers still blooming outside the RV Park Office

one of the last flowers still blooming outside the RV Park Office


We checked in and set up…
Our Campsite - Twin Creek RV Park

Our Campsite – Twin Creek RV Park


The sites right next to us are empty but I am sure they will fill this weekend.
looking at Big Red and the Caboose, next to four empty sites

looking at Big Red and the Caboose, next to four empty sites


Some individual campsites are really into Halloween decorations…
Halloween decor at campsite # 1

Halloween decor at campsite # 1


The campground gets into it, too.
amazing wind gusts rolled through the campground and blew it all over

amazing wind gusts rolled through the campground and blew it all over

Halloween around the campground - Twin Creek RV Park

Halloween around the campground – Twin Creek RV Park


Monday, we decided to go back down Newfound Gap Road to see more peak fall foliage. The weather forecast for the next five days calls for lots of rain and wind, and this might be our best chance for peak colors… The Tennessee side of the park where we are staying, is still pretty green and has at least another week to go for some color.

We stopped at the National Park sign for a quick photo opp (Sadly, it’s not one of our best as the sun was shining right at the camera!)

Holly & John at the entrance sign

Holly & John at the entrance sign


We continued past the crowds at Sugarlands Visitor Center and along Newfound Gap Road. The traffic was extremely heavy, and it finally dawned on us that it was Columbus Day – a three-day holiday for many. We decided to keep going a bit and try and enjoy the foliage.
view from Foothills Parkway - Carlos Campbell Overlook

view from Foothills Parkway – Carlos Campbell Overlook


It was hard to park Big Red in overlooks and deal with all the other park visitors, so we decided to drive over to Chimneys Picnic Area and have lunch, and head back to our campsite. We have lots of time in the Smokies and lots of things we would like to do.
Chimneys Picnic area - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Chimneys Picnic area – Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Chimneys Picnic Area - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Chimneys Picnic Area – Great Smoky Mountain National Park


We saw Southern Asters and Christmas Fern near our picnic table, and a bloom left on the picnic table that I couldn’t identify…
unidentified, found on table, Chrimneys  Picnic Area - Great smoky Mountains National Park

unidentified, found on table, Chrimneys Picnic Area – Great smoky Mountains National Park


Overhead Leaves - Chimneys Picnic Area - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Overhead Leaves – Chimneys Picnic Area – Great Smoky Mountain National Park


tunnel along Newfound Gap Road

tunnel along Newfound Gap Road


emerging from the tunnel - Newfound Gap Road - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

emerging from the tunnel – Newfound Gap Road – Great Smoky Mountain National Park


Newfound Gap Road - Bright red sumac, yellow, red, pink and gold from maples

Newfound Gap Road – Bright red sumac, yellow, red, pink and gold from maples

Newfound Gap Road - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Newfound Gap Road – Great Smoky Mountain National Park


The road follows along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River for a ways…
West Prong Little Pigeon River - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

West Prong Little Pigeon River – Great Smoky Mountain National Park


Newfound Gap Road - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Newfound Gap Road – Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Newfound Gap Road - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Newfound Gap Road – Great Smoky Mountain National Park


Newfound Gap Road - Great Smoky Mountain National Park - very crowded on Columbus Day : )

Newfound Gap Road – Great Smoky Mountain National Park – very crowded on Columbus Day : )


Newfound Gap Road - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Newfound Gap Road – Great Smoky Mountain National Park


Newfound Gap Road - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Newfound Gap Road – Great Smoky Mountain National Park


We made our way back to the campsite, and enjoyed the peace and quiet of a beautiful evening outside.

About Holly Ritger

I am retired, enjoying being a grandmother, traveling to National Parks and other interesting places in our RV with my husband of 43 years, and visiting with friends and family. Hobbies: photography, learning about wildflowers and birds, and trees, and reading from my kindle.
This entry was posted in Campsite, Fall Color, Tennessee and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Enjoying the Fall Color in the Smokies…

  1. placestheygo says:

    You got some gorgeous photos of foliage. I love the reds!! That is a color missing out west although some of the aspens do get a brilliant orange. Too bad so many others decided to make the same trip.

    Campgrounds in the east do enjoy decorating for Halloween. There are some very nice displays. Enjoy your time in TN!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Holly Ritger says:

      Thanks Pam… Interesting observation about Halloween decorations and regional differences. I haven’t been camping out west more than once for Halloween and I don’t remember seeing any fall decor out in Utah, Montana or Wyoming when we were there. The whole town of Gatlinburg, TN is decked out with corn stalks, orange bows, pumpkins, and scarecrows. If there weren’t so many tourists hanging out, I would go to town and take photos but I’m going to pass! I would rather stay in the park. : )

      Like

  2. Frank & Ann Wolak says:

    Thanks for sharing your pictures with us. Since I cannot be there myself it is nice to see all the trees beginning to change colors. Enjoy & be safe. Ann & Frank

    Liked by 1 person

    • Holly Ritger says:

      The co.ors are mostly in the North Carolina part of the park. The colors in Tennessee are holding green, stubbornly. We have five more nights in the forties, and highs around 60. Maybe the cool temps will nudge the fall color process!

      Like

  3. The fall colors are spectacular and your photos are wonderful! What a great trip!

    Like

  4. tybeegal says:

    Glad you are seeing some great fall colors. I saw some in NC this weekend. Sure miss those colors on Tybee.

    Like

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