Fun Fall Activities Near the Nantahala River

by | Bryson City, Nantahala National Forest, Nantahala River, Whitewater Rafting


Fall in the NC Mountains

A raft trip down the Nantahala River is truly one of the greatest joys of the fall season. Since the temperatures during the day don’t drop into the 70s until late October, a hint of summer mixes with the beauty of the trees in all their different colors. Once you’ve enjoyed a trip down the Nantahala River with Carolina Outfitters, below are a few more festivities to check out while leaf-looking in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Darnell Farms is a family-friendly farm located on the banks of the Tuckasegee River in Bryson City, North Carolina. They hold a variety of fall activities, which include vendors, crafters, artists, hayrides, live music, demonstrations, special activities, foods, and much more. They host a Bluegrass River Jam and Pumpkin Fest in the fall. Come on out and meet Nate the Farmer!


Great Smoky Mountains Railroad provides scenic train rides and special excursions. Autumn is the perfect time of year to enjoy fall colors at their most brilliant display while riding the rails along the Nantahala River, Tuckasegee River, and Fontana Lake. You’ll ride through the Nantahala National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other hard-to-get-to places in the mountains of Western North Carolina. 

Located in Brasstown, North Carolina, less than an hour from the Nantahala Gorge, you can join a celebration of Appalachian Heritage with live music, food, dancing, crafts and much more at the John C. Campbell Folk School Fall Festival.

Maggie Valley Fall Arts & Crafts Show is held in October at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. This arts and crafts show features a variety of artists from all over the Southeast. Handmade crafts range from affordable to expensive museum quality pieces.  Chainsaw demonstrations and food vendors add to the festivities for a fun-filled day of browsing and good food.

Come sit around a Cherokee Bonfire and hear amazing tales by Cherokee storytellers. They draw stories from oral traditions dating back a millenia. September and October are the best months for a bonfire, so bring a blanket and get comfortable for an evening of storytelling.

Smoky Mountains Farmers & Artisans Market is held weekends May-October. A variety of vendors showcase authentic artisans and food grown from local farms. It’s a rain or shine event with local musicians providing entertainment in a pet friendly environment. Picnic tables provide a place to sit and rest or eat lunch. 

September and October have much to offer. The temperatures are almost perfect this time of year for an easy relaxing vacation in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Come on over and see for yourself!

Margaret Marr, is a local author of paranormal, mystery, and suspense laced with romance. She has written over 15 books available on Amazon. 


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