We’re approaching mid-September, and depending on your location, you may find that a few signs of fall color are on the trees along the Parkway. This is just a reminder to a fall that’s display always arrives here in the mountains in about a month, the middle of October.
Generally fields on the Parkway are full this time of year with Black-eyed Susan, Joe-Pye Weed, Queen Anne’s Lace, Iron Weed, Goldenrod, and in some places you’ll see great displays of Cardinal flower, especially in moister wet areas. The staff at the Peaks of Otter in Virginia is reporting Iron Weed, Jewel Weed, Woodland Sunflower, and Pink Turtlehead, in addition to the above species.
The meadows and agricultural land in the Rocky Knob/Mabry Mill area are showing nice displays of Joe-Pye Weed, Black-eyed Susan, Goldenrod, and a few early signs of fall color here and there. If you’re in North Carolina around the Cone Estate, Spotted Jewel Weed is nicely in bloom around Trout Lake. Yarrow is also common along with Bee Balm and Bellflower. Look for nice Purple-Headed Coneflower just around the visitor’s center at the Linn Cove Viaduct.
From Linville Falls through Gillespie Gap at the Mineral Museum, Ox-eye Daisy, Phlox, Angelica, Jewel Weed, Yarrow, Iron Weed, Coreopsis, and Black-eyed Susan are all common. Some purple Aster should be in bloom through the Craggy Gardens area and Mountain Ash is coming on. Everything seems to be gearing for a splendid fall showing. Tall Coneflower, Fleabane, Ox-eye Daisy, Asters, and White Snakeroot can be found on the Craggy Gardens trail as well.
As always, we will remind you to drive carefully while on the Parkway. Keep your eyes on the road as you enjoy the view. In a few weeks, more indications of fall color will be coming with the peak commonly coming mid to early October.
Regular updates for color reports will be posted to our web site home page. You can also use the National Park Service information line at 828-298-0398 to keep informed of what’s being reported on the Parkway.
Have a safe Parkway visit! Enjoy the view, but watch the road.