With a slight chill in the air, Fall is nearing and some would say the best hiking of the year is about to unfold. In the Southeast United States, the tree tops turn a magnificent red, orange and yellow hues to welcome the cooler weather. Some years the glory may only last a few weeks, and some years the fall colors stick around for 2 to 3 months depending on your elevation. With so many amazing places to visit we want you to have plenty of time to plan your fall trips. Check out some of our tips and destinations to visit for some beautiful fall foliage near you.
Plan, plan, plan. A bit of research and some notes on the calendar can go a long way.
If you plan on camping you will want to make reservations at least a month or two before the date. Fall is no secret and planning can ensure you get some good camping spots with the best views.
Looking for a fun day trip? Try to make room in your schedule to head out on a weekday as opposed to the weekend. If possible, mid-week trips provide less traffic on the roads and at the trailhead.
Wake up early and get that coffee going! Rise early, like 5 am early, and get to the trailhead at sunrise. Not only will you beat traffic, but the sun rising with a mix of those fall colors on the trees will make for some magical sites!
Pack enough food and water for a full day. Even if the trail is only a couple miles you may get there and want to soak in the magic for a while!
1) Graveyard Fields in North Carolina
The Blue Ridge and great Smokey Mountains have one of the longest autumn color seasons in the country! With a range of elevations, you can start in September at the higher elevations and work your way down to the lower elevations in October. Graveyard Fields sits at 5,020 feet in elevation at milepost 418 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Whether you are looking for a short hike with the family or a longer backpacking journey this trailhead holds it all. In addition to some beautiful fall colors head out with a canister for some fun blueberry picking!
2) Linville Gorge in North Carolina
Sometimes referred to as the "Grand Canyon of Eastern USA" the Linville Gorge holds some spectacular options for fall viewing. The elevation here ranges from 4,000 ft. on top of Hawksbill Mountain to 2,000 ft. at the river on the valley floor. Table Rock Mountain is a great hiking option here to overlook the fall foliage. This hike is about 70 miles from Asheville and is open from April until December.
3) Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia
North Georgia holds some beautiful hikes and lush waterfalls to spice up your fall adventures. Cloudland Canyon is one of the largest and most scenic parks in the state home to waterfalls, creeks and plenty of camping options. Try several activities here including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, disc golf, picnicking, tennis or fishing.
Whether you are car camping or just relaxing for the day, bring along your Caravan Chair for the perfect sit. Lightweight and anchored low to the ground for stability and ease this is a great option for fishing in low waters or putting up your feet by the campfire!
4) Gregory Bald in the Great Smoky Mountains
Sitting at an elevation of 4,949 feet above sea level this is a popular hiking destination to view Smoky Mountain National Park. A hiking destination known for the abundant azaleas in the area this is also a great location to view the fall foliage. If you take the Gregory Ridge Trail to Gregory Bald this is a 11.6- mile adventure great for those experienced hikers. August and September can be a great time for blueberry picking, just beware of black bears as they love this plentiful fruit as well!
5) Raven Cliff Falls in Caesar’s Head State Park, South Carolina
Never thought of South Carolina as a prime hiking destination? Think again! South Carolina holds some amazing hiking trails on the east and west sides of the state. Caesar’s Head State Park is a great option to explore some fall hiking, camping and fantastic fishing spots. Raven Cliff Falls Trail is a 3.5-mile hike perfect for kids and your furry friends. With plenty of loop options to turn this into a longer day-hike pick up a map from the ranger station and enjoy the trails!
Whether you are camping or just enjoying the day the perfect picnic awaits with the combination of the Voyager Table and some Blue Ridge Chairs. Each item folds perfectly flat to easily fit in your trunk to take anywhere! Blue Ridge Chair Works makes durable furniture for any outdoor adventure. Get out and enjoy the day!