Top fall stops in the North Carolina mountains

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Fall officially starts tomorrow, but it's already starting to look and feel like autumn in the North Carolina mountains.

So many people love to look at all the beautiful colors of fall along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Mark File joined us live on FOX8 to tell us when and where to go see the changing leaves.  He has a popular website -- http://www.romanticasheville.com/fall.htm -- that details a lot of leaf-viewing information.

He has compiled this list of his Top 12 stops along the parkway near Asheville, just for FOX8, starting near Grandfather Mountain and heading south to Cherokee:

  • Milepost 304.4 - Linn Cove Viaduct: After driving across the famous bridge that hugs Grandfather Mountain, stop at the Visitor Center to read about the construction and hike underneath it.
  • Milepost 316.3 - Linville Falls: See five viewpoints of the most photographed waterfall in North Carolina via two trails in the Linville Gorge.
  • Milepost 328.3 - The Orchard at Altapass: Pick apples, enjoy mountain music, buy crafts and take hayrides at this historic orchard with great mountain views.
  • Milepost 339.5 - Crabtree Falls: Take a 3-mile moderate hike to the beautiful 70-foot waterfall or have a picnic by the Parkway.
  • Milepost 355.4 - Mt. Mitchell: Drive to the summit of the highest peak east of the Mississippi, and walk a short paved trail to the observation deck for panoramic mountain views.
  • Milepost 364.4 - Craggy Gardens: The visitor center offers great views from 5,500 feet. Or take a short hike in the crisp air to the top of Craggy Pinnacle for unsurpassed 360-degree mountain views.
  • Milepost 382 - Folk Art Center: See the finest regional traditional and contemporary art in their galleries and craft shop. Watch daily artist demonstrations.
  • Milepost 384 - Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center: Learn about the entire 469 miles and history of the Parkway with interactive exhibits and a 22-foot interactive I-Wall map.
  • Milepost 408.7 - Mount Pisgah: Have lunch or dinner with a view from 5,000 feet at Pisgah Inn, the only restaurant on this section of the Parkway. Hike to the top of Mt. Pisgah.
  • Milepost 417 - Skinny Dip Falls: Soak in the views at the Looking Glass Rock Overlook of the famous rock face and hike 1/2 mile to a beautiful waterfall setting with several cascades.
  • Milepost 418.8 - Graveyard Fields: This mile-high valley features hiking trails, early brilliant fall color and waterfalls, surrounded by Blue Ridge Mountains with 6,000-foot peaks.
  • Milepost 422.4 – Devil’s Courthouse: Enjoy the views from the overlook to hike to the top of the mile-high summit for endless panoramic views.