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Discover Bryson City

Fall colors and much more are waiting for you in this small mountain town

Calling all leaf lookers and pumpkin spiced, fall fanatics. If you are looking for a quintessential charming town to ride, bike, and hike your way through, without the massive crowds that other towns in the Smokies bring during the fall months, look no further. This fall, discover Bryson City, the North Carolina gem that exudes relaxation and offers outdoor splendor and activities for all. 

Bordering the southern side of the famed Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the main North Carolina entrance to the park, Bryson City is the laid-back, small mountain town you have

 been looking for. This alluring destination is an easily strollable, walkable, hikeable, rideable town full of must-see’s including arts and crafts galleries with working artisans, a bike shop, two fly fishing shops, a historical museum, a fly-fishing museum, an aquarium, an excursion train, two breweries and not to mention a functioning steam train and depot! Fall colors appear first at the highest elevations and work their way down over a 5-6-week season. The town itself puts on a natural spectacle of fall color and the seasonally decorated streets add to the alluring nature of the area during this time. 

Once fall colors start to make their appearance, the mountain town transforms into a kaleidoscope of color. One of the best and most unique ways to experience the vibrant landscape in Bryson City is aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The rail excursions will take you through tunnels, across rivers and lakes, through mountain valleys, and into a deep river gorge...

Those looking to hike through the color in search of the best views, head to the highest peak in the Smokies – Clingmans Dome. The 54-foot observation tower allows for a 360-degree view of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Appalachian Trail crosses Clingmans Dome, marking the highest point along its 2,144-mile journey.  

For a more leisurely stroll, enjoy leaf-peeping through Deep Creek Recreation Area where guests can hike amongst the trees along trails to three cascading waterfalls, ranging from 25 to 90 feet tall. 

For the more upbeat adventure-seekers looking for a fully immersive fall experience, zip through magnificent colorful canopies via zip lines. Channel your inner Tarzan and explore the beauty of the national parks and forests by swinging or zipping through the treetops. Carolina Bound Adventures has 2 miles of mountain zip line with panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park & Fontana Lake. 

Finally… Bryson City boasts a plethora of themed glamping options, cabins, boutique hotels, B&Bs, Airbnbs, VRBOs, and more to complete your fall retreat. Find it all at