Autumn is in the air, and if there's one place on the East Coast that will take your breath away when the leaves begin to show their true colors, it's the Blue Ridge Mountains. Running through eight states, the Blue Ridge Mountains were given their name due to the never-ending sea of mountain ridges that appear to be blue when seen from a distance. Just like the entire Appalachian Mountains range, this smaller portion never runs short on beauty or places to explore. We're only going to focus on three states in the central region. Each adventure weekend gives you a wide mix of ways to explore and get to know each area on a local level. However, don't hesitate to mix and match. Take a week off and explore all three adventure weekend spots. Check out our database, or put together your own weekend of exploring the rest of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Roam the land of the wild ponies, hike on the AT, get cozy in an Appalachian Trail town, ride the Virginia Creeper and find out quickly why they say "Virginia is for lovers." Because on your way home on Sunday night, you'll find that you have fallen head-over-hills in love with this corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The entire Blue Ridge Parkway is absolutely incredible in the fall, and chances are good you won't be able to see it all. However, if you're going to be roaming the Blue Ridge from Cherokee to Blowing Rock, North Carlolina, you can build your own adventure from the list below. You'll find an unlimited amount of places to explore, but if you're passing by the Pisgah area, consider grabbing lunch at the Pisgah Inn. The Inn has a backyard like no other, and even a row of rocking chairs to take it all in. Looking to stay the night, book a room at the inn or hop across the parkway and stay at the Mount Pisgah Campground. If you decide to wander on the other end, check out the Switzerland Inn and Switzerland Cafe in the charming little town of Little Switzerland. Going further north? Camp at the Julian Price Campground, Crabtree Falls Campground (first-come, first-served) or go backcountry style and find a spot under the stars in the Linville Gorge area.
Top five ways to color chase on the Blue Ridge Parkway:
America's most visited national park sees a flood of visitors every autumn, and there's a reason why. From Tennessee to the North Carolina side, the park is packed with places to experience autumn in the Appalachians. Visitors can choose from 16 shelters, over 100 backcountry campsites, 10 frontcountry campgrounds with 950 campsites total, and the LeConte Lodge all located inside the park, not to mention the campgrounds and hotels outside of the park such as Gatlinburg's newest hotel, The Appy Lodge, which is fully based on the Appalachian Trail. There is no shortage of places for a weekend getaway and autumn time play. Pick a place to stay, make a list of adventures and get on your way - because fall is definitely not here to stay!
Links to help you get started with planning the ultimate autumn weekend in the Smokies: