Hiking Devils Courthouse and another visitor

Autumn is finally coming to our part of the world.  It is a bit late this year due to the warm temperatures continuing long past its normal time.  We decided to take a hike last week at Devil’s Courthouse on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see some of the color.  Driving up the parkway, we decided to have lunch at the Pisgah Inn as it was the last day it would be open for the season.  Views from there are really wonderful.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The Inn is high on the parkway, around 5000 feet, and the colors were somewhat muted this year due to the warm temperatures.  We needed to have a cold snap sooner.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

After lunch we continued upward to the Devil’s Courthouse, a rock formation with a hiking trail.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The hike is about a half mile long, but steep, gaining 258 feet in elevation from the trailhead parking lot to the top.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The beginning of the trail is paved, with bumpers to channel rainwater.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

About halfway up, the trail turns to gravel and rock, and still steep.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

But the view is worth the effort, even though this area is past peak and many trees have lost their leaves entirely.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

You can see for many miles from the top, layers upon layers of mountains extending into the distance.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

It was a nice day, fairly clear but still with a bit of haze over the mountaintops that gives the Blue Ridge its name.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

They are a bit difficult to see, but in the middle of the sky in this photo are three eagles we saw soaring around.  Naturally when they came close, those pictures were too blurry to use.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

We headed back down after a while, stopping at more overlooks on the way home.  Still at this level, there was some color, just not as vibrant as we have seen in the past.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

A little lower elevation was past peak too.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

But as we kept going, the colors became a bit richer.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Closer to 4000 feet elevation, the reds started to show up.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Lovely, isn’t it?  I love this time of year!

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Still, there is a lot of green left, so peak here is a few more days away.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

I am afraid that most of the color will not show this year and the leaves will drop before they reach their full brightness.

Hiking the Devil's Courthouse at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

We are about at the peak at our home now.  But the rain and wind in the past few days brought down a lot of leaves.  So it won’t be a banner year for color, still it is beautiful.

November Views at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

So, I was sitting in the den late afternoon just a couple of days ago, and noticed movement outside on the veranda. A black bear was on the other side of the sliding glass door, just looking around. I jumped up to grab the camera, and it turned around just in time for me to snap a pic of its backside.

November Views at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

I ran around to the other side of the kitchen to try and get its face, but I wasn’t fast enough.  This is a relatively small one, about 150-200 pounds.

November Views at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Later we saw it again behind the house going up the mountainside. DH is hoping it continues to move on, LOL!!

November Views at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Do you have color in your part of the world?

28 thoughts on “Hiking Devils Courthouse and another visitor

  1. Debbie Miller Meyer

    Beautiful scenery and I love seeing the bear. Our leaves are mostly on the ground now and this morning it is snowing. There was some on the ground earlier, but that has melted and flurries are all I’m seeing. I looked out to wooded area just beyond our yard to see a mamma and baby deer! So beautiful and serene!

  2. Cherilyn Anderson

    We do have color here in Indiana but strong winds are tearing them off their limbs…I am envious of your beautiful environs!

  3. Lesley Gilbert

    Thanks as always for sharing your lovely trip around your countryside – lovely colours still in view – a beautiful part of your country. I hope Baloo continues on his journey to a safer place to hibernate 🙂

  4. Barbara

    Our color here is WHITE as we had our first snow last night and continuing this morning. W have about one and a half inches so far. All the people who frantically raked leaves to put at the curb for pickup today are wondering if it will happen this fall/winter or if the leaves will sit there frozen to the ground all winter. The snow is pretty. We just wish we could have had about a week more of fall. Nature had other ideas.

  5. Linda B

    We have enjoyed the yellow of our ginko tree this year…often they turn yellow and fall seems like that same day. I even hate to rake up the leaves they are so pretty. I hope you are not making your house too inviting for your visitors…I have a neighbor who had squirrels destroy their screened in porch and plants and seat cushions…just squirrels. I try to keep racoons at bay here. Cannot imagine the havoc a bear could cause! Be careful!

  6. What a beautiful hike that was, and all from my easy chair! Haha. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos, Carole. It looks like it was a lovely day and those fall colors are so pretty! That little black bear was a little too close for comfort, I think. I’m with your hubby, I hope the little guy moves on to better foraging out in the woods, far, far, away.

  7. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, It is always a pleasant way to start the morning when you share photos such as these. Of course, the bear made me come to full alert. LOL. With both of us living in the mountains in our community, seeing all of the cycles of the seasons is such a blessing in so many ways, especially when it comes to the wildlife. I am delighted that you were able to get the photos you did of the bear. Have you had very many bears visiting so close? In regards to your question, we are having such a beautiful array of fall colors this year, yet we had our first frost just yesterday morning which is a bit early. Thank you for sharing these beautiful views of your home. Have a spectacular day!

  8. Kathleen

    Your pictures are magnificent! Looks like a beautiful trail. The foliage is the same here, in the western New York State area. Just went from green to yellow and then the driving wind and rain storms took care of the rest. Good thing about the winds though . . . all the leaves that got knocked down and were stuck to my grass one day, moved on to the neighboring lawns by the next day! And now it’s snowing. Now that bear . . . amazing pictures, but too close for comfort if you ask me!

  9. I’m thrilled to have seen the trail to Devil’s Courthouse, because I’m not likely to climb up there. Thanks for pictures of the bear, too. We had a bear in our garden a day or so ago, judging by the scat and prints. I wish I had seen it, and so does my camera.

  10. Sharon Schipper

    It’s below 30 at night now, and we had some freak snow storms late in october and leaves all on the ground, like NC not as colorful down here in denver. BUT the higher peaks are all in snow now, skiing opened up at several of the resorts and tons of snow at Winter Park. Supposed to be a colder wetter winter, and heaven knows we need it in the midwest…

    Bears are worrisome, but perhaps he’ll be in his den soon! every year we have some who have to be relocated, or worse, euthanized, because they become like 300 lb raccoons (and we would LOVE to move the raccoons and the disease ridden vermin–prairie dogs) The raccoons become very pestiferous, and it has nothing to do with taking over habitat, it’s in long established neighborhoods. Happy fall! I have a binding to do this weekend so I can gift it at work here next week….

  11. That is a beautiful place for a hike, shame the weather has been changeable and not given you the usual colours. That bear was very close, hopefully it moves on and finds somewhere else to be. What happens if one wanders by when you are gardening? We have spring here, lots of new green on the trees and flowering plants, iris, geraniums, native plants like bottle brush and another one I can’t remember the name of!! We have had a few honey eating birds about, after the nectar of the native plants.

  12. There may not be as much color as in years past, but I can see that the hike is well worth visiting anyway! Thanks so much for sharing!

    In my neck of the woods, the color is white. It is cold and snowing!

  13. dezertsuz

    Our color is similar to yours. The prettiest I’ve seen was a couple of weeks ago driving through the pass from Tennessee into North Carolina, in the Cherokee National Forest. That was quite lovely, but it’s lower down. Temperatures, the amount of rain, everything affects the color and I didn’t see it as a banner year here, either, though there were a lot of red and bright oranges here and there. Thanks for sharing your pictures. It reminds me so much of parts of northern Arizona, where you can look across several mountain ranges.

  14. The bear’s backside….we could have some fun with that! That looked like a great hike, especially with the reward of a lovely view at the end! No color here, nearly everything is bare now, and we have had really cold weather here this week. It was a whopping 9 degrees this morning when I left for a meeting at 8!

  15. Melanie

    Great photos, Carole, and lovely views. Oh, that bear! Must have been a bit of a doubletake when you first saw it. We haven’t seen bears here for some time, but we have them AND they have come across our deck, too. Great job in getting at least a partial shot of him/her. Our color is still strong here, but temperatures are dropping and when the wind blows the leaves fly off the trees. We could use some rain!

  16. Donna Weeks

    The bear on your porch!!!! Yikes!!! This certainly was an unexpected visitor. Thanks for sharing your road trip. Plenty of gorgeous views.

  17. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    We do have color here in AL for a couple of weeks, but we’ve had so much wind and rain the past few days, many of our leaves are gone. 😦 But, they are pretty while they last!!

  18. We’re in the same situation – the leaves are falling fast and there is still green outside. But some of the trees are really beautiful. Your views are gorgeous. Thank you for taking us along on your hike. We get to see the scenery without the tired feet.

  19. Looks like a great hike. We were too warm for too long too and then it got cold and windy. So a lot of the leaves turned colors and then got blown off the trees. Some years that is just how it goes. Hope your visitor decided to move on and find a good place to hibernate.

  20. Thank you for the lovely guided tour ro Devils Courthouse. I felt I was right there with you, I love the Pisgah Inn and have dined there several times, always fresh trout if they have it. I own property along the Blue Ridge Pky in the Cherry Lane community near Sparta and my Property is very pretty now. I love to hear the waterfall and just wander, with camera in hand, looking for photographs to use in my art quilts. I love your blogs so much.

  21. Cindy Beal

    I got to spend last weekend at my fav place in Maggie Valley and upon arrival we did have some good color, not as bright as last year, but still very pretty. By the time we left a thunderstorm had rolled through and knocked most of the leaves off. We did slide in a short drive on the parkway (between sewing binges) but it was past peak for sure. I love it there anytime of the year!

    And that bear! What a surprise!!!!

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