Outdoors Briefs

Experience sorghum season in the Smokies

The sorghum harvest season is back at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and visitors to Cades Cove will have chances throughout the fall to enjoy demonstrations of traditional Appalachian sorghum syrup-making. 

Demonstrations are held outside the Cades Cove Visitor Center during daytime hours and will take place: Friday through Sunday, Nov. 4-6; Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 10-13; Friday through Sunday, Nov. 18-20; and Friday through Sunday, Nov. 25-27.

A cultural experience for thousands of park visitors throughout the years, sorghum syrup-making demonstrations will include free tastings of the sweet, grassy syrup for the first time since 2019. Tastings were not offered for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For many families living in and around the Smokies before the creation of the national park, fall was a time for harvesting sweet sorghum and processing sorghum syrup — a sweet treat that many combine with butter on hot biscuits or pancakes or mix into porridge and grits. Today, the smell of simmering syrup still summons memories of cool days, autumn leaves and communities coming together to harvest and mill their crops. 

Muddy Pond Sorghum products can be purchased in-person at demonstrations, online at the Great Smoky Mountains Association web store and in all 11 of the park’s visitor center stores. 

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