Festive Fall Events in Banner Elk, NC

The glory of fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a time to be savored and celebrated. Elk River Club residents fondly recall their first autumn in our community—the canopy of color transforms the region’s peaks and valleys and attracts international visitors year after year. Foliage in emerald greens, golden yellows, blood oranges, deep magentas and nut browns captivate nature lovers and onlookers, who pause to appreciate mother nature and her many gifts. 

Families in our community look forward to hiking our Town Trail and the newly constructed Ed

and Dotti Shelton “Happy Trails.” The Town Trail begins at Riverside Park and delights with a

stunning waterfall, meandering creeks and the idyllic Elk River with stops at the May Wildlife

Rehabilitation Center before reaching Banner Elk. Happy Trails are approximately 3 miles of

trails that run along the ridge at the top of the Elk River Community.

For those ready to fill their fall bucket list with regional fun, we’re covering a handful of the best 2022 fall events in Banner Elk and surrounding areas. Invite a neighbor and bring your camera to capture the fall colors and memories. 

Grandfather Mountain’s Fall Color Ramble, Stargazing and More

The Fall Color Ramble at Grandfather Mountain runs Oct. 1-10; this guided tour spotlights the autumn beauty on the mountain. On Oct. 15, park naturalists will host a handful of fall-color activities, chat with guest speakers and offer additional rambles. 

Their family-friendly Beary Scary Halloween will be held Oct. 29 from 11 am – 3:30 pm, where the focus is all things creepy and crawly. Trick-or-treaters will make their way through the animal habitats area and watch Halloween-themed enrichment activities designed for the animals. 

October is prime stargazing season at Grandfather Mountain—they’ve timed their Adult Field Course in the Starry Skies to coincide with the Orionid meteor shower. On Oct. 22 from 5 pm – 11 pm, participants will learn the fundamentals of stargazing from astronomer, educator, and author Stephan Martin. 

Sugar Mountain’s Oktoberfest and Chairlift Rides

This year’s Oktoberfest at Sugar Mountain will be held Oct. 8-9 from Enjoy 10 am – 5 pm and is brimming with live music, German and American cuisine, children’s activities, chairlift rides, lively performances and more. 

For those in the mood for fall shopping, their local and regional craft vendors have handmade wares perfect for the home or holiday gifts. Sugar Mountain has also set aside several dates for everyone to enjoy chairlift rides (Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 14-16). 

Woolly Worm Festival 

Celebrate the coming of the snow season at the 45th annual Woolly Worm Festival, coming up on Oct. 15-16 in the town of Banner Elk. Participants in the Woolly Worm Races compete for a pot of cash as they “determine which worm will have the honor of predicting the severity of the coming winter.” 

Proceeds from this family-friendly event benefit the community’s schools and children’s programs as well as the promotion of Avery County businesses and tourism. Juried artists have everything from pottery to handmade furniture, jewelry, gifts and more available for sale.  

Valle County Fair 

Save the date for this year’s Valle County Fair, happening on Oct. 15. Get your fill of Brunswick Stew, chili, BBQ and more; stock up on baked goods and artisan jams and jellies. Browse handmade arts and crafts in a range of mediums; fill your day with live music from local bluegrass, country and gospel bands. Performances also include clogging, square dancing and storytelling. Families look forward to face painting, pumpkin bowling and time with alpacas. 

Trunk or Treat

Dress in your Halloween best for this year’s Trunk or Treat, happening Oct. 31 from 5-7 pm in Banner Elk. Banner elk businesses and families transform their vehicles into spooktacular stations as they hand out ghostly goodies to trick-or-treaters. 

Concerts in Boone
Some of the best musical performances in the High Country are happening in Boone, NC. Check out their fall concert calendar for everything from bluegrass to Celtic, indoors and in nature. The Junaluska Gospel Choir at Daniel Boone Native Gardens, Concerts in the Park and the Harvest Hoedown at Linville Falls are three events featured on the autumn lineup. 

Elk River Club is a private mountain golf community in Western North Carolina with the first Signature Jack Nicklaus golf course in the state. Residents and guests enjoy surrounding views of Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and Grandfather Mountain. Amenities include an Equestrian Center, a private, on-premise airport, Har-Tru tennis courts, a pool complex, spa services, Clubhouse, casual and fine dining, fishing, events and more.