A Guide to Fall Foliage & Peak Leaf Season in Boone, NC

Fall foliage at peak leaf season in the Blue Ridge Mountains around Boone, NC

Fall has always been a unique favorite for the locals (and tourists) in the High Country of North Carolina. Perhaps it is because we are the first to sense when summer breezes turn into crisp Autumn air or- because of our elevation- see the leaves begin “blaze” through the mountain peaks.

Either way, there is only a small window to enjoy the peak of leaf season, so you must plan accordingly! As local experts, here is a guide to witnessing the fall foliage in Boone, North Carolina, including when peak leaf season is.

Once you know the right time to visit, check out places you can go to see fall mountain foliage and how you can check it out for yourself!

When is Peak Leaf Season in Boone, NC?

The “Peak” leaf season in Boone, North Carolina, is when you will be able to capture the full array of fall colors across the mountains and surrounding areas. For 2022 the peak of leaf season for Boone, NC is September 26th-October 20th.

The vibrancy of the trees is spectacular and ranges from warm yellows and spicy oranges to fiery reds. Typically, our area sees the peak of this colorful flood a few weeks after the Autumn Equinox, and then it flows down to the piedmont and flatter areas of NC.

It is the best time to feel the magnificence of Fall. Sadly the peak will last only about 1-2 weeks in our area, as winds and rains tend to knock the leaves off of the trees.

How Leaf Color Viewing Times are Determined

I wish that I could tell you that there is a magical gnome that goes through the hills painting all the leaves with such beautiful colors. The truth is, it’s SCIENCE!

Fall Color Peak Times for North Carolina Mountains Map by Michael Denslow and Howard Neufeid.

The Department of Biology at Appalachian State, led by Howard Neufeld, Professor of Plant Eco-physiology (AKA the “Fall Color Guy”), creates a handy colorized “map” every year. This guide is grouped by elevation based on an algorithm calculating annual rainfall and temperatures.

Want to see where your region falls on the Fall Color guide? See the ASU Fall Color Report.

Fall Foliage in the North Carolina Mountains

In higher elevations, like Boone, we have cooler temps and less rain. Therefore, we typically see the colors change first in the season.

If you want to find fall foliage in the North Carolina Mountains, use our guide for places to visit and things to do during the fall months.

How & Where to See Fall Foliage in the High Country

There are plenty of places where you can view fall foliage some of our favorites to recommend include:

Where to Watch the Leaves Change Color in the Blue Ridge Mountains

If you want to look for other ways how you can see fall foliage and get active in the High Country of NC try:

You could also try any of these annual Fall events in the High Country.

The Blue Ridge Parkway at the beginning of fall near Grandfather mountain

Come See the Leaves in High Country NC

If you are planning an Autumn getaway to come to see the leaves in the High Country of Carolina, you must see the season’s beautiful colors! It is a definite bucket list item to take a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway and see the metaphorical “quilt of colors” fold through the summits and valleys of the mountains.

Pair the journey with a stop at a local pumpkin patch or one of the local breweries for a cider- and you will have a wonderful fall adventure!

About the Author
I am a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, but I have been in North Carolina since1997 when I moved to Boone to attend Appalachian State University. I earned my degree in Theatre Education and Communications. While at ASU I met my husband, Matt Long, a Boone native and general contractor, and gained a heart for these mountains and my beloved ASU Mountaineers. After graduation, I spent 5 years teaching in Charlotte before being given the opportunity to move back to the High Country. In 2007 I earned my NC Real Estate License and began in full-time brokerage. In 2010 I helped to open a franchise brokerage in the High Country. I gained impactful knowledge and built important relationships during my 8 years there, but began to feel the calling to get back to my roots.

In June of 2018, my dream became a reality when I opened 828 Real Estate. We are a boutique brokerage that is locally focused, community-minded and client-driven. I feel so fortunate to be in a career that I love, have opportunities to serve wonderful clients, and get to work with the best team here at 828 Real Estate.

I am a member of The High Country Association of Realtors, the North Carolina Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors. I am a member the Boone Chamber of Commerce and I am on the board for the Downtown Boone Development Association. I have also completed the Realtor  e-Pro certification that specifically focuses on the technology tools needed in the purchase or sale of a property. Additionally, I have earned my CLHMS Designation. (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) and a qualified LuxuryHomes.com Affiliate. Over the years I have been awarded various Top Producer Awards. I am honored each year to be invited to the Top 50 Brokers in the High Country celebration.

My husband and I reside in downtown Boone and have 2 beautiful children, Sadie Rose and Levi. We attend Alliance Bible Fellowship and stay connected by serving the community and supporting local non-profits like Western Youth Network, The Appalachian Theatre and Valle Crucis Community Park. We love to spend time outside hiking, playing on the river, running with their dog, Emmie Lou, hitting the slopes and making the most of our time in this amazing place we get to call home!