ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

4 Great Places to See Leaves (Fall Foliage) in Western North Carolina

Updated on October 23, 2013

Amazing Views!

Fall Foliage View from the Blue Ridge Parkway
Fall Foliage View from the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Fall Beauty of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains is Hard to Beat

As a North Carolina resident, I have had the opportunity to visit North Carolina’s mountains on a number of occasions. The views are absolutely incredible and it helps that the Appalachian Mountains are easily accessible from major cities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee like Asheville, Greensboro, Greenville, Charlotte, and Columbia. I hope you will find the following an easy to understand guide to finding amazing fall foliage in North Carolina.

Many of the best views are located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic highway that cuts along the ridge of most of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina and parts in Virginia.

For General Information on the Blue Ridge Parkway, visit the official National Park Service website by clicking here. You can also visit

Below are four different locations which I believe are the some of best places to view the fall leaves in North Carolina. Along with each site are web links that will help in providing more information such as directions, facilities, etc...

1. Craggy Gardens – Located near mile post 364 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A short drive (marked by signs) takes you off the Parkway and up to a gorgeous outlook with a nice picnic area and some trails. The view is breath taking. At 5,500 feet of elevation, you are really “up there” and have a great view of surrounding peaks and valleys, which are almost completely covered in trees.

Sites with more details:

Wikipedia - Great Craggy Mountains

2. The Pisgah Inn/Mt. Pisgah – You don’t have to stay overnight here to enjoy the incredible views (although you can). Located on Mt. Pisgah and in the Pisgah National Forest, the Pisgah Inn and surrounding area is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Pisgah Inn provides lodging, but also has a wonderful restaurant that is open to the public. The Inn is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway near mile marker 409. One of the links below provides information on a trail that climbs to the top of the 5,721 foot summit of Mt. Pisgah.

Sites with more details:
The Pisgah Inn

Wikipedia - Mt. Pisgah

Wikipedia - Pisgah National Forest

The Beauty of Fall Leaves

Fall Leaves Scattered on the Ground
Fall Leaves Scattered on the Ground
View from Lookout Mountain in Montreat, NC
View from Lookout Mountain in Montreat, NC

More Great Places to See Fall Leaves

3. Montreat, NC – Home to a PCUSA conference and retreat center and Montreat College, a four year private liberal arts school, Montreat is a cozy little community tucked away in a small bowl-like valley. Upon arriving in Montreat it is easy to feel at home. Visitors and residents alike are greeted at the town’s only entrance which features a early 20th century stone gateway that arches above the small two-lane road leading into the town (this is known to most of the locals as “the gate”). If you follow up the main road (Assembly Dr.) you will come into the “center of town” where a picturesque lake, called Lake Susan, separates the main parts of the Conference Center and college campuses. Just from standing at the lake you can see incredible views of the mountains which nearly surround the town in a wonderful 360 panorama. The heavily forested mountains yield quite a spectacular sight, especially when leaves change. From the lake you can continue up several different roads that lead to various trailheads. Trails around Montreat climb many of the surrounding mountains as well as run along some of the ridges visible from Lake Susan. One particular hike takes you up to the summit of Graybeard Mountain, which sits at 5,240 feet, is the highest peak directly surrounding Montreat.

For information on the Graybeard Trail click here.

For information on the Conference Center click here. (you can visit this site to get address info. The Main conference center looks directly out on Lake Susan and Assembly Dr.)

For information on Montreat College click here.

4. Clingmans Dome – Located right on the North Carolina/Tennessee state line, Clingmans Dome Mountain is located within the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. It stands at 6,643 feet, just 39 feet short of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Clingmans Dome Road connects to US highway 441, a major road going through the Smoky Mountains. The view from the top is awesome and while many of the trees around Clingmans Dome are coniferous spruce trees, views from the summit can reach 100 miles on a good day allowing you to see beyond the climate and vegetation of the peak itself. As a disclaimer, it is important to note that views are often cut short by clouds, fog, and smog. Even with these in consideration, however, you can still see a long way. Also note that all of the above locations are in the mountains and can get much colder than other areas of North Carolina. Be sure to plan ahead and be prepared!

Sites with more details:

National Park Service - Clingmans Dome

Wikipedia - Clingmans Dome

Fall foliage in North Carolina is amazing in many different places, but this should be able to aid in pinpointing some specific sights. My hope is these ideas might help you in planning a trip or vacation to the North Carolina mountains or assist you in your quest to see the amazing beauty of fall colors over a mountain landscape.

Fall Leaves (Image Credit: Micha L. Rieser)
Fall Leaves (Image Credit: Micha L. Rieser)

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)