It is mid-September and depending on your location you may find a few signs of fall color on some trees along the Parkway. This is just a reminder to the display that always arrives here in the mountains around the middle of October. Generally the fields full with this time of year with Black-eyed Susan, Joe-Pye weed, Queen Anne’s Lace, Ironweed, Goldenrod and in some places great displays of Cardinal Flower in wet areas.
The staff at the Peaks of Otter in Virginia is spotting Ironweed, Jewel Weed, Woodland Sunflower, and Pink Turtlehead in addition to the above species. The meadows and agricultural lands in the Rocky Knob/Mabry Mill area are showing nice displays of Joe-Pye Weed, Black-eyed Susan, Goldenrod, and even a few early signs of fall color here and there.
In North Carolina, around the Julian Price Lake loop trail, Touch-Me-Nots, Jewel Weed, Spotted Knapweed, Coreopsis, and Goldenrod are common. Purple and white Asters are particularly nice on the trail around the lake. From Linville Falls through Gillespie Gap at the Mineral Museum, look for Ox-eye Daisy, Phlox, Angelica, Jewel Weed, Yarrow, Ironweed, Coreopsis, and Black-eyed Susan.
Mountain Ash is coming on around the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center. Things are gearing up for a splendid fall showing. Tall Coneflower, Fleabane, and Ox-eye Daisy, Goldenrod, and White Snakeroot can be found on the Craggy trails as well.
As always, we remind you to drive carefully along the Parkway. Keep your eyes on the road as you enjoy the view. In a few weeks, more indications of fall color will be showing up with peaks commonly coming in early to mid-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.