Find Peak Colors on the Drive from Asheville to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The 80-mile stretch of roadway between Asheville and Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a joy anytime of year, but it’s hard to top this coming week when the leaves on red maples, dogwoods, and sassafras trees are at the height of their fall foliage. Spend your first night in the heart of downtown at the Renaissance Asheville. Then it’s time to hit the High Country, where the drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway reaches its highest elevation at 6,047 feet, surrounded by row after row of ridges like the flanks of Mount Pisgah and Cold Mountain, the setting for the best-selling novel. There are numerous opportunities to stretch your legs and stroll to lonely mountain streams and waterfalls amongst the 120 species of trees, the greatest variety in the US. A good place to start is the self-guided Harwood Cove Nature Trail that begins at the Chimneys Picnic Area.