Fall Color Cruises

Fall is a great time to get out and experience the beauty of “Tennessee’s Grand Canyon”.

Fall Color Cruise on the River Gorge ExplorerChattanooga's most beautiful fall foliage is expected to occur between late October to mid-November this year. The best views in the area can be seen from any of our daily River Gorge Explorer cruises. An experienced Tennessee Aquarium naturalist leads each two-hour excursion, pointing out wildlife and historic points of interest along the way. Guests are invited to enjoy the awesome autumn scenery from the observation deck while cruising through the Gorge. (Tip: Don't forget your camera!) View our daily cruise schedule here.


River Gorge Explorer on the TN River

Special Fall Cruise Events: 

Serious leaf peepers will want to register for one of our longer River GORGEous Fall Color Cruises. You’ll enjoy a 3 hour, 34-mile fall foliage cruise through the entire Tennessee River Gorge during peak color season. (Please include additional time for a half hour bus ride.) These special cruises occur on the following dates:

October 22 - 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

October 22 - 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm 

October 29 - 10:00 am to 1:00 pm 

October 29 - 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm (Special theme: Preserving Tennessee's Grand Canyon)

November 5 - 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

November 5 - 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm (Special theme: Civil War History with Jim Ogden)


Did you know?

"The north side of the Tennessee River Gorge receives a full day of direct sunlight all year long enabling softwood, evergreen trees like Hemlock, White Pine and Red Cedar to dominate. The southern side of the Gorge faces north and receives significantly less sunlight through the year and hardwood, deciduous trees like Tulip Poplar, Oak and Sycamore cannot produce enough food to remain active so they go dormant and shed their leaves until a sufficient amount of sunlight returns in the spring."

- Naturalist Betsy Bowdon