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15 North Carolina Autumn Hikes Bursting with Breathtaking Foliage

By Blue Cross NC | September 28, 2015 | Explore NC

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All across the state fall bursts with color in different ways. And we think that hiking might be the best ways to experience all those showy leaves. Our resident hiking expert Joe Miller of has the perfect recipe for North Carolina autumn hikes guaranteed to give you amazing views from the mountains to the sea.

So let’s start where you least expect it: the Coast.

Coastal Foliage

Five hikes featuring:

From Joe Miller: Why should coastal foliage be immune from flashing great color? Turkey oaks, for instance, are abundant, and their three-lobed leaves burn deep orange, red and brown before succumbing to winter. The poison sumac, best enjoyed from a distance, glows bright red and orange. Even the deciduous bald cypress takes on a coppery orange before dropping its needles.


The PiedmontFall-hikes


Five hikes featuring:

Now we’re starting to gain in elevation. As Joe explains: Yes, there is some complication.  Between Charlotte, the Triad and the Triangle, there are lots of teeming masses. But again, despair not! There are plenty of places to go in the Piedmont that aren’t standing room only when it comes to enjoying fall color.

Mountain Hikes

Five more hikes featuring:

Sure, the mountains are busy. But, as Joe explains, “This time of year, conga lines of cars snake along the Blue Ridge Parkway, U.S,. 441 through the Smokies and any number of other mountain roads in search of the color promised by tourism brochures. The good news: few of those folks will bother to get out of their cars to enjoy the show, and those who do won’t wander more than a half mile or so. 


[Top image: Shutterstock]