Foothills Parkway is a scenic driving route in the Smoky Mountains with excellent views of stunningly vibrant fall colors.
Fall on the Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway
Foothills Parkway is perhaps the best location for a leisurely fall drive. Located at the very edge of the Smoky Mountains, and away from the larger attractions, this route is somewhat of a hidden gem. If you and your family are looking for low-key togetherness, this is the route for you!
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Although well known, the parkway is generally clear of traffic. This really helps to create a peaceful experience, compared to busier spots in the park. Many times, you will be the only car in a pull-off. This makes it easy to take your time with photos, without feeling like you are annoying other visitors or monopolizing precious parking spots.
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Foothills Parkway features all of the traditional fall colors, including red, orange, and yellow. But in my experience, this scenic drive has a higher concentration of vibrant reds than other locations such as Newfound Gap Road, which tends to have more yellow and orange groupings. Since red hues seem to be a favorite for many sightseers, this is a huge selling point.
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Since this road is removed from the tourist area, it’s a good opportunity to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a meal with a view. Before you leave, keep in mind that, once on the parkway, you won’t be able to buy anything. This means you should be making your supply list and checking it twice. Happy exploring, y’all!
Don’t forget to check out all of our other local adventures!
Considerations for Families:
- must pack food and drinks, no stores along the driving route
- no guard rails at many pull-off locations
- no readily accessible restrooms along the driving route
- no gas stations along the driving route
- bears are active in this location, be prepared with bear mace