It took a while for temperatures to drop this year, but it’s safe to say that fall is officially here. And while this season is a favorite for many reasons (the sweaters, the boots, the pumpkin spice everything), the amazing views of fall foliage you can find throughout the County top the list.

(Here’s a little throwback to last year in case you forgot how AWESOME the leaves look when they change ⬇️)

As you may know from years past, the window of time to see the leaves looking their best can be rather short – for 2018, it looks like early November will bring out the best colors in Mecklenburg County. So, it’s important to know where to go so you don’t miss out! Here are a few of our favorite viewing spots:

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve

6211 Sample Rd., Huntersville, NC 28078

One of the best spots to see fall foliage at Latta Plantation is Buzzard Rock. To get there, use the Buzzard Rock parking lot and take the trail to the end where it overlooks Mountain Island Lake and the Gaston County shoreline. You can even kayak around Mountain Island Lake if you want to get a little closer! (Use the kayak launch on the north shore of Latta Plantation Nature Preserve)

Stephens Road Nature Preserve

5901 Stephens Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

The best trail for fall viewing at the Stephens Road Nature Preserve is the Buckeye Loop. It offers several views of Mountain Island Lake Cove, but what you really won’t be able to take your eyes off of is the brilliant red colors you’ll see along the way. You can access this trail from the parking area at the end of Stephens Road – look for the yellow squares!

McDowell Nature Preserve

15222 South York Rd., Charlotte, NC 28278

The waterfront deck at McDowell Nature Preserve is one of the best viewing spots for our southern Mecklenburg County residents! It’s accessible from the main road but there’s also a trail that will take you along the lake if you’re up for a bit of a hike. If you start on the deck, take the Kingfisher Trail on the eastern side of the waterfront area (look for the blue triangle blazes).

Another great trail for viewing fall foliage at McDowell is the Cove Trail. Like the waterfront deck this trail offers views of Lake Wylie, but what really makes this one spectacular is the rolling hills you’ll hike through. Just look at the nature right beside you and you’ll see what we mean.

Do you have another spot in the County that you love to visit each fall? Share it with us on social media! And while you’re out there, if you take any photos be sure to tag us on Instagram (@mecklenburgcounty) – your picture might wind up being featured on our page!