Fun Things to Do in Fall {Boone, NC & Beyond} - Part 3

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of FALL. Somehow, it slipped in right under my nose without me noticing and is currently in full swing here in the high country. Try as I might to soak up as much as I can, there are many things that I am afraid that we won't get to do because this beloved season fades entirely to fast. With that being said, we have done a whole heck of a lot recently with more to come, so I'm not complaining. All you can do is enjoy it while it lasts, right?! 

 Hebron Rock Colony

12. Hebron Rock Colony By accident last year, I discovered that this was the most beautiful place around Boone to soak up fall. While it entails a brief hike to reach the rock laden gorge, this is the least of a visitors worries. Navigating the plethora of boulders requires a lot of rock hopping and scrambling, however, this can easily be achieved as long as you're being extremely careful. I could have spent all day marveling (and photographing) at the luminous display of golds, oranges and yellows blanketing the surrounding trees. We visited Hebron just yesterday and it appears as though we missed the peak colors, but it was still very pretty.

13. Sleep in the Woods: One of the great things about being in western North Carolina is that there is never a shortage of places to sleep outdoors if you're looking to commune with nature for a night or weekend. There's nothing better than bundling up during the chilly nights, and waking up to crisp, cool mornings that warm up as the day wears on. With the Blue Ridge Parkway near by there are a number of well-maintained campgrounds that are typically less than $20 a night if you want to car camp. However, there are just as many free options to be found if you know where to look and aren't afraid of a hike (or trespassing :D j/k). For instance, backpackers can camp for free (with some restrictions) in the Linville Gorge, Pisgah National Forest and Grandfather Mountain's backcountry to name a few available options.

 Corn Maze

14. Getting lost in the New River Corn Maze is a surefire way to get the giggles and have a goofy good time. This year a new maze opened just outside of Boone that winds through 4 acres of corn along the New River. Expect to be laughing too hard to notice whether or not you took a wrong turn until you hit a dead-end, although the little street signs marking the paths help to steer you in a new direction. Cody and I went with a couple of friends and the boys insisted on teaming up to scare us many times along the way. However, we did manage to make it out in just 23 minutes even with their shady shenanigans!
 ASU Football Game

15. ASU Football Game: I've lived here in Boone,NC for over 5 years now and I had never been to a football game until last weekend. I suppose that I just didn't have the urge to dilly dally with a boat load of drunken college kids, and I'm not sure why I chose to do so now, but it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Initially, it was sort of a way to say that I've gone to a football game, finally, but I actually enjoyed myself and we're already talking about going to another one. Over the years, I must have forgotten how much fun it is to cheer on a team alongside a bunch of overexcited fans who are hooting and hollering. 

16. Play Disc Golf: A 30 minute drive from Boone is an amazing disc golf course in Ashe County with 20 holes to accommodate both amateurs and pros. Playing the course doesn't cost you anything, although you need to have your own discs in order to do so. Besides having a really great course set-up with holes ranging from easy to difficult, you'll also be swept away by the mountain scenery surrounding you. For anyone who has never experienced the game of disc golf before, it's a lot of fun to play and it isn't too hard to get the hang of. Now, scoring a goal (or basket) is a different story.

 Me in Autumn

17. Not Just Child's Play: Gather up a great big pile of leaves, launch them as high as you can above your head, and spin around as they fall! As goofy as it may sound, something magical happens and you're instantly transported to a more playful age (if you don't already act like a kid). I had such a blast and haven't laughed that hard in a while. The people who were watching as they walked by definitely looked like they wanted to jump in too. If you think that playing in a pile of leaves if just for kids, you should absolutely try it yourself sometime. 

This short list of fun things to do in fall consists mainly of things to do around Boone, however, I'm sure that football games, campgrounds and corn mazes can also be found around your home as well with a little research.
This blog post is PART 3 of the "Fun Things to Do in Fall" series. In Part 1, I shared a list of Fairs and Festivals in and around North Carolina that we enjoy attending. And in Part 2, I shared our favorite National and State Parks in the Western NC region that we frequent during this time of year. If you missed those, the links can be found below.

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Fun Things to Do in Fall (Boone, NC & Western NC) - Part 2

 {National & State Parks}

Linn Cove Viaduct

6. Blue Ridge Parkway This 469 mile long scenic drive starts in Virginia, meanders through North Carolina and ends in Tennessee. It is an extremely popular destination among those who covet the myriad of colors our region is famous for producing. Seeing your favorite vistas and hikes cloaked in the most vibrant fall colors is an added bonus, however, the congestion the parkway experiences is almost enough to make you steer clear. The BRP is also celebrating their 75th anniversary this year and has events scheduled throughout the season for everyone to enjoy.

Linville Falls

7. Linville Falls Located at milepost 316.5 this highlight is a stop off along the Blue Ridge Parkway that attracts a high volume of visitors during any season. The 90 foot powerful plunge can be seen from many different angles and can be reached through a variety of hikes that range from easy to difficult. It's one of my favorite waterfalls, especially in Fall.

8. Wiseman's View Just a short distance from Linville Falls this overlook offers an equally impressive display (sans waterfall) of the Linville Gorge. The trail to the rock outcropping requires nothing more than an easy stroll, and the concrete path makes it handicap accessible. This detour won't take much time, which makes it a great quickstop before or after seeing Linville Falls.

From the Top

9. Grandfather Mountain At an elevation of 5,946 ft above sea level, the views from this biosphere are incredible, especially from the top where the Mile High Swinging Bridge resides. Wildlife habitats and hiking trails will also keep you busy during your visit to GM to get your monies worth. Not too long ago, the state of North Carolina purchased GM's backcountry for a state park; before this took place an overnight hiker had to purchase a permit to camp, however, now the permits are free.

Under the Parkway

10. Hiking @ Cone Manor From this central location off the Blue Ridge Parkway you can access an array of trails. Shuffle through "The Maze" down at Bass Lake or hustle your way up the Flat Top Trail to the firetower where your efforts are rewarded with spectacular 360 degree views. We start a lot of our hikes from this point because it's conveniently located near Boone and we have options to choose from depending on how hard we're willing to work.

Devils Head

11. Chimney Rock State Park in NC A perfect place to find fall and reconnect with nature is at Chimney Rock. With nature trails, a waterfall and fresh mountain air this place seriously can't be beat. It is definitely not a secret, so don't expect to have the place to yourself, though.

These posts are keeping me motivated about Fall, because right now it seems as though we skipped this season altogether and winter has begun to set in. Or at least it has for the past two days. We've already had our heater on and I've broken out the sweaters! I hope this cold snap subsides soon, because I really want to experience some FALL.

This is a continuation of a series about "Fun Things to do in Fall". In part 1 (link below), I shared a list of festivals and fairs happening across North Carolina, and even one in Georgia, while this portion of the list is focused more on state parks around Western North Carolina. With this list you will find links to archived posts or to other websites where you can gather more information.  

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    Fun Things to Do in Fall (North Carolina & Beyond) - Part 1

    I found some sunshine...

    The transition between the bittersweet end of summer and the arrival of a sleepy winter season is my most favorite season of all, FALL. During this period, the landscape dramatically changes putting on a brilliant show of rich colors that sadly only stays for a brief period of time. It's not too hot, and it's not too cold on most days during the month, which causes the world outdoors to beckon even louder than before.  

    Cody often complains that I never want to visit the same place twice. I can't lie, it's sort of true. Nothing excites me more than the prospect of seeing something new or going somewhere that I've never been. This is why, when the opportunity arises, I pick going someplace new over a place I've already been.

    The month of October is different, though. During the meatiest part of FALL, I have a lengthy list of super fun things to do that are often being repeated from the previous year. It's my most favorite month of the year, because it's jam-packed with lots of really entertaining activities that I don't want to miss.

    At times, sacrifices do have to be made due to the fact that certain events collide with others, which leaves us very conflicted. So many tough decisions to be made. I'm not here to make it any easier on anyone either, because I'm going to share my massively long list of fun things to do during fall, so that you'll suffer the same dilemma as I do. 

    Is there really such as thing as 'having too much fun'? I don't know, but I'm definitely willing to test that absurd theory by conducting a few experiments of my own :D

    Below is my massively long list of fun things to do during FALL across the state of North Carolina and beyond. Okay, so, it's not super massive, that might be a slight exaggeration. It's really only 5 items for now. But I'll be adding to this list as the week progresses, this is only part one of a longer list. 

    {Fairs & Festivals}

    Dextre Tripp

    1. Renaissance Festival: Eat, Drynk & Be Merrie! This is the most anticipated event of the season for us. We've been looking forward to the Ren Fest since last year! Oh, how I've missed that medieval village of madness. It really is a jolly good time. Visit last years blog post to see pictures and a video of a crazy  daredevil dude who juggles with a chainsaw (it's awesome) :D

    All Burn

    2. Carolina Balloon Festival in Statesville, NC I'm pretty sad that this is one of those events that we'll have to miss this year. We had such an awesome time amongst the colossal hot air balloons. Walking next to something so massive makes you feel super small, but it's a cool experience. And when the sun goes down allowing the firelight to fill the night, it creates the most beautiful glow. Maybe next year...

    Starship Lights

    3. North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, NC If you have the urge to spend way more money than you intend, but have a roaring good time while you're doing it, this is definitely the best place to achieve that goal. as skewed as it seems. From the moment you walk through the gates, you are inundated with options to the point of overload. The bright lights and fast and furious rides will get your heart pumping, and the food will surely entice even the most disciplined dieter. We're definitely making plans to do it again this year, I can't wait!

    4. Wolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, NC This is one that we wouldn't be able to do because of other plans. It is a family oriented festival on a much smaller scale, however, they still have plenty of vendors and rides to keep you occupied. The main event would be the good ol' fashioned wolly worm race where the winner predicts the severity of the upcoming winter weather season based on its bands of color. 

    Helen, Ga

    5. Oktoberfest in Helen, GA is set in a picturesque town that was made to look like an alpine village complete with Bavarian-style buildings to round out the German celebration experience. During October, the town is crawling with colorful characters donning all sorts of interesting get-ups offering entertainment around every corner. Oktoberfest isn't complete without a brat from Troll Tavern and some chicken dancing at Festhalle!

    With just the few events that I have named here, we surely do have an exciting month ahead of us, and this is only half of it - if you can imagine. There are many other things that I hope to do as well before the month is out, and I'm planning to take full advantage of every bit of autumn I can before it's over. This is only Part 1 of the "Fun Things to Do in Fall" Series, as the week continues, I will put up new posts with additional ideas. Going forward, I plan to share my favorite things to do in autumn around Boone, NC, but most can be applied to the area in which you live as well. To see more photos, visiting the links in BOLD above will take you to my archived blog posts (with the exception of the Wolly Worm Festival).

    Tell me, what are your favorite things to do during the fall/autumn season? When I asked on facebook, I got a lot of answers pointing more toward indoor comforts instead of outdoor activities. Where do you stand?

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