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8 days/7 nights Blue Ridge Parkway Fall Foliage Trip - Itinerary Feedback/Help

We plan to visit the BRP in October for the fall foliage.
Here's our itinerary.
Can anyone please share some feedback/recommendations/tweaks?
Feedback welcome.

Day 1: staying in Brevard for Pisgah and Graveyard Fields---night in Brevard

Day 2 : Dupont Forest and then head to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure--night in Black Mountain.

Day 3: Craggy Gardens/Craggy pinnacle; Mt Mitchell; Little Switzerland and Crabtree Falls then head to Marion for night

Day 4: Early Do Linville Falls, Lincove Viaduct, Grandfather Mountain; Moses H Cone Park and night in Boone

Day 5= Explore early Boone/Blowing Rock and Valle Crucis/Banner Elk and night in Boone

Day 6=early head to Roanoke with stops at Mabry Mill, Music Center,, EB Jeffress Park and night in Roanoke

Day 7 - In Roanoke, do Roanoke Mountain. James River, Peaks of Otter, Humpback Rock and then head to Charlottesville for night there

Day 8 - In Charlottesville, visit Monticello, Ash Lawn and fly back in pm

Please share your feedback and advise if we are missing anything or if some things need to be re-arranged.

Many thanks.

Posted by
379 posts

The fall leaf change moves north to south. Consider reversing your trip to follow that progression. You are planning a wonderful adventure along the Parkway. I don’t know the elevations along the route. Maybe your direction will be warmer for the hiking or there are some events taking place.

Posted by
45 posts

When are you going? I agree to reverse the trip. Chimney Rock/Lake Lure is the last place the leaves change, usually in early November. Grandfather Mountain and higher elevations usually have peak foliage in the middle of October.

Posted by
2030 posts

Check out the historic 200+ year old Michie Tavern for lunch after visiting Monticello 1/2 mile away. Also, James Madison’s Montpelier plantation is in Orange, 30 miles northeast of Charlottesville.

Posted by
272 posts

Not sure that it's your thing or not, but there is a lovely folk art center on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville. It's called the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and represents local artisans from around the region. Really beautiful handcrafted items. I can't pass it by if I'm lucky enough to be there. Here's a link:

It's been a while since I've been in the area, but I do remember that there's a great pizza chain called the Mellow Mushroom in that area. Really unique combinations on their specialty pizzas.

Posted by
208 posts

The color changes first in high elevation, not necessarily North to South. Graveyard Fields area is where it changes first. I've found the color in that area off the parkway to be even more beautiful then on the parkway. You've got Devils Courthouse, Sam's Balds etc in that area too.

Are you planning on hiking in these stops? If so, you may want to scale back.
Be prepared for lots of crowds. It's slow going on the parkway this time of year. I tend to avoid it to be honest. If you are hiking you may want to add atleast 1 bald hike as the landscape is unique to the area.

I recommend checking out the Romantic Asheville website. Also Google Smokies fall color map as well as The Fall Color Guy. Those will be your best resources.

It's a beautiful area. Have fun, but bring lots of patience.

Posted by
27337 posts

I think the speed limit on the Blue Ridge Parkway is 35 mph, so it's slow going even when there are no leaf peepers.

Posted by
208 posts

It's not a constant 35. There are times it's higher. Around popular areas like Moses Cone, Craggy, the Viaduct be prepared for extremely slow moving vehicles or a parking lot. People will stop right in the middle of the road to take photos. Or park where they shouldn't & damage the fragile ground.

Definitely avoid weekends.

Posted by
771 posts

The Washington Post Travel Section has an article today "On the Blue Ridge Parkway, Autumn is for Reds,"
by Anna Mazurek. The article is based on a trip she took in 2020. She traveled north to south, with many of the same areas you mention. She focused on pointing out areas good for photography, and ways to avoid crowds. She mentions the Blue Ridge Parkway website which lists all road and facility closures, as well as regulations about masks and capacity limits for indoor spaces.

This is the Post article:

A similar version is on her website from 2020 if the Post article is behind a paywall.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks everyone for your inputs.
We are planning to be there from October 19-October 26...hence reason why we chose to do this from South to North.

Let us know your thoughts.
Many thanks, once again.

Posted by
3 posts

We have made some adjustments to our Fall Foliage trip in October as we will be arriving to and flying back from Asheville airport. As such, here is our new itinerary for your review and feedback:

Day 1 : Mt Mitchell, Craggy Gardens/Craggy Pinnacle; Little Switzerland, Crabtree Falls and Chestoa View point + Tom creeks fall and night in Marion

Day 2: Linville Falls, Linn Cove Viaduct, Grandfather Mountain, Rough Ridge Overlook, Moses H Cone Park & explore Blowing Rock. Night in Boone.

Day 3: Explore Boone, Valle Crucis, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock. Night in Boone.

Day 4: Head up to E.B Jeffers Park and the Cascades, Doughton Park, Blue Ridge Music Center, Mabry Mill. Night in either Hillsville, Galax or Mount Airy

Day 5: from either Hillsville, Galax, or Mt Airy head back south to spend more time in Blowing Rock/Boone and Banner Elk area and then head down to overnight in Black Mountain

Day 6: from Black Mountain, head to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure and then back to do waterfalls in Dupont Forest and night in Brevard

Day 7 in Brevard, explore Pigsah Forest for waterfalls, Mt Pigsah/Pigsah Inn for lunch and then graveyard fields for waterfalls and fly back late night.

Let me know your thoughts on this itinerary and if you can tweak it, please do.
Also, where will you suggest we overnight after visiting Mabry Mill?

Thanks for all your feedback and looking to your reply.