The sun rises above the varied yellows, oranges and greens of Rough Ridge, off the Blue Ridge Parkway. (Photo by Skip Sickler)

Brisk winds this weekend shook off just enough leaves in the High Country to create a satisfying crunch beneath hikers’ feet, but not enough to diminish the colorful hues at the higher elevations. The weekend’s cold snap should trigger to the many remaining green trees that the time has come to turn.

Those planning to travel to Western North Carolina next weekend should mark their calendars for Oktoberfest at Sugar Mountain Resort on Oct. 11-12, a family-friendly event with Bavarian cuisine, beer, scenic chairlift rides, craft booths, children’s activities and an oom-pah band. Also on Oct. 12 is the Boone Heritage Festival at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum. The free outdoor festival features musical performances, historical demonstrations, craft vendors, kids’ activities and more celebrating Appalachian traditions.