Banner Elk fall colors

Where to View the Fall Colors in Banner Elk

Image from Todd Bush Photography

Take in the Fall Foliage in Banner Elk

Fall is a popular time of year to visit Banner Elk. The cool crisp air is great for outdoor activities and the view is incredible. The autumn season transforms the dense green forests to hues of yellow, orange and red. When you visit Banner Elk during fall, be sure to take in the views from these locations.

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Where to View the Fall Colors in Banner Elk

Here are some of the best places to view the fall colors in Banner Elk. Several of these sites can be reached by hiking or simply driving along a scenic parkway.

Banner Elk Greenway

Make your way on foot or on bike around some of Banner Elk’s scenic parks. The town has just over a mile of greenway trails, beginning at Tate-Evans Park and heading along Shawneehaw Creek and Lees-McRae College to Mill Pond and more.

When you aren’t taking in the beautiful fall colors, enjoy a picnic lunch, let the kids play on the playground, visit the historic Banner House Museum or stay the night at the charming Banner Elk Inn.

Grandfather Mountain State Park

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. Along these trails, you can take in the park’s changing scenery.

Calloway Peak is the highest point within Grandfather Mountain State Park. There are several trails that can take hikers to this peak where they can take in the array of views and mountain ranges, including Grandfather Trail, Daniel Boone Scout Trail and Cragway Trail.

Mile High Swinging Bridge

Located in Linville, not far from Banner Elk, is Grandfather Mountain. Hanging one mile above sea level, across Grandfather Mountain, is the extraordinary Mile High Swinging Bridge. This 228-foot-long suspension bridge offers 360-degree views of the mountain ranges.

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Wildcat Lake

Observe the changing treetops from the water when you visit Wildcat Lake. This 13-acre swimming hole in Banner Elk is accented by sandy beaches and verdant trees. Rent a kayak or canoe and enjoy a peaceful paddle around the lake.

Have a Meal with a View

Complement your meal when you eat in Banner Elk with a phenomenal view of the fall foliage. Some restaurants have large, floor-to-ceiling windows that offer spectacular views along with menus that will please everyone. Whether you choose an affordable, family-friendly restaurant or something more upscale with a view of Grandfather Mountain, you’re sure to enjoy every bite and the accompanying views from some of Banner Elk’s restaurants.

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Take a seat on the outdoor patio of Stonewalls Restaurant to enjoy a meal with a view. The restaurant dishes out mouthwatering steaks, seafood and fine wine, while also offering a view of Banner Elk. Stonewalls’ outdoor patio even features firepits which are perfect for staying warm on a crisp fall evening.

High Country Visitors Guide cover 2021