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Discover what’s great about Bryson City, a peaceful mountain town bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with unique shops, galleries, lodging and restaurants.

Surrounding our small town, there’s a rich vacation paradise — rafting and kayaking on the Nantahala River, boating and fishing on Fontana Lake, scenic railroad excursions, world class trout streams and mountain biking on the famous Tsali trails. We have creeks for tubing, trails for hiking and horseback riding, and beautiful waterfalls. We’re home to the Cherokee Indian Reservation and the North Carolina half of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

And we’re close by — just an hour west of Asheville and three hours north of Atlanta.

Upcoming Events in the North Carolina Smokies

Printable Current Event Schedule (pdf)
Complete Fall Events Schedule (pdf)

Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express – October weekends. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad train rides to the Pumpkin Patch. Meet Peanuts characters, free pumpkin per child, great activities.

25th Annual Bryson City Chili Cook Off & Fall Festival- Oct. 17, 11 am - 6 pm (Cook Off ends at 3 pm); at the Train Depot. Sample chili & vote for your favorite ($5 wristband). Enjoy music and local arts and crafts.

The Inspirations Gospel Weekend - October 15-17. "Fall Color Singing in the Smokies".

Stecoah Harvest Weekend - Oct. 16-18. Campfire on Friday with storytelling. Festival with music, arts, crafts and food on Saturday. Gospel Singing on Sunday.

Entertainment – Music in the Mountains Free concert at the Bryson City train depot featuring The Josh Fields Band, Oct. 17, 6:30 - 8 pm. Nantahala Brewing Co. – Trail Magic Ale #12 Release Party, Oct. 16-17. Portion of proceeds benefits Appalachian Trail programs. Oconaluftee Visitor Center – Old time music jam, Oct. 17, 1-3 pm. Derailed Bar & Lounge – music every Saturday, 8:30 pm. Harrah's Cherokee Event Center – Masters of Illusion, Oct. 17, 7:30 pm; Tony Bennett, Oct. 23, 9 pm. Smoky Mountain Center, Franklin – 7:30 pm. Jeanne Robertson, Oct. 17; Josh Turner, Oct. 23.

Swain County Farmer's Market - Every Friday, May-Oct, 9 am - 1 pm. Island Street, Bryson City.

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Fall Color Update

Friday, October 9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park — Many high elevation areas (above 4,500') are near, to slightly past, peak this week. Areas around Newfound Gap are colorful now. There is still some green at the higher elevations though, which means color will continue to develop over the next few days. Rain on Friday 10/9 and Saturday 10/10 may strip some leaves off high elevation trees. Depending on how the storm develops, views along the first half of Clingmans Dome Road and in the higher reaches of Newfound Gap Road should be good though early next week.

Middle and low elevations are still predominantly green with a scattering of fall color here and there. The fall leaf season in these lower elevations is still a few weeks away, but signs of change are becoming more noticeable as many of the greens are beginning to fade, giving hints of the colors that will develop later in the month. Some vibrant reds have developed on dogwoods, sourwoods, and a few maples. The vivid red leaves of Virginia creeper vine are very noticeable climbing tree trunks now. Overall however, there's not a great deal of fall color in the lower elevations yet -- give it a few more weeks!

Fall flowers such as purple asters, white asters, black-eyed Susans, pale jewelweed, and goldenrod continue to bloom in profusion along roadsides and trails.