This is the Blue Ridge Parkway foliage report for the end of October. 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 should be at peak from mile marker 29 to mile marker 45, with a good mix of reds, yellows, and golds. The end of the month should be the peak for colors between 2,000 to 3,000 feet.
- In the Boone/Blowing Rock area of North Carolina, we are getting reports of excellent colors in the 3,000 to 4,000 foot elevation range near Moses Cone, Price Lake, and the Linn Cove Viaduct.
- Around Asheville, there is still a fair amount of Green, but color can be seen driving towards the Craggy Gardens and 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.
- The Southern end of the Parkway is reporting that there are some really pretty views of the valleys from the higher overlooks. The valleys are at peak right now.
Colder weather is moving in, and leaves will be changing quickly, so get out and 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.