November in the Blue Ridge Mountains offers stunning autumn hues as peak color begins spreading throughout the lower elevations. If you love fall as much as we do, then now is the time to take off from work, hop in the car, and make your way to the mountains.
Top Places for Fall Foliage in November
- Snook's Nose Trail- This beautiful area is in Curtis Creek, which is where the first tract of the Pisgah National Forest was established. From Marion or Old Fort, take Highway 70 until you see Curtis Creek Rd. This road eventually turns into gravel and will wind to the campground. The trailhead is less than a half mile beyond the campground.
- Marion Greenway - Take a 3.5 mile stroll along the Catawba River. This paved greenway is completely flat making it perfect for strollers and wheelchairs. There are plenty of places to stop, rest, and enjoy the serenity of the outdoors.
- Catawba Falls - A gorgeous waterfall awaits along this 3-mile out-and-back hike. The hike itself is not difficult, but there are some uphill stretches.
- Newberry Creek Trail - To get here, take Highway 70 until you see Curtis Creek Rd. Follow the road until you see Newberry Creek Road and then turn left. At the end of Newberry Creek Road you'll see parking turnouts and the forest service gate. Walk around the gate and continue up this old forest service road. You'll cross the creek, maybe more than once depending upon the weather, before it turns into a single track trail. There are awesome views in late fall and winter! As you approach the Blue Ridge Parkway intersection, it can be overgrown in spots. Switchbacks end across from the South Toe River Road.
- Lake James Scenic Drive - Hop in your car and take a scenic drive through the mountains. The fall colors beautiful on this route in November. This is an 86-mile loop so plan on spending a couple of hours - maybe more if you want to get out and take photos.
- Crabtree Falls - Along the Blue Ridge Parkway you'll find the Crabtree Falls picnic area, campground, and hiking trail to a waterfall. This one is a favorite in the area. To get there you'll take a 2.5-mile loop. The terrain is moderate to strenuous. Early November is your best bet for fall color in this area.
- Linville Falls - Take in scenic views of the Linville Gorge and the thundering waterfall that carves a path through the forest. This area begins transitioning in October, but there is still some color to take in during the early part of November.
- Point Lookout Trail - Connecting Old Fort to Ridgecrest, this trail offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. It's a 3.6-mile paved trail through the Pisgah National Forest and it's popular with hikers and mountain bikers. To avoid accidents, hikers are advised to remain on the left and bikers on the right - especially around the blind spots. This trail has a 900 foot elevation gain.
- Chimney Rock State Park - Explore the beauty of the Hickory Nut Gorge at this popular state park. You can hike to the top of the iconic chimney to get a stunning view of Lake Lure and the mountains covered in fall's colorful patchwork quilt. You can also see Hickory Nut Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi.