Fall in North Carolina is like nowhere else. Once you get out onto the open road or trails, you will encounter some of the best views in the country.
If you’ve only ever visited these locations in the summer, then you are in for a real treat in the fall. Take these tips to find the best opportunities for photography, relaxation and fun.
The best time to see fall foliage in North Carolina begins as early as September, but October is when it really starts to shine. Planning a trip or outing in October is the best time to see those fantastic reds, oranges and yellows, especially in the mountains.
In order to plan your trip to the fall mountains, you’ll need to decide how you want to travel. Most people take a car, although you can also take a train. If you’re hoping for something a little beyond the ordinary, consider a horseback-riding trip or an air balloon flight.
The best places to visit in NC often lie along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and that’s no coincidence. The parkway enforces a slow speed over 469 miles of road. Driving the entire length will take you across stunning vistas, from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Of course, you don’t have to go the whole way. Feel free to hop on or off, at your convenience. There are plenty of wonderful stops and side trips to make on this fall adventure.
If you’d like to put down the keys and pick up your camera instead, you might try the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Although the railroad itself dates back to the 1880s, you can ride in comfort on this rail line designed to surprise and delight. The company offers fall programming that is fun for the whole family. Choose from a variety of packages, all of which start in Bryson City, near Cherokee. When you ride on the steam engine through the twists and turns of the Great Smoky Mountains, you may feel as though you’ve gone back in time.
After the luscious green of the summer, the vibrant colors of autumn explode from North Carolina’s most popular places. Even if you have been to these locations before, it’s a truly unique experience to view them in the fall.
If you’re looking for day trips in NC mountains, you should start with Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At an amazing 522,000 acres sprawling across North Carolina and Tennessee, this park is full of activities perfect for a day out with the family or a weekend getaway. When you are ready for a little cool weather fishing or hiking, you have dozens of choices. The NPS says it is the busiest national park in the country, so be sure to get an early start if you want to avoid the crowds.
If you’re hoping to find something a little more refined, take a relaxing visit to Biltmore Estate in Asheville. This mansion nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains provides startling beauty reminiscent of a French chateau. Walk among the gardens, or head to the winery for a tasting.
While you’re there, you might consider making a weekend of it and visit one or more of the 5 best places to view fall foliage in Northeast Tennessee. A few days meandering through the mountains can give you a true breath of the fresh fall air.
Although Great Smoky Mountain National Park tends to take center stage on the fall foliage agenda, there are plenty of state parks with beautiful views, as well. You could fill up your autumn season with weekend trips.
No trip to see the mountains in the fall would be complete without a stop at Grandfather Mountain State Park. At nearly 6,000 feet, it is one of the tallest peaks in the Appalachian Mountain range. Here, you can enjoy miles of hiking and biking trails, with lookout points that guide your eye dozens of miles into the distance.
Chimney Rock State Park gives you thousands of acres of possibilities, starting only a short drive from Asheville. The park is named for Chimney Rock, a massive monolith of granite that stands a surprising 315 feet. On top of the rock is an overlook that provides a delightful 360-degree view of the valley below. A visit might be the perfect getaway from a hectic household while you have home remodeling.
Hiking is one of the best ways to spend a day in North Carolina’s mountains. Gather the family, including your four-legged friends, and don’t forget to take a pack. These hikes are sure to give you great exercise and a few photo opportunities.
If you’re visiting Grandfather Mountain or spending a day on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Beacon Heights trail is an excellent short stop. In the middle, you will find a rocky outcrop that gives you an amazing view of Grandfather Mountain. At less than a mile round-trip, it’s great for a short break.
For something to fill your time, try the Roan Mountain Hike. This adventure will take a few hours and lets you roam across blooming meadows and grassy hilltops. The hike covers a portion of the Appalachian Trail and runs a bit less than five miles.
If you’re hoping to find a trail with great views but doesn’t take all day, travel down near Highlands for the Whiteside Mountain Trail. This moderate, two-mile trail is ideal for kids and pets, with amazing lookouts on either side.
Once you are done enjoying North Carolina’s fall views, it’s great to go home to a space that’s perfect for you. When you hire Wood Construction & Remodeling, that is exactly what you get. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our experts.