Fall in the Smoky Mountains

Fall is the perfect time for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The weather is mild and the colors are vibrant. There are tons of hikes for all ages and skill levels. The fall leaves are quickly moving past their peak, but there are several trails that still provide some great opportunities for leaf viewing. These hikes are in the lowest elevations of the park, where leaf color remains exceptional.
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Meigs Mountain Trail is found in the Elkmont area. It is a moderate, 4.6 round-trip mile hike. This trail will offer some great opportunities to view the leaf colors along Jakes Creek. You will pass a small 2 foot waterfall and remains of former inhabitants. The trail ends with an opportunity to view remains of an old dam.
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Schoolhouse Gap Trail is an easy, 3.8 round-trip trail, found between Townsend and Cades Cove. The trail is a wide horse path. Look on the sides of the trail for a chance to view a boar trap. There are several unmarked trails in this area, so do not venture off the main trail unless you know where you are going.
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Abram Falls is a moderate, 5.2 mile round-trip trail found in Cades Cove. This trail follows Abrams Creek and weaves through the pine-oak forest and along the ridge tops. It is one of the most scenic heights in the National Park. Keep an eye on the creek as you hike, and if you are lucky you might be able to spot a river otter.
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For more great hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park visit www.hikinginthesmokys.com.

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