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Places to Visit in North Carolina During Fall

Fall is around the corner and most of us would be interested in doing some leaf peeping. North Carolina is extremely beautiful during fall. Though Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont may top the US states for viewing Fall Colors, North Carolina is definitely not behind.

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Fall in North Carolina

These are the some of best places in North Carolina during Fall Season. Fall starts around mid September at elevations higher than 6000 ft and lasts till mid November in lower elevations of North Carolina. An autumn visit in October or early November will reward you with beautiful fall colors. Leaves begin their color change on the highest peaks and gradually work down to the lowest elevations. So begin visiting places at  higher elevations during early October and then move on to Piedmont areas and Asheville early November.

Oct 1st -15th (Elevations above 5000 ft start showing colors and reach peak)

  1. Mt. Mitchell (Peak Fall: Oct 1st and 2nd weeks)
  2. Craggy Gardens (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd week)
  3. Cold Mountain – (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd week)
  4. Grandfather Mountain (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd week)
  5. Graveyard fields (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd week)
  6. Clingmans Dome (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd week)

Oct 8th-21st (Elevations above 4000 ft start showing colors and reach peak)

  1. Blue Ridge Parkway (Blowing Rock to Asheville) (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd and 3rd week)
  2. Julian Price Memorial Park (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd and 3rd week)
  3. Blowing Rock (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd and 3rd week)
  4. Moses Cone Park (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd and 3rd week)
  5. Boone (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd and 3rd week)
  6. Devil’s Courthouse (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd & 3rd week)
  7. Mount Pisgah (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd & 3rd week)
  8. Black Balsam (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd & 3rd week)
  9. Waterrock Knob (Peak Fall: Oct 2nd & 3rd week)
  10. Linville Waterfalls (Peak Fall: Oct 3rd week)
  11. Crabtree Meadows and Falls (Peak Fall: Oct 3rd week)
  12. Maxpatch Mountain (Peak Fall: Oct 3rd week)

Oct 15th – Oct 28th (Elevations above 3000 ft start showing colors and reach peak)

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – (Peak Fall: Oct 3rd and 4th week)
  2. Looking Glass Rock (Peak Fall: Oct 3rd and 4th week)
  3. Cradle of Forestry (Peak Fall: Oct 3rd and 4th week)
  4. Looking Glass Falls (Peak Fall: Oct 3rd and 4th week)
  5. Sliding Rock (Peak Fall: Oct 3rd and 4th week)
  6. Pisgah National Forest (Peak Fall: Oct 3rd and 4th week)
  7. Nantahala National Forest (Peak Fall: 3rd and Oct 4th week)
  8. Waterfalls near Highlands and Cashier – (Oct 3rd and 4th week) – Whitewater falls, Toxaway falls, Horsepasture falls, Dry Falls, Glen Falls, Cullasaja Falls
  9. Hanging Rock State Park (Peak Fall: Oct 3rd and 4th week)
  10. Dupont State Forest (Peak time to go: October 4th week)

Oct 22nd – Nov 5th (Elevations below 3000 ft start showing colors and reach peak)

  1. Asheville – Biltmore Estate (Peak time to go: October last week and November 1st week)
  2. NC Arboretum (Peak time to go: October last week and November 1st week)
  3. Pilot Mountain State Park (Peak time to go: October last week and November 1st week)
  4. Waterfalls of Brevard (Peak time to go: October last week) – Rainbow falls, Turtleback Falls
  5. Cades Cove (Great Smoky Mountains)
  6. Black Mountain
  7. Maggie Valley and Cherokee

Nov 1st – Nov 15th

  1. Charlotte (Peak Fall: Nov 1st and 2nd weeks)
  2. Chimney Rock (Peak Fall: Nov 2nd and 3rd week)
  3. Lake Lure (Peak Fall: Nov 2nd and 3rd week)

If you are staying in Charlotte, you can view beautiful colors during the first 2 weeks of November. If you do not want to drive for 2-3 hrs, be sure to visit the following places near Charlotte for spectacular foliage.

  1. Lake Norman State Park (Peak Fall: Nov 1st week)
  2. Crowders Mountain State Park
  3. Kings Mountain State Park

We visited the following places during Fall 2009. Click on the links to see the photos taken during our Fall Trip 2009.

  1. Blue Ridge Parkway
  2. Julian Price Memorial Park
  3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We visited the following places in North Carolina during Fall 2008. We had a spectacular time viewing colors. Click on the following links to see the photos taken during our Fall Trips.

  1. Grandfather Mountain
  2. Blowing Rock
  3. Lake Norman State Park
Posted in Destinations, Fall Trips, North Carolina, Outdoors & Nature, Travel Planning & Guides, Trip Ideas, Visiting North Carolina | No Comments »

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