We’ve reached the exciting time of year when the Blue Ridge Parkway experiences that much-anticipated change in Fall foliage. Typically, this change happens around the middle of October, but many factors contribute to variations in when and where colors will peak. The Parkway stretches almost 500 miles north to south, meanders from east to west facing slopes, and most importantly, varies in elevation from just under 650 feet at James River in Virginia to over 6,000 feet south of Mount Pisgah in North Carolina.
Many visitors have been frustrated trying to go to one spot on one day in October hoping to find the leaves in full color. A far better plan is to drive some distance on the Parkway, changing elevations and north-south orientations. Anyone who does this around mid to late October will catch at least some of the pretty color that we’re famous for.
In the Northernmost part of the Parkway, the tree colors are very close to peak from mile marker 29 to mile marker 45, with a good mix of reds, yellows, and golds. This weekend and next should be the peak or colors between 2,000 to 3,000 feet.
In the Boone/Blowing Rock area of North Carolina, we’re getting reports of excellent color in the 3,000 to 4,000 foot elevation range. Colors are still developing in this area at the lower elevations.
Around Asheville there is still a lot of green, but good color can be seen driving towards Craggy Gardens and the Pisgah areas.
The colors are near peak in the 3,000 to 4,000 foot elevation range, with lots of yellows and golds, and the reds of the oaks and sourwoods are providing a stunning visual contrast.
Enjoy October in the mountains. Take advantage of the many Harvest-time activities in our local communities. 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.