Surviving the season: A guide to fall in the High Country

Savannah Brewer, Reporter

With leaves changing and sweaters coming back into fashion, autumn in Boone is just around the corner. This October explore all that the High Country has to offer.


Fall Festivals: 

Pre-game the ski season with Sugar Mountain’s 31st annual Oktoberfest. Browse vendor wares and ski gear while enjoying live music. Don’t forget your best pair of lederhosen as the event also hosts a Bavarian costume contest. 

The fest will be held Oct. 9 – 10 at 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive. 

Experience the best of Grandfather Mountain’s peak leaf colors at the Fall Color Ramble. Twenty minute guided walks will be hosted for participants Oct. 3-11 at 2050 Blowing Rock Highway. Reservations for access to the park can be purchased on Grandfather Mountain’s website. Escape the busyness of everyday life for rolling farmland views at Valle Country Fair. Hosted in Valle Crucis, this annual fair emulates the roots of Appalachia, from clogging to bluegrass, homemade apple cider and regional artists. 

The fair will be held Oct. 16 at 122 Skiles Way from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $10 per vehicle.

Not far from Valle Crucis, Banner Elk will also be hosting a festival Oct. 16 through the 17. The Woolly Worm Festival will host its 44th annual event at historic Banner Elk Elementary at 185 Azalea Circle.

Witness the High Country’s version of Groundhog Day as Wooly Bear Caterpillars compete in races for the honor of predicting the coming winter forecast.  

Admission cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children between the ages of six and 12 and admission is free for children under the age of 5. 


Halloween Festivities: 

Spice up this Halloween by entering into the holiday season with a myriad of local events and festivities. 

Blowing Rock’s Halloween Festival will be held Oct. 30 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Join in on the costumed fun at Memorial Park. Admission is free and all ages are welcome. The festival is located at 1036 Main St.

For some spooky late night fun, Tweetsie will be hosting ghost train rides through  Oct. 30. Stop by on Friday or Saturday nights. Ticket prices can be found on Tweetsie’s website. 

Get more than one use out of your Halloween costume by attending The Hunger and Health Coalition’s seventh annual Masquerade Ball. The event will be held Oct. 29 at The Mill at Rock Creek 3306 Highway 194 N. Tickets start at $40. This event is hosted for adult’s only. 

Join in on family fun with pets included for App State’s Spooky Duke 5k, 10k and costume march. This event will occur Oct. 16 in the Peacock parking lot. Free children’s activities will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Both races will start at 9 a.m. Registration is open on App State’s website. 


Fall Produce: 

Harvest Time is here and with it the promise of brightly blooming mums and colorful arrays of squash. Explore the High Country’s markets and roadside stands for the best of the season’s crops.

Tucked between the flowered hills of Daniel Boone Gardens and shaded cabins of Horn of the West is a wealth of local produce and goods. Watauga Farmers Market will soon be speckled with seasonal oranges and yellows. Stock up on pumpkins, gourds, baked goods and wildflowers. The market is open every Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 591 Horn in the W Drive. 

Take a short trip to Deep Gap to experience the expansive corn maze and sprawling pumpkin patch of New River Corn Maze. Located between the New River and historic Brown Family Farm, the location is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. until dark and Sundays from 1 p.m. until dark. The farm is located at 660 Laurel Gap Ridge Road. 

The Mustard Seed Market is celebrating 30 years of greenhouse goods and garden materials. Browse an array of plants, decor and seasonal goods while supporting a locally-owned business. Visit the market from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 5589 US-321.

Drop by J & M Produce for more seasonal goods as well as canned fruits and vegetables for the coming winter, all while enjoying the festive decor of this rustic roadside stand. Find this stop at 117 Shore Drive. The stand is open from 10a.m. to 6 p.m. 


Fall Menu Checklist

Fall isn’t complete without a warm cup of fresh apple cider and pumpkin flavored baked goods. Discover the local Boone kitchens and bakeries that will be serving seasonal goods this autumn. 

Visit Stick Boy’s Bakery for fall specials such as cran-apple pumpkin seed, pumpkin cinnamon chip brioche, shaker squash and more. Visit for a bakery schedule

Follow the smells of pumpkin spice into Appalachia Cookie Co., or have the savory scents delivered right to your door. Their seasonal pumpkin spice cookie was featured in Asheville’s Western North Carolina magazine. 

Make your way onto King Street for Hole Lotta Doughnuts. Celebrate the last of the apple season with their apple cider cake doughnut. 

Experience the classic taste of Blue Deer Cookies with a twist from their seasonal fall menu. Apple pie and pumpkin pie ice cream are just a few of the flavors that will be available. 

Visit Talia Espresso for a myriad of fall-themed drinks. From pumpkin white mocha to salted caramel pumpkin iced latte, there are enough options to make everyone happy. 

A crisp Boone morning calls for bagels from Boone Bagelry. Stop by to try their seasonal pumpkin cream cheese.