What: Western North Carolina is covered in swaths of bright autumn hues, and leaf peepers from Asheville and beyond are heading to the mountains. Not sure which one to pick? Head southeast to Lake Lure and the Blue Ridge Foothills. There are plenty of ways to get there. A drive through Hickory Nut Gorge, with a detour along Buffalo Shoals Road, will provide hours of glorious fall tableaus. Bring your hiking shoes and make the trek up to Chimney Rock for a 75-mile panoramic view. If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, fly through the trees via a zipline at Canopy Ridge Farm. Or if you want to be in the center of it all, grab a boat and cruise around Lake Lure’s 27 miles of pristine shoreline. If you’d rather let someone else provide the boat, Lake Lure Adventure Company offers boat rentals by the hour. No matter how you get there, the Blue Ridge Foothills have glorious autumn views in every direction.
When: Leaf-peeping season extends through the end of November
Where: Anywhere in the region, but the Lake Lure area is always worth the drive.
Price: Driving and hiking are free. Visit www.canopyridgefarm.com for zipline costs and www.lakelureadventurecompany.com for boat-tour prices.
Photo: Lake Lure Inn and Spa by Kat Canant