2020 Fall Color Report for the North Carolina Mountains, Week 6

Time to file our final fall color report for 2020! Hurricane Zeta brought some decent wind gusts that took down most of the fully changed leaves in our neighborhood of Pisgah National Forest late last week, but color remains at a few places nearby.

A forest road lined with tall sunlit trees

Small bits of color can still be seen on the road to the Inn in early November this year

We were fortunate to have a beautiful, brightly colored fall season this year, especially during the middle of October. The peak arrived a few days earlier than past years, but it was a fast one with the arrival of Hurricane Zeta’s wind and rain, as well as a gusty start to November. Some of the maple and oak trees are still hanging on, however.

Forest scene with closeup of tree branch that has sun shining through the leaves

A young maple tree refuses to believe that we are at the end of the fall color

So, where to find color if you’ll be in our neck of the woods from November 3-10… check out these destinations for late season leaf peeping opportunities:

  • Biltmore Estate in Asheville: Biltmore makes our list for the second week in a row due to the fact that it is at a lower elevation than we are and the estate has a lot of different tree types. The mountains surrounding Biltmore may be past peak, but the estate grounds themselves, which are park-like with different garden spaces and nature trails, have plenty of color. Christmas at Biltmore also kicks off the first week of November, and you have access to discounted daytime admission tickets and Candlelight Christmas Evenings tickets when you stay with us. Details will be included in your reservation confirmation.

    Walking path through a park like space with trees and shrubs looking toward a chateau

    Biltmore Estate is one place with late fall color

  • Catawba Falls: The closest waterfall to the Inn on Mill Creek is Catawba Falls, in Pisgah National Forest south of the town of Old Fort. We recommend going early in the day or during the week, avoiding a Saturday if at all possible, due to the popularity of this gorgeous waterfall.

    Waterfall with water cascading down several boulders

    Catawba Falls in Pisgah National Forest in Old Fort, NC

  • Chimney Rock State Park: About 35 minutes south of the Inn on Mill Creek is Chimney Rock State Park and neighboring Lake Lure. Lower in elevation and further south than us, this area typically peaks during the first part of November, sometimes later. We’re hearing that it’s going to be early for them as well, so this is likely the best week to see their beautiful fall foliage and get a great hike or two in at the same time. And don’t forget to walk across the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge between the state park and the lake. Trip Tip: Chimney Rock State Park is following COVID-19 rules for capacity limits and they will post on their Facebook page when they have reached capacity, as well as when they are able to allow more people in to the park. We suggest going early in the day.

While we may be at the end of the fall foliage portion of the fall season, now is a great time to visit the North Carolina mountains, when the views open up and the area is less crowded. Plus we have seasonal savings on rooms in November and December, with the exception of holidays. Check availability, make a reservation by booking directly online or over the phone, bring layers for cool weather and enjoy a late season getaway in Pisgah National Forest.

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