October 23, 2009
From the end of October through mid November expect to see just a little bit of remaining fall color only in the lower Parkway locations.
The James River crossing in Virginia where the Parkway dips to about 650 feet in elevation is a good example of a place having late fall color. The Roanoke valley or the Asheville corridor should retain some good color or a few individual nice looking trees worth seeing into the first week or two of November as well.
During the winter expect many sections of the motor road to be closed due to accumulations of ice and snow. With long bridges and shaded curves this can sometimes be a fairly long term closure.
If conditions allow however the Parkway is open to travel and the cold temperatures allow the atmosphere to be a bit more favorable for getting those long distance views from the ridge tops. Of course with leaves off the trees things open up even more.
Peaks of Otter Lodge north of Roanoke, the Museum of North Carolina Minerals near Spruce Pine, and the Folk Art Center and Parkway Visitor Center in Asheville are the only year round facilities.
Always have some extra clothes and a few emergency supplies in the trunk of your car and remember that for emergencies only 1-800-PARK-WATCH will get you in touch with emergency personnel.
Spring opening dates generally happen on a staggered basis beginning about the first of May and these will be announced in early spring.
Weekly updates at 828-298-0398 will keep you informed of what's being reported throughout the Parkway.
Click here for a list of fall closure dates for Parkway facilities.
Click here for a list of Blue Ridge Parkway tree species and their colors.
Have a safe parkway visit! Enjoy the view, but watch the road.
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