Don’t let the calendar trick you into believing the outdoors are suddenly off-limits. The weather usually doesn’t turn chilly until mid-October. So when you visit the mountains in the early autumn, yo

Don’t let the calendar trick you into believing the outdoors are suddenly off-limits. The weather usually doesn’t turn chilly until mid-October. So when you visit the mountains in the early autumn, you still have plenty of time to enjoy mountain hiking, mountain biking  mountain water sports and even zip lining. If you love mountain water sports,you might consider Western North Carolinaa paradise. Some of the businesses below offer guided trips and instruction; others simply rent the gear and let you do your thing. Regardless of whether you choose a guided trip or to set off on your own, you can’t beat the feeling of being out on the water on a bright fall day.   [caption id="attachment_2137" align="aligncenter" width="300"]300_IMG_5550 Photo courtesy of Asheville Outdoor Center[/caption] Tubing on Mountain Rivers Tubing down a river doesn’t involve danger… unless you’re afraid of having fun. Western North Carolina has several businesses that rent or sell giant inflatable tubes for river rides. While not as intense as whitewater rafting, floating down one of the many local rivers in a tube is a cool way to spend a lazy afternoon. As mountain water sports go, tubing is a safe activity for your family and a fun experience for your friends. Let the current be your guide as you embrace the beauty of autumn from a unique mid-river perspective. [caption id="attachment_2138" align="aligncenter" width="487"]lake_SUP6 Photo courtesy of Wildwater Rafting[/caption] Pick Up a Paddle and Go There’s no reason to let the changing seasons keep you off the mountain water. North Carolina’s mountain waterways are gorgeous in the fall.If you want to experience the stunning scenery, take a canoe or kayak trip through a mountain river or stream. Small watercraft can go where larger boats cannot. Experienced adventurers can head out to the rapids, while those looking for something a little more relaxed can paddle down the French Broad River, pausing to let the current do the work.   [caption id="attachment_2139" align="aligncenter" width="497"]825_IMG_5606 Photo courtesy of Asheville Outdoor Center[/caption] Ready, Set, Raft! Whitewater rafting might be the ultimate in mountain water sports. While the local rivers remain relatively calm, you’ll find plenty of rapids in mountain streams if that’s what you like. The Green River, for example, has rapids that attract paddlers looking for a high-energy adrenaline rush. Whitewater rafting is an exciting and generally safe mountain water sport, but there are risks, so make sure you go with an experienced guide and follow all the recommended safety precautions. [caption id="attachment_2142" align="aligncenter" width="273"]imgres Photo courtesy of NCMountain Realty Group[/caption] Gone Fishing Locals understand that there’s an art to fly-fishing, something you know as well if you’ve ever tried it. Standing in the river, hip-deep in a pair of rubber waders, creating the perfect cast with a handcrafted fly: it’s a meditative experience punctuated occasionally with a dancing fish on the line. There’s a science to it, too: navigating the underwater terrain and knowing just the right moment to cast your lure.But the art involves enticing an iridescent fish to take your bait. If you’re a fisherman or want to be one, fall is the perfect time.   Mountain Water Sports Near Asheville Staying at the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds comfortably serves as an ideal starting and ending point for autumn water activities. The French Broad River is minutes away. And the trout pond on the property is still stocked and waiting. Summer may have ended, but you can find fun and adventure in the water— as long as you know where to look.