10 Fall Color Spots Near Asheville
After a summer of generous rain and sun, experts predict this year's fall foliage will be brilliant in the North Carolina mountains. And with a 5,000-foot elevation range in the Asheville area, the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains have one of the longest-running fall color shows in the country. Peak color begins in early October in the highest elevations and ends in the lowest elevations by early November.
Blue Ridge Parkway (Oct. 29, 2011)
See the first autumn colors in early October on Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Rockies, with panoramic mountain views from the observation deck.
Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of top scenic drives in the United States. Stop at many overlooks, picnic and hike. Best color is the last three weeks of October, varying with elevation. So if you don’t immediately see color, keep driving!
Stop at Graveyard Fields along the Blue Ridge Parkway in mid-October for the some of the most brilliant color in the mountains. Relax by the waterfall or walk through the highland valley. Nearby, hike across mountain balds at Black Balsam Knob for endless views.
Capture the most photographed waterfall in North Carolina, Linville Falls, surrounded by fall color in mid-October. Nearby, see stunning views of Linville Gorge with easy hikes to the top of Table Rock and Hawksbill Mountain.
Visit two areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in mid-October. Watch elk graze in the Cataloochee Valley as the male elk make their legendary mating bugling calls, walk woodland trails and explore historic buildings. From Newfound Gap, hike on the Appalachian Trail to Charlies Bunion for spectacular views.
Raft down the Nantahala River or take a zip line canopy tour through the colorful woodlands of the Nantahala National Forest in mid-October.
Explore the 8,000-acre Biltmore in late October by foot, bike, car, river raft, horse or Segway. See colorful fall gardens, mountain views and colorful forests.
Ride the elevator or hike to the famous Chimney Rock with 75-mile views across Lake Lure. The peak fall color show here usually extends into early November.
For more things to see and do in the Asheville area this fall, visit the RomanticAsheville.com Fall Color Guide.
added: October 1, 2010
updated: September 12, 2012
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