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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

<< March 2015 >>
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"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Friday, March 6, 2015, 9:00 am

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, March 6, 2015, 7:00 pm
7

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Saturday, March 7, 2015, 9:00 am

Kansas City Barbecue Society Judging Class

Saturday, March 7, 2015, 10:00 am

Kansas City Barbecue Society Table Captain Class

Saturday, March 7, 2015, 3:00 pm

Yoga For All at the Peaks

Saturday, March 7, 2015, 4:00 pm

Yoga For All at the Peaks

Saturday, March 7, 2015, 4:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, March 7, 2015, 7:00 pm
<W
8

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Sunday, March 8, 2015, 9:00 am

Group Painting

Sunday, March 8, 2015, 2:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, March 8, 2015, 2:00 pm
9

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Monday, March 9, 2015, 9:00 am
10

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 9:00 am

Monthly Old Time Music Jam

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 6:00 pm
11

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 9:00 am
12

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Thursday, March 12, 2015, 9:00 am

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, March 12, 2015, 7:00 pm
13

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Friday, March 13, 2015, 9:00 am

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, March 13, 2015, 7:00 pm
14

Bear Crawl 5k

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 8:00 am

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 9:00 am

Old Fort Spring Fling 5k

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 9:15 am

Flat to Fabulous

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 10:00 am

McDonald's St. Patrick's Day Parade and Shamrock Festival

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 11:00 am

Peak Perfection Vintner Dinner

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 6:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 7:00 pm
<W
15

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Sunday, March 15, 2015, 9:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, March 15, 2015, 2:00 pm
16

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Monday, March 16, 2015, 9:00 am
17

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 9:00 am
18

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 9:00 am
19

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Thursday, March 19, 2015, 9:00 am

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, March 19, 2015, 7:00 pm
20

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Friday, March 20, 2015, 9:00 am

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, March 20, 2015, 7:00 pm
21

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 9:00 am

Painting Glass

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 10:00 am

Classic Car Cruise-In

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 3:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 7:00 pm

"The Future of U.S. Manned Spaceflight"

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
<W
22

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Sunday, March 22, 2015, 9:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, March 22, 2015, 2:00 pm
23

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Monday, March 23, 2015, 9:00 am
24

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 9:00 am
25

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 9:00 am
26

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 9:00 am

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 7:00 pm
27

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Friday, March 27, 2015, 9:00 am

Guest Chef Weekend at Chateau Morrisette Restaurant

Friday, March 27, 2015, 4:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, March 27, 2015, 7:00 pm
28

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Saturday, March 28, 2015, 9:00 am

Flat to Fabulous

Saturday, March 28, 2015, 1:00 pm

Guest Chef Weekend at Chateau Morrisette Restaurant

Saturday, March 28, 2015, 4:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, March 28, 2015, 7:00 pm
<W
29

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Sunday, March 29, 2015, 9:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, March 29, 2015, 2:00 pm

Guest Chef Weekend at Chateau Morrisette Restaurant

Sunday, March 29, 2015, 4:00 pm
30

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Monday, March 30, 2015, 9:00 am
31

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 9:00 am
       

Highlights & Happenings

  • Parkway Visitor Center, MP 384
  • Visitors traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway can now make one stop to learn about the entire 469 miles and 73-year history of the Parkway. The Parkway Visitor Center opened in 2008 and unveiled innovative, high-tech interactive exhibits. The LEED-certif
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Craggy Gardens, MP 364
  • These high elevation summits are home to spectacular floral displays. June and July are usually prime times to view the pink and purple blooms of rhododendron, but don’t despair if you miss the peak bloom. Violets, blackberry, May-apple, a
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner
  • The 66th edition of the Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner is your ultimate source for planning a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • 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.
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