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Fall Color - Tips for Leaf Season

When will the leaves be at their peak fall color on the Blue Ridge Parkway?

During the month of October, usually mid to late month, but it depends on your elevation. Leaves will begin changing first on the highest peaks and conclude in the lower elevations.

There is no simple formula for predicting fall color. The Parkway includes east and west facing slopes, and varies in elevation from just under 650 feet at James River in Virginia, to over 6,000 feet south of Mt. 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 orientation. Any one who does this around mid to late October will likely catch at least some sections at or very near their peak color.

Why does fall color vary year to year?

The intensity of fall color and time of peak color vary and are determined by complex environmental factors, as well as the genetic makeup of the plants themselves. The "best" fall color for an area occurs during the shortening days of autumn when days are bright, sunny and cool, when nights are cool but not below freezing, and when there has been ideal rainfall. Adequate rainfall also keeps the leaves on the trees longer and enhances the color. Wet, cloudy, warm weather or exceptionally low temperatures in early fall tend to mute the much anticipated autumnal display.

More Resources:

Call the Parkway Information Line to hear the latest Fall Color Report: (828) 298-0398, press option 3.

View Fall Color Reports from previous years

More on the Biology of Fall Color

Shenandoah Valley/Skyline Drive Fall Color Report

Virginia State Fall Foliage Information

Virginia Department of Forestry Fall Color Report

Fall Color Report for the Shenandoah Valley/Blue Ridge Parkway region from the Weather Channel

North Carolina State Fall Foliage Information

Fall Color Reports, Asheville North Carolina

Asheville Leaf Forecast and Guide

Great Smoky Mountains Fall Color

Tennesee Fall Color

Calendar

<< July 2014 >>
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
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Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair

Friday, July 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Friday, July 25, 2014

Grandfather Mountain Campout

Friday, July 25, 2014

Nature Photography Exhibit: Our Spectacular Southern Appalachians

Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:00 am

Pisgah District - Hike of the Week

Friday, July 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demos

Friday, July 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, July 25, 2014, 3:00 pm

Summertime Barrels, Bottles & Casks

Friday, July 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

16th Annual Union Beach Music Festival & Classic Car Show

Friday, July 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, July 25, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, July 25, 2014, 7:00 pm

"Boeing Boeing"

Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:00 pm

Dinosaur Train

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 11:00 am

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm
26

Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Grandfather Mountain Campout

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Evening Campfire Program at Mt. Pisgah

Saturday, May 31, 2014, 7:30 pm

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, June 7, 2014, 6:30 pm

16th Annual Union Beach Music Festival & Classic Car Show

Friday, July 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

Gatlinburg Farmer's Market

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:30 am

Nature Photography Exhibit: Our Spectacular Southern Appalachians

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 9:00 am

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 9:00 am

Guided Tours - Cone Manor

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 10:00 am

James River Transportation Festival

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demos

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Dinosaur Train

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 11:00 am

Summertime Barrels, Bottles & Casks

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

"Civil War in the Mountains"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 7:00 pm

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

"Boeing Boeing"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm
<W
27

Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 6:00 pm

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Grandfather Mountain Campout

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

Nature Photography Exhibit: Our Spectacular Southern Appalachians

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 9:00 am

Guided Tours - Cone Manor

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demos

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 2:00 pm

Dinosaur Train

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 3:00 pm

"Boeing Boeing"

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 8:00 pm
28

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Monday, July 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

Nature Photography Exhibit: Our Spectacular Southern Appalachians

Monday, July 28, 2014, 9:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demos

Monday, July 28, 2014, 10:00 am
29

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

Nature Photography Exhibit: Our Spectacular Southern Appalachians

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 9:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demos

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 3:00 pm
30

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demos

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:00 am
31

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 6:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demos

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 10:00 am

Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 10:30 pm
   

Highlights & Happenings

  • Moses H. Cone Park, MP 294
  • A majestic 4,200 acres at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, named in honor of Julian Price, lies directly adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Together these parks comprise the largest developed area set aside for public recreati
  • Humpback Rocks, MP 5.8
  • Located at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Humpback Rocks is an area rich in history, scenic beauty, and abundant hiking trails. Early European settlers forged a living from the native materials that flourished in the Appalachian Mountain
  • Cumberland Knob, MP 217.5
  • Located near the Virginia state line, Cumberland Knob is the site where construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway began in 1935. It was the first recreation area opened to the public and remains a favorite destination for both locals and visitors. The m
  • James River & Otter Creek, MP 60-63.8
  • At the lowest elevation along the Parkway, visitors can hike, camp, fish, have a picnic, and see restored Battery Creek Lock from the Kanawha Canal.
  • Peaks of Otter, MP 86
  • With stunning views, natural beauty, and the surrounding Jefferson National Forest, it’s no wonder the Peaks of Otter area has attracted people to the region for more than 8,000 years.
  • Blue Ridge Music Center
  • The Blue Ridge Music Center is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any o
  • Rocky Knob & Mabry Mill, MP 169, 176.2
  • These Parkway treasures offer many opportunities for visitors including hiking, camping, picnicking, and one of the most-photographed structures along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Nearby Accommodations
  • Explore the quaint towns and vibrant cities that the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through, and a variety of lodging choices.
  • Attractions, Dining, Shopping & More
  • From fine arts to fun, experience the best places and activities to enhance your visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway region.
  • Fall Color - Tips for Leaf Season
  • Tips for planning your scenic drive or vacation to see the fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Camping
  • Camping is one way visitors traveling through the Blue Ridge Parkway can spend the night under the stars in one of America’s most beautiful natural settings.
  • Parkway Road Conditions
  • An open Parkway is a safe Parkway. Be sure to check road conditions online or by phone before you travel and during your visit.
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