As the High Country segues from summer to fall, vibrant autumnal colors start to sweep through the mountains. The High Country of North Carolina offers beautiful fall foliage and one of the longest autumn color seasons in the country. We’ve put together a guide to help you track the foliage peak times, along with a few of our favorite leaf peeping destinations.
Peak Color Forecast
The Blue Ridge Mountains offer prime fall colors for more than a month. Leaf color predictions are based on elevation. Fall colors begin at the highest elevations in early October and work their way down to the lower elevations in early November. Below is a list and a map that highlights the best places to see the fall color week by week.
Last Week of September- 6,000 Elevation (Mt Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain)
1st Week of October- 5,000 Elevation (Beech Mountain, Rough Ridge Trail MP 302.9)
2nd Week of October- 4,000 Elevation (Banner Elk, Jumpingoff Rocks Trail MP 260.3)
3rd Week of October- 3,000 Elevation (Boone, Blowing Rock, West Jefferson, Price Lake)
4th Week of October- 2,000 Elevation (Wilkesboro, Stone Mountain State Park, Yadkin Valley Overlook MP 289.8)
Use this helpful resource to check out the weekly fall color reports, written by Appalachian State University’s Department of Biology.
Favorite Places for Fall Color
Take a drive, a relaxing walk or a hike to some of our favorite destinations, offering some of the best views of the gorgeous fall scenery.
Price Lake is a popular Parkway destination that offers hiking, fishing, canoeing and picnicking. The lake is exceptionally beautiful during the fall when the vibrant colors are reflected on the lake.
This iconic destination offers stunning views, especially during the fall season. Along with the incredible views, you can also take a walk on the mile high swinging bridge, visit the zoo and explore the hiking trails. You can also check out their daily photos of Fall color
This popular uphill hike offers some of the best long range views of the Blue Ridge Parkway, including views of the nearby Linn Cove Viaduct, Grandfather Mountain and Linville Gorge.
Take a drive on this engineering marvel that hugs the face of Grandfather Mountain and enjoy the brilliant fall color.
Linville Falls offers gorgeous waterfalls and stunning views, with multiple overlooks and views of the 45-foot tall waterfall.
Fall is the most beautiful time of year in the NC High Country and the perfect time to visit!
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