High Country Fall Colors

Image from Todd Bush

Your Guide to Seeing the High Country Fall Foliage

There’s never a bad time to visit the charming mountain towns within North Carolina’s High Country. Each season offers a different experience and an array of activities. As the crisp fall air rolls in, you’ll notice the treetops change from green to vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow. What makes fall such a fantastic time to visit the High Country is taking in the fall foliage.

When to View the Fall Colors

The leaves in North Carolina’s High Country typically begin changing the last week of September to the fourth week of October. Each area and elevation start to change and different periods during this time frame.

Higher elevations tend to have their fall colors peak near the end of October while the rest of the area follows behind. Keep this in mind when you choose where to view the fall foliage.

Where to View the Fall Foliage

There are several different places throughout the region to view the breathtaking fall foliage.

Banner Elk Fall Foliage

On land or on the water, there are several places to see the changing colors in Banner Elk. Wildcat Lake is a 13-acre swimming hole that’s perfect for a relaxing paddle on the tree-lined waterway.

Go hiking at Grandfather Mountain State Park or across the Banner Elk Greenway. If you aren’t afraid of heights, walk across the 228-foot-long Mile High Swinging Bridge for 360-degree views of the amber-colored mountain ranges.

Click here to read more about where to view the fall colors in Banner Elk.

Blowing Rock Fall Foliage

Image from Blowing Rock Visitor Center

Blowing Rock is conveniently located to several pull off points on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in the country. Enjoy a slow-paced ride with breathtaking vistas.

A trip to Blowing Rock is not complete without visiting the town’s namesake formation, The Blowing Rock. The cliff stands 4,000 feet above sea level with the Johns River Gorge beneath it. Head to The Blowing Rock’s observation tower to take in panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountain’s fall foliage.

Click here to read more about where to view the fall colors in Blowing Rock.

Boone Fall Foliage

Visiting Boone? The area has several places to capture the fall foliage. Head to one of the local parks, including Howards Knob Park which overlooks the town and Appalachian State University. The park features several trails and overlooks that will provide a great view of autumn’s changing scenery.

Take a drive along the scenic U.S. Highway 421 for sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Snake Mountain and Elk Knob.

Grandfather Mountain State Park Fall Foliage

Grandfather Mountain State Park is a fantastic place to take in the High Country’s beautiful sights and even enjoy some outdoor exploration. The park has over 12 miles of trails that cover almost 2,500 acres of the mountain’s ridgeline. Hike to Grandfather Mountain State Park’s highest peak, Calloway Peak.

High Country Visitors Guide cover 2021