Fall Adventures in North Carolina
You may have been waiting for the fall season to get here for months. Fall might just bring back more and more normalcy to 2020 with holidays quickly approaching, family traditions starting back up, and the coziness it brings. The crisp air and wearing layers of merino wool and fleece gets us excited about the adventures we’re likely to have.
North Carolina has a tremendous amount of fall adventures that let you play all day and then get cozy at night with S’mores and hot chocolate. There’s a decrease of the hot, sticky weather, bugs, and those lovely venomous snakes we get. While you’re thinking about this season and figuring out ways to make 2020 much more bearable, maybe grab your favorite beanie and head on an adventure.
See the leaves change in the Blue Ridge Mountains
If you’ve never headed to the mountains during the fall, you are really missing some truly spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway is an easy way to get to great hikes, waterfalls, and overlooks to really catch the leaves changing. However, you can always head to some mountain towns like Boone, Asheville, Brevard, or Bryson City to have a fall getaway.
Peak season for the leaves changing is in early to mid October. To make this a real adventure, make it a backpacking trip and hit up a section of the Appalachian Trail.
Enjoy a quiet beach
What a great time to head to the coast. Since the peak season to go to the beach is the summer, the crowds are mostly gone at the beach. However, depending on the area you go to, it also means that a lot of shops and restaurants are closed for the off season after Labor Day. But, that’s okay! More time for you to explore and really enjoy your surroundings. Try paddling in the marshlands or put on a wetsuit and try your hand at surfing (don’t worry, remember that the crowds are mostly gone!).
It’s also a great time to have a fire on the beach. Make a thermos of your favorite hot beverage, bring your s’more supplies, and a blanket to have a wonderful evening listening to family, friends, and the ocean.
Find a Waterfall
The NC mountains are full of waterfalls! There are hundreds of waterfalls in North Carolina and some haven’t even been discovered or documented. They are all over the Blue Ridge Parkway but the most saturated area of waterfalls is located in Transylvania County. With the leaves all changing, the falls are a beautiful site to see and you don’t have to worry about the hot, humid weather.
Transylvania falls are so spectacular that some have even been featured in movies like the Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans. Some to target would be Triple Falls, Bridal Veil, Looking Glass, and High Falls.
Source to Sound Paddle
North Carolina is a flatwater paddle haven and I just can’t get enough of all the long distance paddling that it offers. Over the years, multiple campsites and platforms have been developed along some eastern long rivers like the Neuse River, Roanoke River, and Tar River. The late fall and winter time is a great season to tackle these streams. The snakes, bears, and alligators (depending on the area) are all tucked back for the chillier weather leaving you the river to roam free.
I also find this paddling season a much quieter one and you’ll be able to see a lot of birds out with not a lot of people. Just wear warmer paddling gear and make sure to make hot coffee or hot chocolate on hand to keep you nice and cozy.
Cheers at a Local Brewery
It’s not really the end to any adventure without a local brew stop. A good craft beer or beverage will soothe your sore hands and fuel the table with stories of the recent journey. NC has more than 320 breweries and brewpubs to close out your fall adventure. I always make it a point to find a place to have one last beer, wine, or cider that will ease me back to the reality that the next day may bring and NC has some of the best in the country.
So, cheers to your fall adventures! May they bring you laughter, a good challenge, and memories for a lifetime.
See y’all out there!