Fall is a preferred time of year by many people for several different reasons. There is apple-picking, pumpkin-carving, hayrides, haunted houses, trick-or-treating and other fun activities related to Halloween. There are also reasons unrelated to Halloween that make fall an anticipated time of year for many. Viewing and taking pictures of the changing leaves in the fall is an enjoyable activity for a great deal of people. It’s free, fun, and you can make an entire day out of visiting different areas to see the best fall foliage there is. If you’re going to be visiting the western North Carolina area this fall, there are many areas in the mountains that you definitely don’t want to miss if you’re interested in seeing the best fall foliage.
Great Smoky National Park
With entrances in Cherokee, North Carolina as well as two cities in the adjourning state of Tennessee, this national park boasts some of the best views of fall leaves that change to bright and beautiful colors like red, brown, yellow, orange, and purple. According to tourists, the best time in the fall to see the leaves at the peak of their beauty is mid-October. Park admission is free, so if you’re looking for a free activity to do, grab a friend, your best camera and a brown bag lunch and head over to the Great Smoky National Park this October.
Highlands and Cashiers are two separate North Carolina towns that are often referred to as one area since they’re so close and similar, sharing many things such as a hospital and more. According to the United States Census Bureau, the official elevation of the town of Highlands is 4,118 feet, qualifying it as one of the highest cities east of the Mississippi. Due to its high elevation, Highlands is usually cooler than nearby cities and also is more likely to get large amounts of snow during winter months. Another result of the high elevation is the many scenic overlooks, including numerous waterfalls and colorful leaves in the fall. Many people who have never been to the Highlands-Cashiers area or other high elevations may be somewhat afraid of the steep and potentially dangerous curves in the area, but one look at this area’s natural beauty and most people’s fear will have evaporated.
Nantahala National Forest
Yet another perfect place in the North Carolina mountains to view the loveliest fall foliage is the Nantahala National Forest. Located in Macon and Swain counties, this national forest is famous for what is called the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway. With mesmerizing views of waterfalls, lovely colorful leaves in the fall and more, this national forest is a place that you must visit during your fall foliage tour in the North Carolina mountains.