North Carolina is famous for many things. We were the first in flight, we house the largest residential property in the nation, and of course, college basketball. However, did you know North Carolina is also known for the best leaf transition in the nation? So famous in fact, we have our own Fall Color Guy and a topographical map indicating peak leaf season. What’s coming with this year’s fall leaf color forecast? Scoop has you covered.
Professors at Appalachian State University’s Department of Biology do all the scientific work behind the color tracking so we don’t have to. Since color peaks happen earlier at higher elevations, we can assume everyone will be heading west (read: Boone, Blowing Rock, and Asheville) come early October. Want to track the leaves all through the month? So do we – so, let’s get to planning.
October 1 Weekend – Grandfather Mountain
Venture along arguably the most beautiful drive in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway, to it’s highest peak (5,946 feet above sea level) for prime leaf adventures this weekend. The only thing separating you from this globally recognized nature preserve is an all inclusive ticket that leads to hiking, the ever-popular mile high bridge, and special programs hosted by local Naturalists at the Nature Museum. Pack a picnic & gear up to hike the trails – you won’t be disappointed by the transition from lush greens to warmer toned views this weekend.
October 8 Weekend – Downtown Boone, North Carolina
Also located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone, NC is distant enough to escape the hustle and bustle of Charlotte to embrace the leaf transition without losing the city-esque feel you might crave after a gorgeous fall sunset. Pack up your pup and head to Boone Fork Trail, ranked #1 for the area’s hikes. Once you return, treat yourself to reservations at The Gamekeeper or The Table Restaurant.
October 15 Weekend – Asheville, North Carolina
Experience the beauty of Asheville this weekend when leaves are in full-fledge transformation. Whether you choose to view cruising along the Forest Heritage National Scene Byway or through the North Carolina Arboretum, the beautiful metamorphosis of color will be hard to miss. Finish the weekend wandering the aisles of Asheville’s Art in the Park, a local festival celebrating the art of the region’s top talent. Don’t forget to visit Romanic Asheville for all you need to know to plan the perfect weekend getaway.
October 22 Weekend – Charlotte, North Carolina
If you can’t commit to a weekend trip of leaf chasing, you don’t have to miss out. Crowders Mountain State Park is located just over 30 miles outside Charlotte and is home to plenty of hikes worthy of color transition instagrams. Crowders Mountain even offers Fall Foliage events that are soon to be posted on their website. The variety of trails offer options for experienced trailblazers, families, and dogs alike – you just might have to wait a little longer than those that head west to view the perfect variety of yellows, oranges and reds.
Just imaging these views has me anxious to get packing. One thing is for sure, we suggest you don’t forget your camera and tag @ScoopCharlotte in your best fall foliage posts. We can’t wait to see where this season takes you!