Where can you find fall foliage in Middle Tennessee?

The 2023 Farmer’s Almanac says that the state will see peak colors Oct. 12-28.
Fall leaves (generic)
Fall leaves (generic)(Unsplash)
Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 12:47 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Fall is right around the corner.

With the season change comes a drop in temperature and fall foliage.

The leaves change as sunlight decreases and cold increases. In the fall, tree growth also slows the production of green chlorophyll which makes the leaves green to begin with, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. Leaf colors begin changing from green to shades of red, orange, yellow and sometimes purple.

According to the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the 2023 Farmer’s Almanac says that the state will see peak colors Oct. 12-28.

Here are some places in Middle Tennessee to check out fall foliage:

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park – Located near the heart of Nashville, the park is one of the city’s most popular attractions year-round. The trees come alive with color in late October, according to the Tennessee Department of Tourist Department.

The park also shows movies throughout the summer, through Nightlight, a 21+ outdoor movie night. On Oct. 26, Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban will air, and on Oct. 27, Halloween (1978) will air.

To buy tickets, click here.

Fall Creek Falls State Park – Located in the Cumberland Plateau, the park offers 56 miles of hiking trails with the most popular being the Falls Creek Trail. The loop trail is two miles in length and takes hikers to the highest waterfall in Tennessee at 256 feet.

On Oct. 20, the park hosts Fall Colors Spooktacular. The event is filled with foliage, boat rides, campsite decorating competitions, hayrides, campground trick-or-treating and more. The event is free, however, people are encouraged to donate and register for the event.

For lodge, cabin and campground reservations and to register, click here.

Natchez Trace State Park – The park spans almost 50,000 acres and is filled with trails to explore. For a water adventure, people can rent a kayak on Pin Oak Lake.

Montgomery Bell State Park – In Dickson County, the park features three lakes on 3,850 acres. Visitors can swim on beach shores and paddle the waters. For more information, click here.

Cheekwood – Each year, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens hosts Cheekwood Harvest. The garden display is filled with pumpkins and chrysanthemums. Each weekend, Cheekwood Harvest features performances in the beer garden. The performances are from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The weekend also features a variety of different food trucks each week. For more information, click here.

Radnor Lake State Park – The park is located in urban Nashville and is open from 6 a.m. to 20 minutes after sunset year-round. The park is 1,368 acres and has several wildlife viewing opportunities, environmental education programs, and hiking opportunities. The lake trail is accessible to people with all-terrain wheelchairs.

Harpeth River State Park – Located in Kingston Springs, the Harpeth River State Park is a linear park that manages nine river access sites along 40 river miles, according to tnstateparks.com The park is popular for kayaking, canoeing, fishing and hiking. For more information, click here.

If you’re planning on taking a drive to other parts of Tennessee to see fall foliage, here are the best places, according to the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development:

East Tennessee:

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • The Southern Belle Riverboat
  • Unicoi County

West Tennessee:

  • Reelfoot Lake State Park
  • The Memphis Botanic Garden
  • Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park