From the end of October through mid-November, expect to see some remaining fall color, but only in the lower Parkway elevations. The James River crossing in Virginia where the Parkway dips to about 650 feet is a good example of a place that will probably have good late fall color. The Roanoke valley and the Asheville corridor should retain some color worth seeing into the first week or two of November as well.
During the winter, expect many sections of the motor road to be closed due to accumulations of ice and snow. With long bridges and shaded curves, this can sometimes be a fairly long term closure. If conditions allow, however, the Parkway is open to travel, and with cold temperatures, the atmosphere tends to be a bit more favorable to getting those long distance views from the ridge tops. Of course, with the leaves off the trees, things open up even more.
Always have some extra clothes and a few emergencies supplies in the trunk of your car, and remember that for emergencies only, 1-800-PARK-WATCH will get you in touch with emergency personnel. Spring opening dates generally happen on a staggered basis beginning by the first of May, and these will be announced in early spring. Enjoy the Parkway during the winter!
Weekly updates at 828-298-0398 will keep you informed of what’s being reported throughout the Parkway.
Have a safe parkway visit! Enjoy the view, but watch the road.