This is the Blue Ridge Parkway fall color report for October 23rd, 2007. October weekends are among the busiest times along the Parkway and if at all possible plan your trips for weekdays and the crowds will be much smaller. Use the overlooks to pull off and get that photo or take in the scene but watch the road. Wildflowers still dominate many areas as Sunflower, Ironweed, Goldenrod, Beebalm, and Joe-Pye Weed light up the roadside especially in the agricultural lands adjacent to the Parkway. Row crops of pumpkins, cabbage and corn are reminders as well of the agricultural heritage of this part of the country. South of Roanoke, Virginia around the Rocky Knob and Mabry Mill area, Locust is nice and rusty colored and the Dogwood is at its full red wine color right now. Mape, Tulip-Poplar and Sourwood are 50-70 percent full color. Sourwood’s are showing some very fast change right now. All in all, this area seems to be heading for peak color later this week. In the Parkway’s highest elevations in North Carolina, especially south of Asheville, the temperature dipped down close to freezing about a week ago and the color change around the 4500 ft. elevation is expected to come on fast. As has been reported for a week or two the 5000 ft. elevations such as Richland Balsam, Graveyard Fields and Waterrock Knob are very bright, although past their peak color at this time. Rain and wind are expected this week and that could bring down many leaves. After severe heat and drought conditions such as those this summer, leaf color can be just as brilliant, but short-lived. So catch the good color as soon as possible. Weekly updates at 828-298-0398 will keep you informed of what’s being reported throughout the Parkway.
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