You can experience incredible foliage and stunning mountain landscapes at any time of year, but fall in western NC is especially magical. Across the Blue Ridge Mountains, the dazzling yellows and reds of the falling leaves are extraordinary. The best thing about the NC mountains is that you can experience the wonder up close! The area boasts outstanding attractions that promise a great time and even better views. To find out everything that western North Carolina has to offer, request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide and start planning your fall getaway to the mountains today!
Where to Enjoy Fall in Western NC
Many agree that the best fall foliage in North Carolina happens in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The widely known mountain range extends along 550 miles of the Appalachian, it includes some of the most iconic national parks in the US, and its fall colors are breathtaking. Read on to discover the best spots for leaf-peeping in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Mount Mitchell State Park
The mountain’s peak stands tall at 6,684 feet, making it the summit with the highest elevation east of the Mississippi River. From a vantage point like this one, there is no doubt that the fall leaf colors are incredible! In addition to sweeping views, Mount Mitchell State Park features five hiking trails of various difficulties so that anyone can enjoy the outdoors.
Carefully nestled along a section of Blue Ridge Parkway is the scenic hiking trail, more commonly known as Graveyard Fields. The popular spot got its name from the spruce needles and moss-covered tree trunks that once covered the landscape, making it appear like a graveyard. Although a fire destroyed the graveyard-like scape in 1925, the scenic path has grown new life. Now, the field is full of gorgeous leaf colors, and a short hike will lead you to two of the area’s waterfalls, Yellowstone falls and Second falls.
- Grandfather Mountain State Park
- Rough Ridge Lookout at Grandfather Mountain
- Smoky Mountains National Park
For an extra dose of fall foliage in North Carolina’s foothills, you’ll have to visit Chimney Rock State Park. This iconic landmark is located south of Asheville, NC, and it is home to some of the area’s most scenic vistas. Chimney Rock stands tall at an altitude of 2,280 feet and offers incredible panoramic views of the Hickory Nut Gorge, Lake Lure, and of course, the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Pro-tip: Although the fall colors are stunning throughout the season, you can expect North Carolina’s peak fall colors to make their appearance in mid-November.
Cozy up at The Esmeralda Inn
After a day full of exhilarating sights, stay at The Esmeralda. Our cozy Chimney Rock Inn is located near many of the best North Carolina State Parks, so you can stay close to all the fun without sacrificing your comfort.
The amenities on our property are ideal for recharging and connecting with nature. Of course, when you stay with us, you’ll enjoy peaceful slumber in any of our rooms or cabins. We promise you won’t go wrong with an escape to The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant, & Spa.
Get ready for the perfect blend of nature and luxury. Check our availability and book your stay!