Where to Go For the Best Views

If leaf looking is your thing, then this map is for you.  Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, Northeast Tennessee attracts guests from all over the country in anticipation of peak fall foliage.

The peak time for fall foliage in Northeast Tennessee this year is the third week of October. An interactive map from Smokymountains.com allows you to pick the time of year to see when the trees will be at the peak color on your area. The map uses previous years data as well as this year’s weather and temperature to determine when the trees will be the most colorful.

SmokyMountains.com utilizes a refined data model that depends on a combination of factors, including historical temperature and precipitation, forecast temperature and precipitation, the type of tree known to be prominent in that geographic region, the historical trends in that area, and user data,” founder David Angotti says. “In addition to the past factors, we are introducing the capability for end-users to provide real-time leaf reports that will impact both updates and future models. However, similar to any meteorological forecast that is dependent on weather variables, the leaf predictions are not 100% accurate. That being said, after publishing our predictive fall foliage map for nearly a decade, we are confident in our data sources, process, and algorithm.”

As crisp air and cool days return to Northeast Tennessee, it is now time to start planning your trip to the picture-perfect mountains. Here are some of the best places to get the best views.

Hwy. 421 from Bristol to Shady Valley, Tenn.

1. Bays Mountain Park, Kingsport
Bays Mountain Park features over 39 miles of beautiful hiking trails that cover most of the 3500 acres of the park. Take a relaxing stroll around the lake or, for the more adventurous, make the trek up to the fire tower. No matter where you go, you’re sure to encounter natural wildlife and amazing scenery

2. Pinnacle Tower Trail, Unicoi
Located at 3,500 ft. on Buffalo Mountain in Unicoi County, Tennessee, this 40 ft tower offers beautiful views of Unicoi and Washington Counties. At the top, you can the beautiful fall trees for miles, and even though the hike is considered difficult it is worth the challenge for the view.

3. Roan Mountain State Park
Located on TN Hwy 143 at the base of the majestic 6,285 Roan Mountain, Roan Mountain State Park encompasses more than 2,000 acres dominated by rich hardwood forest along rugged ridges. With 11 trails with varying levels of difficulty, there is a hike for everyone to see the view and the colors.

4. Cherokee National Forest
Located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of east Tennessee, the Cherokee National Forest is divided into northern and southern sections by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 650,000-acre forest is the largest tract of public land in Tennessee and adjoins other national forests in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. Spanning across Northeast Tennessee, there are varying levels of hiking trails. Don’t want to get out of the car? No worries! You can take the scenic route and drive through the Forest to see the fall trees from the comfort of your car.

You can book guided hiking trips through White Blaze Outdoors,

Remember to leave our trails with no trace, so adventures can last a lifetime.

Flint Mill Trail Overlooking South Holston River in Bristol, Tenn.

Whether you plan on spending your nights beside the campfire, or relaxing in a luxurious city suite, here are our favorite places to stay.

Family fun or a romantic weekend, there will be plenty of things to do while viewing the leaves.

And, if local music and arts are your thing, check out daily events happening throughout the region.

For more trip ideas in Northeast Tennessee, click here.