USA Today has selected Jackson County as one of the top 10 destinations to visit for fall foliage. Nominated by a panel of industry experts and voted on by people from around the country, Jackson County was designated as winner of the category among an impressive pool of fall foliage destinations across the United States. All nominees were selected and subsequently voted on based on stunning fall colors presented in the destination and the unique leaf-peeping experiences available to visitors.
Located in the Western North Carolina mountains, Jackson County, comprised of the towns of Cashiers, Sylva, Dillsboro and Cherokee, is less than a 3-hour drive from Atlanta and Charlotte. Jackson County, known for its stunning mountainside displays of autumn color, has long been heralded as a top leaf-peeping destination in the South. The area is uniquely positioned between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, making it the perfect spot for vibrant autumn hues. Based on the elevation profile of the county, 2000-6000 ft. in elevation, Jackson County boasts one of the longest fall seasons in the Southeast. With the area’s numerous scenic hiking and biking trails, the highest number of named peaks in North Carolina, the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway and easy access to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s no wonder that the area is fan favorite for leaf-chasers.
While this award alone is a great honor for the area, the designation is given even more significance considering the other distinguished destinations in the roundup. Claiming the top spot over a list of prominent destinations from around the country, including northern Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, New York’s Catskills and Finger Lakes, Vermont’s Green Mountains, Washington state’s Okanagan Valley, and last year’s reigning champion, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, brings great pride to the Jackson County TDA and Jackson County’s residents.
With fall projected to last into mid-November, visitors have more time to plan the perfect mountain, leaf-peeping getaway. Uncover the magic of Jackson County and experience all that these vibrant towns teeming with local flair have to offer. From shopping from local artisans; to dining at locally sourced, farm-to-table eateries; to sipping craft brews at one of six breweries that call Jackson County home; to fly fishing on the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail®, Jackson County has visitors covered!