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Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians

09.12.18

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Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians

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  • The view from Hemphill Bald on the Hemphill Bald Trail in the Smokies is an autumn view that you'll never forget! - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • An autumn stroll down Hyatt Lane in Cades Cove. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Cataloochee in the Smokies is an excellent place for an autumn escape. Bonus: elk watching - just remember to give the elk their 150 feet of personal space. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • When planning an autumn adventure in the Appalachians, keep in mind that fall arrives at the higher elevations and then trickles down to the lower areas. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must during the autumn months. Seen here is Looking Glass Rock, one of the many stunning views that you'll pass on your journey. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Take a hike along the Cataloochee Divide Trail in the Smokies to experience some of the most fairy-tale-like trails in the Appalachians. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • A quick hike up to the Craggy Gardens Pinnacle is a must all year long, but the view becomes even more stunning as the mountains show off their patchwork quilt display. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Seek out the waterfalls! As the colors begin to surround them, you'll be convinced that you've stepped into a Bob Ross painting...those trees, those happy trees - showing their true colors. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Extend an adventure on the Blue Ridge Parkway with a trip down the Smokies 441/Newfound Gap Highway. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Take time to explore the creeks or relax and have a picnic. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Mingus Mill in the Great Smoky Mountains. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • A drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway never disappoints. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Autumn brings an entirely different look to the Appalachians. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • The golds of autumn filling in the Smokies. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Greenbrier in the Smokies. You'll find hikes such as Ramsey Cascades, Porters Creek and the Old Settlers Trail in the area. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • The golds and yellows of autumn begin to spread throughout the higher elevations of the Smokies first. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • The Appalachian Trail between Newfound Gap and Cilngmans Dome. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Apple trees and the Ferguson Cabin give this spot in the Smokies a fairy-tale feel. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Soaking up the fall views from the Craggy Pinnacle. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • First light of an autumn morning along the Foothills Parkway in Tennessee. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Autumn leads the way on this hike to Hemphill Bald. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • A tree swing located at The Swag on the way to Hemphill Bald in North Carolina. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Max Patch.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Little River in the Smokies. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Early morning view from Newfound Gap Road in the Smoky Mountains. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • View from one of the campsites on Table Rock overlooking the Linville Gorge. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Top of Table Rock.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Looking down into the Linville Gorge from Table Rock. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Dawn from the Mount Sterling fire tower during a backcountry trip in the Smokies. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Many nice campsites can be found in addition to the shelters while backpacking at Grayson Highlands. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • The Linn Cove Viaduct. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Sunrise from Craggy Pinnacle.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Beautiful autumn colors on the parkway near mile marker 385.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Sunset from Craggy Pinnacle on the Blue Ridge Parkway.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • McAfee Knob on the Appalachian Trail.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Max Patch.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Foggy fall morning in the forest on Max Patch. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Autumn on Max Patch. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Smoky valleys from Siler Bald.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • More smoke-filled valleys from the summit on a backpacking trip from Burningtown Gap to Winding Stair Gap. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Backpacking Burningtown Gap to Winding Stair Gap. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • On the way to Winding Stair Gap.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • The Blowing Rock.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • From Blowing Rock you can see nearly 100 miles on a clear day.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Viewing platform at Blowing Rock.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Max Patch. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Blowing Rock. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Max Patch.- Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Grayson Highlands. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Pony of Grayson Highlands. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • A rainy evening view from the Blue Ridge Parkway. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Blue Ridge Parkway. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
  • Summer view from the Craggy Pinnacle. - Stunning Fall Adventures in the Central Appalachians
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Contributor

Autumn is in the air in the Appalachians, and adventures are waiting! Between the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway and mountains, the Appalachian Trail, Shenandoah National Park, the highest peak east of the Mississippi, and every spot in between - there is an adventure for everyone. Need help getting started? Here are 19 and a bonus! 

 

  1. Hike to Hemphill Bald in the Smoky Mountains. With multiple options available for accessing Hemphill Bald, this is an adventure that can be molded to fit your preference or fitness level. However, if you hike to Hemphill Bald via Purchase Knob to Gooseberry Knob and up to Hemphill, you'll have a day filled with beautiful views of the Appalachians. 
  2. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's a must. Yes, there will be traffic during peak season. However, you'll see quickly why a drive on this scenic highway is a must in the fall and a tradition for many. Plus, you'll find plenty of hikes along the way to stretch your legs and explore. 
  3. Roam Cataloochee. Spend a day or even a weekend in the Cataloochee section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The area is filled with history, hiking trails, and elk. 
  4. Hike to McAfee Knob. A well-known spot on the Appalachian Trail, this breathtaking view only becomes even more stunning when the colors of autumn spread across the valley. 
  5. Go backpacking at Grayson Highlands. Enjoy the cooler temps as you backpack your way among the mystical ponies that call this area of the Appalachians home. 
  6. Spend fall break, or a weekend, camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From frontcountry to backcountry camping, shelters, and the LeConte Lodge, you can't go wrong spending a few nights in the Smokies and exploring the park. 
  7. Going camping in the Smokies? Take a hike. Here are 16 to get you started! 16 Must-Do Hikes in the Smokies
  8. Catch a sunset on Max Patch. The Appalachian Trail runs across this stunning bald of North Carolina. The views are endless, but the crowds can be too. Do the mountains a favor and show them your love by leaving no trace of your unforgettable experience. 
  9. Three words: Linn Cove Viaduct. Go. At least once. A visit in autumn is just icing on the cake. While you're there, explore Rough Ridge as well, among other spots nearby. 
  10. Soak up the views from the Craggy Pinnacle. Afterward, take a trip up to Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. 
  11. Ride the Virginia Creeper in Damascus. This is a perfect adventure to combine with a visit to Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia. However, it's an adventure of its own! The Virginia Creeper is 34 miles of autumn adventuring. Known for being the spot to ride a bike under the fall foliage - it's also a great spot for running or just exploring. Damascus has plenty of bike shops that can get you to the top so you can cruise back down! 
  12. Kayak Watauga Lake and camp on Watauga Lake at Carden's Bluff Campground. Looking to view the colors of autumn from the water? This is it! Afterward, take a hike on the AT up to Laurel Falls - you'll find the trailhead just down the road from the campground. 
  13. Drive Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park simply for the eye-candy. Pack some hot chocolate and embrace the change of the seasons. 
  14. Take in the views from Bearfence Mountain in Shenandoah National Park. 
  15. Explore Roan Mountain. Roan Mountain is best known for its rhododendron blooms in June, but fall is a fantastic time to visit as well! 
  16. Backpack Burningtown Gap to Winding Stair Gap on the AT. A picture of perfection if you're looking to spend a couple of nights in the backcountry by a fall time campfire.
  17. Visit Blowing Rock in North Carolina. I could share the story of how it got its name - but seeing is believing, so you'll have to find out for yourself. 
  18. Hike Table Rock to get a view of the Linville Gorge from above. It's a spot that you won't want to miss year around, but especially in autumn. 
  19. Wander Linville Falls. Check out from the overlook, hike to the base, or explore tucked away gems. Regardless of how you decide to wander Linville and the Appalachians this fall - be sure to include a few waterfalls. 
  20. Last...but not least.. Find your own adventure. A hike, a bike ride, a trail run, a backpacking or camping trip. Find your adventure...then, share it with us! #findyouradventure
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