NCGuide.com

The North Carolina Guide

www.ncguide.com/leaves.htm

NC Guide Home 

Search NC Guide 

Submit a Site 

E-Mail Us

 

Fall Color Guide

. Leaf Reports 
Tips & Facts 
Scenic Drives 
Fall Color Leaf Guide
 
One of the most beautiful times of the year in Western North Carolina is Autumn. The mountains seem to come alive with color. People travel from miles around just to catch a glimpse of the splendor. 

Peak foliage viewing depends on many factors. The most important factor is elevation. Trees of the same species, can peak weeks apart depending on their location. Cooler slopes, that face the north, will peak much earlier than slopes facing the sun. Certain species of trees also peak earlier than others. In addition, an early frost and unusually wet or dry summers will affect the process differently. 

Estimated Peak Viewing Times 

Higher Elevations October 1 - 15
Lower Elevations October 15 - 31

Scenic Drives 
Looking for that perfect autumn vista? Choose one of these scenic drives and wind 
your way through the Western North Carolina mountains splashed with the hues of 
autumn. You may also want to consider one of these craft excursions to understand 
the beauty that captures the hearts and imaginations of the region's artists and crafts 
people. 

Craggy Gardens 
Craggy Gardens is a wonderful place for viewing the late summer wildflowers and 
bright scarlet colored berries of the mountain ash. Bring a picnic lunch, hike some of 
the Parkway’s many trails and take in the panoramic views of the Blue Ridge 
Mountains. To reach this area, take the Blue Ridge Parkway north from Asheville 
for about 20 miles. (One way driving time: 45 minutes.) 

Grandfather Mountain 
From Asheville take I-40 to Hwy 70 at the Old Fort exit. Continue east on 70 to 
221 north. Take 221 to Linville Falls area. Pass the Blue Ridge Parkway and at the 
intersection of 181 and 105 look for a billboard directing you to Grandfather 
Mountain. View the native animal habitats, enjoy hiking and picnicking and test your 
courage on the mile high swinging bridge which also provides a great vantage point 
for viewing autumn’s rich colors. (One way driving time: 1 hour 45 minutes.) 

Mount Mitchell 
Take the Blue Ridge Parkway north. Exit NC 128 from the Parkway to Mount 
Mitchell State Park. This peak, the highest east of the Mississippi, provides 
sweeping views of autumn color on the slopes below. In addition to expansive 
views, the Park offers an observation tower, hiking trails, picnic areas, a natural 
history museum, and a restaurant. (One way driving time: 45 minutes.) 

Mount Pisgah/Graveyard Fields 
Take the Blue Ridge Parkway south from Asheville toward Mount Pisgah, where 
you will find picnic areas, hiking trails and a restaurant. Mount Pisgah was originally 
part of the 100,000-acre Biltmore Estate bought in the late 1800s by George W. 
Vanderbilt. Continue on the Parkway to Graveyard Fields (milepost 418) where you 
can take moderate 2.29 mile hike. Yellowstone Falls can also be seen from an 
overlook on the Parkway. Return to Asheville on the Parkway heading north. (One 
way driving time: 45 minutes.) 
 
 

 
 

 

NC Guide Home 

Search NC Guide 

Submit a Site 

E-Mail Us 


This page was designed by SchWeb Programming and Design Copyright 1998.