This is the Blue Ridge Parkway fall color report for October 13th. The color is spectacular in most areas of the Blue Ridge Parkway and this year, according to most accounts, is the best in several years. As we often say, however, every fall on the Parkway is beautiful, some are just a bit better than others. Once the colors turn, a cold front, or a day of wind and rain can bring them down in a hurry so don’t delay your trip too long. Weekdays are obviously less crowded than weekends. Early morning and late afternoon sun tend to reveal more color, so photographers should plan accordingly. In the northern sections of the Parkway from Aston Mountain down through the Peaks of Otter, the Dogwoods have assumed their classic, rusty red along with the bright yellow Poplars. Maples are turning, although they are not at their peak color yet. The Virginia Creeper is showing nice and bright on the rocky outcrops throughout this area. In Rocky Knob and Mabry Mill in Virginia, the Maples, Poplars, Dogwoods, and Ashe are near their peak color. The agricultural scenes in this area are showing the signs of fall harvest, accented by blooms of Golden Rod and a variety of Asters. Full peak color was occurring around the Doughton Park area earlier this week, with beautiful color still hanging on despite of heavy winds and a cold front moving in this past week. The Grandfather Mountain area is spectacular. Between Linville Falls and The Museum of North Carolina Museum of Minerals, the Dogwoods are especially bright, along with Yellow Birch and Hickory. Stop at the Chestoa View parking area at milepost 320 for a great look at the golden Hickory. Purple Asters are lining the Parkway this fall between milepost 318 and 320 and milepost 327 through 331. South of Asheville, around Mount Pisgah, Graveyard Field, The Devil’s Courthouse and on into the Smokies, the color is great. It should stay that way assuming no wind comes our way. Weekends in October can be crowded, so expect heavy traffic and use the overlooks for frequent rest and to allow faster moving cars to pass by. Remember the Parkway has tighter than normal curves, early morning fog and lots of wildlife that demand more caution than your typical driving experience. Enjoy the view but watch the road.
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