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September 20, 2021

Tips for Enjoying Fall Foliage from Buckhorn Inn

Guests often ask us when the “best” time for fall foliage arrives in our area.  And our answer is “it depends”!  Leaf peeping season varies from year to year.  This year, the experts tell us that the colors will peak in mid-October in the high elevations, and will last through mid-November in the lower elevations.

The fall foliage makes a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains a special treat.

The time frame for fall colors varies from year to year.

Since mid-September we have noticed some beginning leaf color at the Buckhorn Inn property.  The fall color season is a long one, so guests definitely will not be disappointed whenever they come to visit.

Favorite Spots for Fall Foliage

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers many beautiful scenic drives.  Remember that there may be traffic, so allow plenty of time to reach your destination.  We recommend leaving for your drive in the morning, right after breakfast. http://Www.nps.gov.fall-suggestions

One of our favorite drives is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.  This 5.5 mile loop road is reached by driving Cherokee Orchard Road in Gatlinburg.  Your trip might include a stop at the Ogle Cabin.  This historic site features a 19th-century log cabin, a four-pen barn, and a tub mill.  

Cades Cove Loop Road is a beautiful 11-mile drive with spectacular colors.  Be aware, though, that traffic is heavy in the fall and it could take up to four hours to loop around the cove.

The Foothills Parkway has amazing views.  You should allow an hour to drive the 33-mile stretch of road.  There are several pull-offs so you can take pictures and the driver can get a chance to take in the view!

The Greenbrier entrance to the Park offers several hiking trails that allow you to see the leaves close-up.  We enjoy Porters’ Creek, Old Settlers’ and Grape Yard Ridge trails in the fall.  Later in the year, when the leaves are gone, the views seem to go on forever!

Whether you drive or go for a hike, don’t forget to pre-order your sack lunch so you can picnic amid the lovely colors.




November 9, 2020

Time for a New Thanksgiving Tradition


Thanksgiving is more than a harvest festival.  It is the beginning of the fall-winter holiday season!  Each year we pay homage to the first Thanksgiving—a feast shared by the Pilgrims who settled the Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoag natives.  Our Buckhorn Inn tradi has been to serve a Thanksgiving buffet with everyone’s favorite dishes.  To comply with the current knowledge about Covid-19 prevention, we will not be offering a buffet this year.  But the feast will be bountiful nonetheless!  Chef Frank has developed a fantastic menu for a plated dinner which will be served at 5:00 p.m.  If you are joining us for our three-day Thanksgiving package, please know that families and groups travelling together will be seated with their own groups for the holiday meal.  All couples will have their own tables.  We will be removing furniture from the dining room and library to ensure adequate social distancing between tables.  So that you may start looking forward to it, here is the menu:

Course #1 

Root Vegetable Soup with Crema and Dried Apples

Course #2 

Shrimp Martini

Main Course 

Roast Tom Turkey with Giblet Gravy

Sausage, Sage, and Cornbread Stuffing

Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes

Green Beans Almandine

Roasted Butternut Squash

Dup of Black-Bottom Mascarpone Tart


Brandy Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Mousse


We look forward to celebrating a delicious harvest meals and counting our blessings with you, our wonderful guests.

September 25, 2017

Fall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fall is a great time to be in eastern Tennessee!  The experts are predicting a magnificent display of colors this year and the Buckhorn Inn is so convenient to the Park.  The Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers have planned many free activities to help you enjoy the park.  Here are some of our favorites!

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park explodes with color in the fall.

Fall is a beautiful time of year in eastern Tennessee.

Evening Campfire

A ranger is available to tell stories and histories around the campfire from 7:30 to 8:30 pm in the Elkmont Campground.  The campfire program runs on Friday and Saturday evenings from September 16 through October 28.

The “Good Ol’ Days”

Walk the Mountain Farm Museum with a ranger and learn about the early settlers in this area.  The Museum is located by the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.  This event is available every Saturday at 10:30 am from September 16 through October 28.

Porters Creek Hike

Join a ranger in “our own backyard” to engage in an eye-opening exploration of how much, and how little, things have changed over the years in the Greenbrier Cove area.  The hike is conducted on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Hikers should meet at the Porters Creek trailhead.

Fall Amble

This is one of our favorite ways to take in all the beautiful colors of fall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Locations for this hike vary as the ranger will take you to the elevation where the leaves currently are at their peak.  The hikes begin at 10:30 and are classified as moderately difficult.  This hike is available on Sundays and Wednesdays from September 17 through October 25.

School Days at Little Greenbrier

Discover what it was like to live in a mountain community and to attend a one-room school house.  This trip back in time happens every Tuesday through October 24 at 11 am and 2 pm.  Meet at the Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse near the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area.

All of these events, and many more, are detailed at the National Park Service website.  Please visit http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/calendar.  We look forward to seeing you this fall!


October 13, 2014

Early Fall Color 2014

Fall Color at the Greenbrier

Color is already good in the Smokies.  

The Greenbrier just across the pasture from us is looking mighty good.