8 Short And Sweet Fall Hikes In North Carolina With A Spectacular End View
Fall is the perfect time to take a hike. Perfect temperatures and stunning foliage transform the lush greenery to a wonderland of deep reds, bursting orange and golden yellows. While many of us would love to pack our bags and escape into the wilderness for a day or two, sometimes our only option is a brisk day hike. Luckily, North Carolina has plenty of awesome, easy-to-moderate hikes that allow you to enjoy the journey.
1. Jomeokee Trail, Pilot Mountain
As one of the shortest yet potentially rewarding on the list, this 0.9-mile hike weaves you around the rocky outcrops of Pilot Mountain. A perfect hike to enjoy and take your time, pack a picnic lunch or read a book and hideaway from the world in one of the many rocky nooks and crannies.
2. Craggy Gardens
Craggy Gardens is a fairytale year-round, and you don't need the blooming rhododendrons to believe so. The short and sweet 1.5-mile hike is accessed VIA a parking lot off of the Parkway. Weave your way through lush mountainous scenery and arrive at two overlooks situated amongst some of the tallest mountains in North Carolina. It's a dreamy hike with a wondrous endpoint.
3. Whiteside Mountain
Plan this hike ASAP, as the elusive Shadow of the Bear only makes an appearance in early spring and late fall. The 2.5-mile Whiteside Mountain Trail leads you to a stunning cliff as an endpoint. If you're seeking a shorter way to view the Shadow of the Bear, go to US 64 at Rhodes Big View Overlook.
4. Chimney Rock
If you've done the stair master you can certainly conquer a quest to the top of the 'Chimney.' Climbing 500 steps will take you to the top where you're treated to panoramic views reaching almost 75-miles on a clear day.
5. Erwin's View, Linville Falls
Linville Falls offers several different hikes that take you to different perspectives of the fall. One of the most photographed is the aerial view pictured above and accessed VIA Erwin's View. The 1.9-mile hike starts at the Visitor Center and offers different views of the fall as you make your ascent.
6. Lower Cascade Falls, Hanging Rock State Park
The Lower Cascade trail barely reaches a half mile, but this short and brisk hike is one where the endpoint is a great place to spend some time. Take a book or pack lunch, once you reach the stunning waterfall encompassed by rocky formations the sound of rushing water and abundant fall foliage is sure to soothe the soul.
7. Flat Laurel Creek
While Graveyard Fields Trail might be bustling come fall, a popular alternative is Flat Laurel Creek. The 2.5-mile hike weaves you through eclectic mountain scenery that sometimes feels more like the midwest than the Blue Ridge...until you enter dense spruce-fir forests. The trail lies beneath both Sam's Knob and Black Balsam Knob. From here, you can also hike to a waterfall on Flat Laurel Creek.
8. Dry Falls
To be honest, you don't even really have to hike at Dry Falls, besides walking beneath the stunning waterfall and around. This gorgeous fall is accessed VIA a parking lot and from there you can enjoy the overlook or trek down to the fall. While a bit chilly come autumn, there's nothing quite like walking beneath a waterfall in North Carolina.
What a great way to make the most of fall in North Carolina! Have you done these before, any you’d like to add?
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