Western North Carolina is a special place to visit no matter the season, but the Autumn brings with it the incredible burst of seasonal color. Travelers from all over the country travel to our mountains to experience the beauty of Leaf Season. Read on for an introduction to some of our favorite ways to spend Fall days!
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Things To Do:
The Biltmore Estate
Where to Stay
Fall Foliage Planning Guide
Every year, every season, the Blue Ridge Mountains draw thousands of visitors looking to experience the majesty of our hiking trails. Autumn is a particularly note worthy season because of the art show of color that our thick foliage creates. Beginning in September, the leaves begin to tint to orange and red, and by the end of November, it's a color sensation. There are hundreds of hikes that showcase this change, and we've highlighted a few of our favorites below!
Hickory Nut Falls Trail
Hickory Nut Falls Trail is located in Chimney Rock State Park - just 25 miles from Asheville, NC. We love this hike for several reasons, but its accessibility to hikers of all levels ranks near the top. The trail itself is wide and gently sloped and it leads to the base of the 404 foot Hickory Nut Falls waterfall - one of the most popular attractions in the park. All in all, it's about a 1.5 mile loop trail and it's rather shady - making it a great choice for those hot Fall days!
To get to Chimney Rock State Park from Asheville, follow I-240 East to Exit 9 for Highway 74A East to Bat Cave. Follow Highway 74A and Highway 64 to Chimney Rock Village. The Park entrance is located on the right. A trail map from the visitor's center will indicate the trailhead.
Rough Ridge is a short hike with a big payoff. Breathtaking views of Grandfather Mountain and Linn Cove Viaduct can be enjoyed at the end of a short uphill hike from the Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 302.8. All in all, the hike is just under 2 miles round trip. The summit at Rough Ridge is 4,773 feet in elevation, and the expansive, sweeping views of the mountains and valleys in the distance are best enjoyed during the fall season, when the leaves are a swirl of color.
To get to Rough Ridge, head to Milepost 302.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is an easily accessible parking area, and the trail starts just to the right of it. Turn left on the trail when you reach the intersection with the Tanawha Trail, following the sign toward Linn Cove. Cross the bridge over the creek and climb through the woodlands to experience the views from the boardwalk. Please note, this climb can be strenuous and often muddy!