Leaf season is just around the corner and it is never too early to start planning your trip to the mountains to witness nature’s colorful spectacle. The Asheville fall foliage of the North Carolina mountains attracts visitors from around the world. With the 5,000-foot elevation change within 50 miles of Asheville, our lush Blue Ridge Mountain range puts on one of the longest-running leaf color displays in the country. The trees start their show as the mountain air starts to cool, in Asheville this tends to happens in October although there are a number of supporting characters (precipitation, temperature, altitude) that determine this annual performance and so pinpointing “the peak” is always hit or miss, but you can always find color somewhere in the mountains. The entire Blue Ridge Parkway is spectacular, nice 45mph drive, some really high places, cliff-dropping curves, lots of pull-offs, broken up by more normal sorts of traveling, all two lanes…one going one way and the other going the other way.
You can also keep an eye on the changes through the links below. Plan early as rooms fill up well in advance. Come for the leaves and enjoy everything else that Asheville and the surrounding mountains have to offer in the autumn. No matter when you plan to visit the Asheville area, you can enjoy a variety of festivals and events featuring great music, art shows and much more in the city and towns of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
Suggested Viewing :
Live North Carolina Fall Foliage Webcams :
North Carolina Fall Foliage Web Guides :
Fall Color Reports for the Asheville Area – A complete guide to the region’s fall foliage with peak reports, seasonal events calendar, driving directions & itineraries for Hickory Nut Gorge, Pacolet River Scenic Byway & Aboretum, plus photo tips, picture gallery and visitor favorites.
North Carolina National Forests Fall Updates – Reports on peak color in national parks throughout NC with suggested viewing locations, pictures, related links.
Fall Foliage & Leaf Color in the Mountains – Fall color guide to Western North Carolina with leaf reports, tips & facts, fall color leaf guide, directions for scenic drives around Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell and more.
Fall Foliage & NC Apple Harvest Season – The Hendersonville area covered with self-guided tours with directions around historic Hendersonville & the village of Flat Rock, information on nearby apple picking farms & orchards, special seasonal event calendar.
NCNatural – Fall Color – General info on why leaves change color in autumn, plus regional identification guides to North Carolina trees & related links to fall foliage color throughout the U.S.
Another reason for an autumn visit: the many events and festivals that happen during the season. After enjoying nature’s grand show, head downtown to enjoy the many local restaurants and shops.
September 6, 2009: Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival.
This fantastically fabulous, freaky jam-packed day will showcase the many diverse talents that Asheville has to offer. Three blocks of downtown will be lined with all local art, food, beer and street performers. Three stages and two courtyards of music and performance. 11am – 10pm on N. Lexington Ave between College Street and the I-240 overpass in downtown Asheville. Free. Go to the LAAFF Web site.
September 11-12, 2009: Carolina Mountains Literary Festival
Readers and writers alike will love this literary festival. The weekend in Burnsville will provide intimate settings for novice writers and fans to listen to panel discussions, converse with authors, participate in workshops, and have books signed. Admission.
Go to the Literary Festival Web site.
September 19-20, 2009: Heritage Weekend
This is the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s weekend to celebrate heritage crafts of the Appalachian Mountains. Guild members and other traditional craftspeople show craft techniques with hand tools, native materials, and lots of ingenuity through demonstrations in the native arts. In addition to crafts, several other traditional aspects of Appalachian life will be featured, such as traditional music and storytelling. Don’t miss the 26th Annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday, 2:00-3:00pm. This popular autumn tradition brings mountain toys, live music and wacky fun to the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center. Free.
September 19, 2009: Art in Autumn
Downtown Weaverville street festival with more than 100 juried artists and craftspeople, along with an exciting array of food and live music. 10am-5pm on Main Street. Six miles north of Asheville. Free.
Go to their Web site.
October 2, 2009: Center City Art Walk
Galleries stay open Friday evenings four times a year to showcase new shows and artists. Walk to 30 galleries downtown. Free.
Go to the Downtown Asheville Galleries Web site.
October 15-18, 2009: Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
The Craft Fair, held in the Civic Center in downtown Asheville, has been an eagerly anticipated event in the mountains since 1948. The fair showcases work by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, with over 900 members throughout the mountain regions of nine states. Members’ work must be juried and accepted by a committee of peers, based on quality, design and craftsmanship. Admission.
Go to the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands Web site.
October 15-18, 2009: Lake Eden Arts Festival
Celebrate Music, Discover Community, and Experience Culture at LEAF in a beautiful lakefront setting near Black Mountain (about 12 miles from downtown Asheville). 5 Stages of Folk & World, Bluegrass, Blues, African, Celtic, and jams with headline performers. Handcrafts, folk art, dancing, Poetry SLAM, healing arts workshops, water recreation, and camping. Admission. Go to: www.theleaf.com