State parks are a great way to explore the beauty of North Carolina. From a day of hiking, canoeing, or making a weekend of it and pitching a tent….there are plenty of parks in our state to enjoy. With the fall foliage season approaching, you’ll want to make the most out of the beautifully colored leaves and check out the view for yourself. These ten state parks have amazing views of the foliage!
1. Mt. Mitchell State Park
There's no better way to embrace the amazing fall foliage then to witness it from the highest peak east of the Mississippi. At 6,684 elevation, you're guaranteed some breathtaking views...up to 100 miles on a clear day. Mt. Mitchell is North Carolina's first state park and part of the mountains-to-sea state trail.
2. Elk Knob State Park
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful trails at Elk Knob State Park. Spend a day hiking and enjoy the views from the top.
3. Chimney Rock State Park
Chimney Rock is a beautiful place to visit in the fall. When the foliage is in peak, you get magnificent views pictured above.
4. Hanging Rock State Park
If you want a mountain feel, without going to the mountains, go to Hanging Rock. Just a short drive from the piedmont, you can spend the day on various hiking trails, exploring waterfalls, and getting this great view at the end.
5. Lake Norman State Park
There's nothing more beautiful than vibrantly colored leafs reflecting off the water. Enjoy a cool fall day beside the water at Lake Norman State Park.
6. Pilot Mountain State Park
Right outside of the Piedmont is one of the last remaining remnants of the Suaratown mountain chain. You can go rock climbing, hiking, or just take in all the beautiful views of the foliage at the top .
7. Dismal Swamp State Park
For fall foliage with a coastal feel, explore Dismal Swamp State Park. You'll find 14,000 acres of winding rivers and gorgeous overgrown cypress trees. A popular destination for kayaking, this North Carolina-Virginia shared state park is a must see come October.
8. Gorges State Park
Gorges State Park is home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina, like Rainbow Falls pictured above. This rainforest-like climate and feel has beautiful foliage and great scenery.
9. Grandfather Mountain State Park
Both hiking up Grandfather and the view from the top are equally amazing. You're also close to the popular Linn Cove Viaduct off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's a two for one, with a day of hiking, and amazing driving views as well.
10. Eno River State Park
Outside of Durham you'll find 3,900 acres of woodlands . Perfect for hiking during the day, or canoeing and fishing along the Eno River. Pitch a tent at night for a fun weekend stay. The beautiful fall colors here rival that of the mountains.