The rule of thumb for the Smoky Mountains National Park is that the fall colors usually peak the second or third weekend of October. This was the third weekend. We talked to a park ranger who said the colors were incredible mid-week, then it rained and they turned drab. We just missed the peak.
Still, it’s never a bad time to be in Cades Cove. It’s always a good way to spend a day in the mountains. They had special events to go along with the fall colors. Katie really got into the blacksmith forging demonstration at the visitors center. The Cable mill was open and grinding corn into corn meal.