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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

<< October 2014 >>
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
      1

Oktoberfest

Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 6:00 pm
2

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:00 pm

Oktoberfest

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 8:00 pm
3

Oktoberfest

Friday, October 3, 2014, 6:00 pm

American Craft Week Along the O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pisgah District - Hike of the Week

Friday, October 3, 2014, 10:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, October 3, 2014, 3:00 pm

Lexington First Friday Art Walk

Friday, October 3, 2014, 5:00 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, October 3, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, October 3, 2014, 7:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Friday, October 3, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Friday, October 3, 2014, 8:00 pm
4

Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 6:00 pm

American Craft Week Along the O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Brushy Mountain Apple Festival

Saturday, October 4, 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

50th Annual National Apple Harvest Festival

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Gatlinburg Farmer's Market

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 8:30 am

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 9:00 am

Forest Festival Day & Intercollegiate Woodsmen's Meet

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 9:00 am

ArtsMart

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10:00 am

ColorFest

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10:00 am

Dogtoberfest

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10:00 am

Mountain Spirits Festival

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10:00 am

Virginia Science Festival

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10:00 am

Mountain Magic in Fall

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10:00 am

Harvestfest

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10:00 am

Archaeology Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 11:15 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 12:00 pm

The Oak Barrel Blues Festival

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 12:00 pm

Fall Colors of Grandfather Mountain

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 1:00 pm

The Harris Brothers & Kitty Amaral &The Stray Cats

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 4:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 8:00 pm
<W
5

Oktoberfest

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 6:00 pm

American Craft Week Along the O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail

Sunday, October 5, 2014

50th Annual National Apple Harvest Festival

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 8:00 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 12:00 pm

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 1:00 pm

Fall Colors of Grandfather Mountain

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 2:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 8:00 pm
6

Oktoberfest

Monday, October 6, 2014, 6:00 pm

American Craft Week Along the O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail

Monday, October 6, 2014

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Monday, October 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
7

Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 6:00 pm

American Craft Week Along the O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 3:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 8:00 pm
8

Oktoberfest

Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 6:00 pm

American Craft Week Along the O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 8:00 pm
9

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, October 9, 2014, 6:00 pm

Oktoberfest

Thursday, October 9, 2014

American Craft Week Along the O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, October 9, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Thursday, October 9, 2014, 8:00 pm
10

Oktoberfest

Friday, October 10, 2014, 6:00 pm

American Craft Week Along the O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pisgah District - Hike of the Week

Friday, October 10, 2014, 10:00 am

Ashe County Barn Quilt Tours

Friday, October 10, 2014, 10:00 am

Wine & Wags

Friday, October 10, 2014, 12:00 pm

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, October 10, 2014, 3:00 pm

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Friday, October 10, 2014, 3:30 pm

Culpeper Magical History Tour

Friday, October 10, 2014, 4:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, October 10, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, October 10, 2014, 7:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Friday, October 10, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Friday, October 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
11

Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 6:00 pm

American Craft Week Along the O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail

Saturday, October 11, 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

50th Annual National Apple Harvest Festival

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 8:00 am

Gatlinburg Farmer's Market

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 8:30 am

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 9:00 am

Sylva's 125th Anniversary

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 9:00 am

Camping in the Old Style

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 9:00 am

Boone Heritage Festival

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 9:00 am

Vinton Fall Festival/5K Run

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 10:00 am

Page County Heritage Festival

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 10:00 am

Ashe County Barn Quilt Tours

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 10:00 am

Black Dog Wine and Beach Music Festival

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 11:00 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 12:00 pm

Fall Colors of Grandfather Mountain

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 1:00 pm

Steep Canyon Rangers & New Spring Valley Boys

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 4:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 8:00 pm
<W
12

Oktoberfest

Sunday, October 12, 2014, 6:00 pm

American Craft Week Along the O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail

Sunday, October 12, 2014

50th Annual National Apple Harvest Festival

Sunday, October 12, 2014, 8:00 am

20th Annual Todd New River Festival

Sunday, October 12, 2014, 9:00 am

Page County Heritage Festival

Sunday, October 12, 2014, 10:00 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Sunday, October 12, 2014, 12:00 pm

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, October 12, 2014, 1:00 pm

Fall Colors of Grandfather Mountain

Sunday, October 12, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, October 12, 2014, 2:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Sunday, October 12, 2014, 8:00 pm
13

Oktoberfest

Monday, October 13, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Monday, October 13, 2014, 8:00 pm
14

Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 6:00 pm

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 3:00 pm

Monthly Old Time Music Jam

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 8:00 pm
15

Oktoberfest

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 8:00 pm
16

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 6:00 pm

Oktoberfest

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 8:00 pm
17

Oktoberfest

Friday, October 17, 2014, 6:00 pm

Pisgah District - Hike of the Week

Friday, October 17, 2014, 10:00 am

Go Outside Festival

Friday, October 17, 2014, 10:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, October 17, 2014, 3:00 pm

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Friday, October 17, 2014, 3:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, October 17, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, October 17, 2014, 7:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Friday, October 17, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Friday, October 17, 2014, 8:00 pm
18

Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 6:00 pm

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

Valle Country Fair

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 8:00 am

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 9:00 am

Wooly Worm Festival

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 9:00 am

Go Outside Festival

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 10:00 am

24th Annual Bryson City Chili Cook-Off

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 11:00 am

Shenandoah Autumnfest

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 11:00 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 12:00 pm

Fall Colors of Grandfather Mountain

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 1:00 pm

Classic Car Cruise-In

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 3:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm

Harvest Day

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 9:30 pm
<W
19

Oktoberfest

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 6:00 pm

Wooly Worm Festival

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 9:00 am

Go Outside Festival

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 10:00 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 12:00 pm

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 1:00 pm

Fall Colors of Grandfather Mountain

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 2:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 8:00 pm
20

Oktoberfest

Monday, October 20, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Monday, October 20, 2014, 8:00 pm
21

Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 6:00 pm

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 3:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 8:00 pm
22

Oktoberfest

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 8:00 pm
23

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:00 pm

Oktoberfest

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
24

Oktoberfest

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, October 24, 2014, 3:00 pm

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Friday, October 24, 2014, 3:30 pm

The Legend of Tommy Hodges: An Outdoor Drama

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Friday, October 24, 2014, 8:00 pm
25

Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

Beary Scary Halloween

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, June 7, 2014, 6:30 pm

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 9:00 am

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 12:00 pm

Big Lick Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 12:00 pm

Legends of the Land

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 5:30 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

The Legend of Tommy Hodges: An Outdoor Drama

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:30 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 8:00 pm
<W
26

Oktoberfest

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 12:00 pm

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 2:00 pm

Trick-or-Treat at Old Salem

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 8:00 pm
27

Oktoberfest

Monday, October 27, 2014, 6:00 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Monday, October 27, 2014, 6:00 pm
28

Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 3:00 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 6:00 pm
29

Oktoberfest

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:00 pm
30

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Oktoberfest

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:00 pm
31

Oktoberfest

Friday, October 31, 2014, 6:00 pm

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, October 31, 2014, 3:00 pm

Downtown Trick or Treat

Friday, October 31, 2014, 3:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:30 pm
 

Highlights & Happenings

  • 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
  • Doughton Park, MP 240
  • Renew your senses amid this landscape of open meadows. Doughton Park is one of the best places along the Blue Ridge Parkway to view white-tailed deer, raccoons, red and grey foxes, and bobcats.  Flowers burst on the scene in late spring and crea
  • 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.
  • Julian Price Memorial Park, MP 297
  • A majestic 4,200 acres at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, named in honor of Julian Price, comprises this popular park and lies directly adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Together these parks make up the largest developed area set as
  • 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
  • Mount Pisgah, MP 408
  • Mount Pisgah’s spectacular views, hiking trails, camping and the Mount Pisgah Inn make this area a popular destination for visitors along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The mountain and thousands of surrounding acres was originally purchased by indust
  • 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.
  • Fall Color - Tips for Leaf Season
  • Tips for planning your scenic drive or vacation to see the fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • 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.
  • Nearby Accommodations
  • Explore the quaint towns and vibrant cities that the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through, and a variety of lodging choices.
  • 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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