Here in late September, we are starting to see signs of fall color. Depending on your location, these color displays are progressing nicely and remind us of the brilliant fall colors that typically peak in October.
Wildflowers also continue to bloom with some nice displays along the Parkway and in nearby fields and meadows. In Virginia, late bloomers like White Snakeroot, Goldenrod, Aster, and Thistle, should still be giving our roadsides and fields some color.
Fall colors should be advancing in the Black Cherry, Dogwood, Mountain Ash, Paradise, Red Maple, Sourwood, Striped Maple, and Tulip Poplar trees in addition to Sumac, Poison Ivy, and Virginia Creeper.
In North Carolina, near the Moses Cone Manor House and the Linn Cove Viaduct, we have reports of Bottle and Stiff Gentian, Aster, Goldenrod, and White Snakeroot. Some nice fall color is starting to show between Milepost 297 and 298, Milepost 301 to 305, and at Bass Lake.
Purple Aster and White Snakeroot continue to bloom in the Linville Falls area. The high elevation of Craggy Gardens is beginning to show some reds and yellows as the yellow Buckeye and Mountain Ash trees start to turn.
Driving from Asheville to the Mt. Pisgah area we are still seeing blooms of Wood Aster, White Snakeroot, Goldenrod, Jewelweed, and Black-Eyed Susans.
Fall Color can be seen in the changing Red Oaks, Tulip Poplar, Dogwoods, and Sassafras.
At the southern end of the Parkway, White Snakeroot, Whorled White Wood Aster, White Wood Aster, Yarrow, Queen Anne’s Lace, Filmy Angelica, Ragwort, several varieties of Goldenrod, Mountain St. John’s-wort, Sundrops, Golden Aster, Jewelweed, Heart-Leaved Aster, Southern Harebell, Stiff Gentian, Heal-All, Joe-Pye Weed, Ironweed, Thistle, and Purple Turtleheads are still blooming.
The cold weather and frost that can occur at these highest elevations can speed up changing leaf colors. The Mount Pisgah area is still mostly green but is showing signs of color. There are yellows and reds starting to pop out.
Staff reports that Graveyard Fields is almost at peak and will probably peak this coming weekend.
The rest of the Parkway’s southern end is showing color between 15 percent in the lower elevations, to about 20 to 30 percent in the higher elevations. The first weekend of October will most likely be the peak for most of the southern end of the Parkway.
As always we remind you to drive carefully while on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Keep your eyes on the road as you enjoy the view.