Great news for fall color seekers in the North Carolina mountains near Asheville. The entire stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina is open. While its visitor centers, campgrounds, picnic areas and other facilities are closed, places like the Folk Art Center and Pisgah Inn & Restaurant has reopened. The small section of the Parkway in Asheville that was recently closed due to erosion has been repaired. To plan a drive, go to our Blue Ridge Parkway guide at http://www.romanticasheville.com/BlueRidgeParkway.htm.
Fall color is picking up speed. The best color is still in the highest elevations – typically 4,000 feet elevation and above. During the next two weeks, color will progress to the lower elevations.
October 12-19: Color is increasing in elevations greater than 4,000 feet, including the Mount Pisgah, Black Balsam, Devil’s Courthouse and Waterrock Knob, southwest of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It will also be peak color in the Highlands area, including Whiteside Mountain, with plenty of waterfalls to enjoy, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
October 17-25: Many of the surrounding mountains around Asheville show plenty of color, especially in the 3,000-4,000 foot elevation range. A great hike in Pisgah National Forest would be Looking Glass Rock or Cradle of Forestry. North of Asheville, head to Linville Gorge with hikes to the top of Table Rock and Hawksbill Mountain.
October 22-30: The city of Asheville (2,000 feet elevation) shows the brightest colors, along with areas around Hendersonville and Brevard. This is the perfect time for a waterfall hike in DuPont State Forest or leisurely walk at the NC Arboretum. This is also the peak leaf color for Biltmore Estate.
October 25-November 4: The color show concludes in the Chimney Rock area (elevation of 1,300 feet). Ride to the top of Chimney Rock or take a boat tour on Lake Lure
There are many upcoming fall events and festivals – see a complete list, along with the latest fall color report at http://www.romanticasheville.com/fall.htm.