The Four Seasons of High Country

North Carolina’s High Country, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a place full of beauty, adventure and fun year-round. While its outdoor scenery and its activities change with each season, this mountain getaway is boundless as far as things to do and experience. Visitors escape to this outdoor playground at different times of the year for many different reasons.

With some of the highest ski and snowboard areas in the east, the High Country is a wonderland for winter sports. Thrill seekers flock to the area’s ski resorts each winter and hit the snowy slopes for skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and other exciting activities. Grandfather Mountain is a particularly popular place to visit during the winter months. Around the holidays the High Country’s Christmas tree farms are also a major attraction for families wanting to cut down their own trees. 

Eventually the temperatures warm, the snow clears and the mountain side becomes lush with greenery and wildflowers. It’s time for hitting the hiking and biking trails of the High Country’s numerous nature parks, as well as other adventurous activities like ziplining and climbing courses. For more relaxing, low-key fun strolling through farmers markets and visiting local farms are an enjoyable way to spend some time. During spring, event calendars quickly fill up with festivals of all sorts, including local art, crafts, music and other entertainment. 

Summers in the High Country are bustling with a continuation of the activities that kicked off in the spring with a focus on water activities from whitewater rafting and tubing to kayaking and canoeing in the region’s rivers and other waterways. The cool summer temperatures, which average in the 70s, are ideal for outdoor activities, including fishing and exploring the area’s scenic parks and scoping out its gorgeous waterfalls. Eating a delicious meal outdoors and listening to live music are additional superb summer activities in the mountains.

Visiting the High Country in fall is a remarkable experience. October is when the leaves reach their peak colors and drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway are stunning with overlooks giving spectacular views of the surrounding mountain landscapes. Soak in the beautiful colorful foliage and breathe in the crisp autumn air. Visiting local orchards to pick apples or touring a farm to meet some new alpaca friends, or attending one of many events, such as Oktoberfest at Sugar Mountain, are all perfect ways to spend a fall day in North Carolina’s High Country.