Here in late September, we are beginning to see some of the telltale signs of Fall. The days are getting shorter, the mornings cooler, and a few of the trees are starting to get a hint of Fall color. The Parkway is still predominately green, but a few trees are starting to turn at the highest elevations. We are still a few weeks away from significant color changes, with the peak commonly coming in early- to mid-October.
Many of the common late Summer varieties of our beautiful blooming flowers can still be seen. Typically in late September the fields and meadows will be full of Black-Eyed Susan, Joe-Pye Weed, Queen Anne’s Lace, Ironweed, Goldenrod, and in the wetter areas, Cardinal Flower.
In North Carolina, the Craggy Gardens area reports blooming Witch Hazel, White Snakeroot, Purple Aster, Big-leaf White Aster, Dodder Vine, Goldenrod, Jewelweed, and Milkweed.
From Asheville south towards Mount Pisgah, Goldenrod, Aster, Joe-Pye Weed, Phlox, Jewelweed, White Snakeroot, and Coreopsis are all still blooming.
The Mountain Ash trees are also showing off their stunning red berry clusters at the higher elevations.
The Parkway is a beautiful place to take a drive this time of year, but it is not like most other roads, so take some special precautions while driving. Above all, slow down and take your time. Use the overlooks to let traffic that backs up behind you go by. Enjoy the view, but watch the road.
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.