The dazzling reds, yellows, and oranges on the trees in the Asheville forest are a result of the mountain air cooling down as the weather cools down. Because of its mild climate and the range of elevations nearby, Asheville has one of the longest and most colorful autumn seasons in the country. And we are coming off one of the most gorgeous leaf seasons in many years! While admiring the variety of hues, think about contributing a little ‘green.’ While touring the Blue Ridge Mountains, these are the best ways to minimize your impact and see the autumn colors.
Experience the Colors of Fall on Two Wheels
From the colors of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s crests to Asheville’s urban streets and greenways, the best way to experience autumn’s hues is by bicycle. Rent an electric bicycle or bicycle from local businesses like The Flying Bike or Asheville E-Bikes, and reward yourself with a wonderful beer at Beer City Bicycles afterward. Or, experience the thrills of the slopes as you traverse one of Asheville’s most famous mountain biking routes.
Consider a Fall Hike
Year-round, the Blue Ridge Mountains are gorgeous. There are great fall hikes in Asheville, and you can see waterfalls surrounded by trees full of color. Mountain balds provide a 360-degree view of autumn’s beauty. No matter where you wander, please follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace to minimize your impact.
Walk through the Waters
The French Broad River is a significant component of Asheville’s outdoor scene, being one of the world’s oldest rivers. Skip the traffic and enjoy the autumn colors at your own speed as you paddle through the cold mountain water on the French Broad River. Enjoy Asheville’s Wai Mauna SUP‘s sunrise SUP tour, among other SUP rentals and tours. French Broad Outfitters and the Asheville Outdoor Centre offer kayak rentals and tours through the still waters as you take in the vistas. It can be colder during the autumn season, so be sure to bring the proper clothes and layers.
It’s time to Taste the Local Harvest
It’s a must to visit one of Asheville’s local farms if you’re going ‘green’. You can’t miss the satisfying crunch of fresh apples or a soothing cup of hot apple cider during the fall season. Apple trees are grown in one of the nation’s top apple-growing regions, just south of Asheville.
Bring it up in the Trees
Instead of driving to see the autumn colors, get off the beaten track and trek through the forest to immerse yourself in them. Zipline through the trees on one of Asheville’s many zipline tours and experience the thrill of soaring hundreds of feet in the air. Navitat Canopy Adventures‘ Mountaintop Tour is an adrenaline-pumping experience that includes ziplines up to 350 feet in length. Adventure Center of Asheville provides an urban tour with 11 ziplines, three sky bridges, and thrilling adventure towers that offer panoramic views of downtown Asheville.
Gain Knowledge About Nature
The Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Asheville is among the world’s most biodiverse areas. Visit one of Asheville’s nature attractions to expand your knowledge and appreciation of the natural world. North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre public garden offering educational programs, hiking trails, and rotating exhibits. Learn about 60 native animal species at the WNC Nature Center across town. The Cradle of Forestry is a forestry school on the Blue Ridge Parkway that was the first in America. By supporting any of these organizations, you are preserving and conserving this special region.
Maintain Asheville’s Beauty
Volunteering your time and participating in a cleanup activity is an excellent way to keep Asheville beautiful throughout the year. Each month, WNC Photo Tours‘ Protect Pisgah program provides free, three-hour photo classes and lessons after a cleanup activity where participants pick up trash in high-traffic areas. Visitors and locals may adopt a waterfall through Waterfall Keepers of NC by visiting their adopted waterfall four times a year to pick up trash and report its condition back to the organization (Asheville is a great reason to return!). You may also volunteer with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Asheville Greenworks, and other environmental organizations in Asheville, or make a financial contribution.
Leave No Trace
Whether you’re planning on hiking, biking, or just relaxing, make sure to preserve Asheville and the surrounding mountains as you leave. Follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace in order to preserve this special area for years to come. Don’t litter on the trails (and pick up any trash if you happen upon it), be respectful of other visitors and animals while in nature, and plan and recreate responsibly.
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