Every year, visitors flock to the mountains of Western North Carolina to take in nature’s most significant phenomenon, the changing of the leaves. Annually, the Appalachian State University Biology Department creates a Fall Color Report. This map shows the peak times to visit different parts of the WNC Mountains to take in the beauty of the changing leaves.
What does this mean for leaf-lookers in Cashiers and Highlands, NC? According to the 2022 map, you’ll want to visit the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau during the first two weeks of October. When joining us to watch the leaves changing, you will surely enjoy some unique experiences on the Plateau.
There are always plenty of things to do in Cashiers, Highlands, and Glenville, NC. However, leaf season is possibly the most beautiful time to visit the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. Check out Caliber’s favorite things to do as the ridgelines and valleys start their metamorphosis!
1. Experience the Shadow Of The Bear near Highlands, NC
For a unique experience, you can witness the Shadow Of The Bear transformation at Whiteside Mountain! The optimal spot to see it for yourself is from the Rhodes Big View Overlook on US Highway 64. From here, you are just a few miles west of Cashiers, NC, and five miles east of Highlands, NC. See the Shadow of the Bear for 30 minutes daily from mid-October to November.
Watch the bear-like shadow emerge out of hibernation when the autumn sun begins to set behind Whiteside Mountain. The Shadow is visible at approximately 5:30 – 6:15 PM. You don’t want to miss this natural phenomenon!
2. Cast a Line for Fall Fly Fishing
As the leaves change and water temperatures cool, a breath of life is restored into our surrounding Appalachian rivers in the NC Trout Capital. The Fall climate in Western NC creates higher oxygen levels within the rivers, creating a prolific environment for aquatic insects and trout to thrive. Terrestrial insects become less abundant in the fall and trout shift their focus to small Caddis Flies, Blue Winged Olive Mayflies, Stoneflies, and river-dwelling Sculpin.
For the patient angler, Autumn is the ideal time to target aggressive trophy-sized Brown and Brook Trout as they prepare for their annual spawn. Whether you swing streamers (baitfish patterns) along the bank or drift nymphs in deep pockets, your chance of hooking the fish of a lifetime is seriously heightened during the Autumn months.
Please be wary of local fishing regulations, proper fish handling procedures, and limiting the time a fish is out of the water. We love our local Trout populations and strive to preserve these treasures for generations to come!
3.Attend the Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival in Cashiers, NC
Are you as excited about the leaves changing as we are? Come join us at the Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival for a three-day long weekend to celebrate the beginning of Autumn on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. This year’s festival takes place from October 7 through October 9, 2022, and you don’t want to miss it!
The Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival is held each year at The Village Green in Cashiers, NC. Visitors shop for unique hand-crafted items such as locally carved wooden trinkets, a variety of hand-thrown pottery, and local artwork.
While you embrace the natural beauty of leaf season, we encourage you to indulge in the incredible selection of food and live concerts. The festival is the perfect way to explore and indulge in the culture and beauty of Western NC!
The Village Green is a 13-acre park in downtown Cashiers, NC that hosts over 80 events each year! It has been successfully preserving nature and community heritage for 30 years. This non-profit organization does not receive any federal, state, or local funding. It depends solely on the generosity of our community!
It’s easy to see why Fall in Western NC is our favorite time of year!
With many outdoor activities to choose from like hiking, fishing, and festivals, you are sure to be amazed. Enjoy the majestic Autumn scenery our great region has to offer. You don’t want to miss out on the beauty of the Fall color on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau!