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5 Best Knoxville Trails in the Fall

Have you been looking for a good place to hike and see fall colors in Knoxville? Well look no further! Here are our top 5 destinations for fall colors in Knoxville. Put on your WearKnox apparel, grab your friends and family, and check our some of these beautiful spots.

The Bluffs

One of Knoxville’s best views for fall colors can be found hidden just beyond a trail on the Tennessee River. The Bluffs is a great place to get a good short hike in and see all the colors of the Fall. Located just off of Cherokee Trail, you will need to park in a gravel parking lot and walk a little under a mile and then you’ll be standing over the Tennessee River with a great view of the University of Tennessee campus, the Sunsphere, and more all while being surrounded by beautiful scenery. 

The Bluffs at sunset. (photo credit: user u/leak22 on Reddit)

House Mountain 

Are you looking for a fall hike that provides an invigorating mountain-top view? House Mountain is located just eight miles from Knoxville, making it accessible for a morning or afternoon hike. The trails around the mountain are a total of 5.8 miles, but to get directly to the top the hike is only 1.5 miles. The trail can be steep and winding at times, but the view is definitely worth the climb. Once you get to the top of House Mountain you will see a view that overlooks the city of Knoxville. The expanse of the Smoky Mountains is visible in the distance, and in the fall all of this will be included with the beautiful colors of fall leaves. 

Charlie’s Bunion

Hiking Charlies Bunion is an extensive but extraordinary experience. This trail is located in the midst of the Smoky Mountain National Park. The drive to get there is long from Knoxville but scenic. The hike in total is 8.1 miles out and back, and included is a long climb to get to the top, totaling 1,640 feet of elevation gain. But the view is the reward, an expansive overlook of the Smoky Mountains unlike no other. Spending a day in the Smoky Mountains hiking Charlies Bunion is the perfect way to celebrate autumn and all that it holds.

Seven Islands State Birding Park

If you’re interested in going on a little game of hide and seek with nature, you should visit the Seven Islands State Birding Park! The park’s diverse landscape has beautiful views and has seen over 190 different species of birds. The 416 acres feature 8 miles of natural trails, old barns, views of the Smoky Mountains, and a canoe/kayak launch on the French Broad River. So while you’re walking along and admiring the beautiful red and orange fall leaves, you might notice the blue flash of an indigo bunting or spy the yellow of a goldfinch. Head to the park’s website to print off their Birds of Seven Islands Checklist.

Ijams

Ijams is one of the most beautiful and popular spots to hike in Knoxville. It’s located close to downtown Knoxville and covers 315 acres with a lot of diversity in scenery. Tennessee is well known for its fall colors, and Ijams is an excellent place to get the full experience. Not only does Ijam boast some of the best scenery in Knoxville, but it also has an excellent visitor center. Throughout the year Ijams also hosts a variety of events for both kids and adults. They have a hiking club, a Nature Play Club for kids, and they also host different nature based workshops. Whether you’re just visiting or you live in Knoxville, Ijams is a must see destination. You can checkout Ijams’ website for even more information.

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