Few places in the North Carolina mountains have the variety of leaf-viewing options that Banner Elk offers. Nestled at 3,740 feet above sea level, Banner Elk normally reaches peak color around the third weekend of October. Typically, leaves begin to change in early October, followed by a vivid progression for roughly three weeks.
Banner Elk is surrounded by scenic peaks and native hardwoods and has many vantage points to view autumn’s splendor. It also offers a variety of different ways to view fall color. Visitors may rent canoes and take in the scenery on Wildcat Lake, hike miles of trails in and around the town limits, drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, or go rafting on the Watauga River. Even a simple stroll along the Banner Elk Greenway yields spectacular viewing options.
Another nice thing about a fall visit to Banner Elk is the close proximity to peak fall color from early October to early November. A quick 15-minute drive in early October up to Beech Mountain puts you at peak color because of its 5,506-foot elevation. Or, you can drive about 30 minutes in early November down to the Linville Caverns area and view peak colors there.
When the autumnal day is done, settle into comfortable lodging and indulge in a delicious cuisine from a number of eateries that give Banner Elk its nickname of “the Culinary Hot Spot of the NC High Country.”
For a list of lodging options, click here.