Blue Ridge Parkway
Experience America's Favorite Drive
Home > What To Do > Fall Color
Decrease Text Size Increase Text Size Email This Page Print This Page Bookmark This Page

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

<< September 2014 >>
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
  1 2

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 3:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 8:00 pm
3

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 8:00 pm
4

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 6:00 pm

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 6:00 pm

Pisgah District After Hours Hike

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 7:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 8:00 pm
5

Pisgah District - Hike of the Week

Friday, September 5, 2014, 10:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, September 5, 2014, 3:00 pm

Lexington First Friday Art Walk

Friday, September 5, 2014, 5:00 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, September 5, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, September 5, 2014, 7:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Friday, September 5, 2014, 8:00 pm
6

Grandfather Mountain KidFest

Saturday, September 6, 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

Gatlinburg Farmer's Market

Saturday, September 6, 2014, 8:30 am

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, September 6, 2014, 9:00 am

ArtsMart

Saturday, September 6, 2014, 10:00 am

Dillsboro's 125th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, September 6, 2014, 10:00 am

110th Annual Gettysburg Wine & Music Festival

Saturday, September 6, 2014, 12:00 pm

Stevie Barr & the Mastertones w/ Slate Mountain Ramblers

Saturday, September 6, 2014, 7:00 pm

Evening Campfire Program at Linvlle Falls

Saturday, September 6, 2014, 7:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Saturday, September 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
<W
7

110th Annual Gettysburg Wine & Music Festival

Sunday, September 7, 2014, 12:00 pm

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, September 7, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, September 7, 2014, 2:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Sunday, September 7, 2014, 8:00 pm
8

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Monday, September 8, 2014, 8:00 pm
9

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 3:00 pm

Monthly Old Time Music Jam

Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 6:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 8:00 pm
10

Thunder in the Valley: McClausland’s Resistance and Hunter’s 1864 Virginia Raid

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 6:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
11

Thunder in the Valley: McClausland’s Resistance and Hunter’s 1864 Virginia Raid

Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Thursday, September 11, 2014, 8:00 pm
12

Thunder in the Valley: McClausland’s Resistance and Hunter’s 1864 Virginia Raid

Friday, September 12, 2014, 6:00 pm

Pisgah District - Hike of the Week

Friday, September 12, 2014, 10:00 am

Wine & Wags

Friday, September 12, 2014, 12:00 pm

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, September 12, 2014, 3:00 pm

Culpeper Magical History Tour

Friday, September 12, 2014, 4:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, September 12, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, September 12, 2014, 7:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Friday, September 12, 2014, 8:00 pm
13

Thunder in the Valley: McClausland’s Resistance and Hunter’s 1864 Virginia Raid

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 6:00 pm

44th Annual Girl Scout Day

Saturday, September 13, 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

40th Annual East Berlin Colonial Days

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 8:00 am

Gatlinburg Farmer's Market

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 8:30 am

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 9:00 am

23rd Annual Overmountain Victory Celebration

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 9:00 am

13th Annual Railfest Celebration

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 9:00 am

Olde Salem Days

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 10:00 am

Black Dog Music and BBQ Festival

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 11:00 am

Afternoon Tea with Llamas

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 11:00 am

Rockbridge Pie Festival

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 12:00 pm

Kripplekrunk & The Dan River Girls

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 7:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 8:00 pm
<W
14

Thunder in the Valley: McClausland’s Resistance and Hunter’s 1864 Virginia Raid

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 6:00 pm

Southeastern Youth Slalom Championships

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 8:00 am

13th Annual Railfest Celebration

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 9:00 am

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 2:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 8:00 pm
15 16

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 3:00 pm
17 18

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, September 18, 2014, 6:00 pm

Trolley Wine Tour

Thursday, September 18, 2014, 11:30 am

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, September 18, 2014, 6:00 pm

Pisgah District After Hours Hike

Thursday, September 18, 2014, 7:00 pm
19

Pisgah District - Hike of the Week

Friday, September 19, 2014, 10:00 am

Roanoake Greek Festival

Friday, September 19, 2014, 11:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, September 19, 2014, 3:00 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:00 pm
20

Evening Campfire Program at Mt. Pisgah

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 7:30 pm

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, June 7, 2014, 6:30 pm

Gatlinburg Farmer's Market

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 8:30 am

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 9:00 am

Jackson County Green Energy Park Youth Arts Festival

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 9:00 am

Eisenhower World War II Weekend

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 9:00 am

Roanoake Greek Festival

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 11:00 am

25th Annual Henry Street Heritage Festival

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 11:30 am

Classic Car Cruise-In

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 3:00 pm

Big Country Bluegrass & The Wolfe Brothers String Band

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 7:00 pm
<W
21

Eisenhower World War II Weekend

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 9:00 am

Roanoake Greek Festival

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 11:00 am

23rd Annual Adams County Heritage Festival

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 12:00 pm

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 2:00 pm

Bring Back the Monarchs

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 2:00 pm
22 23

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 3:00 pm
24 25

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, September 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

Nothin' Fancy Bluegrass Festival

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, September 25, 2014, 6:00 pm
26

Nothin' Fancy Bluegrass Festival

Friday, September 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Oktoberfest

Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest Appreciation Festival

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pisgah District - Hike of the Week

Friday, September 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, September 26, 2014, 3:00 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, September 26, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, September 26, 2014, 7:00 pm
27

Nothin' Fancy Bluegrass Festival

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 6:00 pm

Music and Art in the Mountains

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Oktoberfest

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Guest Appreciation Festival

Saturday, September 27, 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

Gettysburg Fall Outdoor Antique Show

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 7:00 am

Pippinfest

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 8:00 am

Gatlinburg Farmer's Market

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 8:30 am

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 9:00 am

Mountain Heritage Day

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 9:00 am

Green Hill Highland Games

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 9:00 am

National Public Lands Day

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 9:00 am

Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 11:00 am

Across the Blue Ridge: Collectors and Song Carriers

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 4:00 pm
<W
28

Oktoberfest

Sunday, September 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Guest Appreciation Festival

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pippinfest

Sunday, September 28, 2014, 8:00 am

Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival

Sunday, September 28, 2014, 11:00 am

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, September 28, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, September 28, 2014, 2:00 pm
29

Oktoberfest

Monday, September 29, 2014, 6:00 pm
30

Oktoberfest

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 3:00 pm

Balsam Range Concert

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 7:30 pm
       

Highlights & Happenings

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Folk Art Center, Milepost 382
  • Open year round, the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians.
  • 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.
  • Waterrock Knob, MP 451.2
  • An ideal spot for watching sunrise and sunsets across the rugged mountains, Waterrock Knob Visitor Center sits at almost 6,000 feet elevation. Exhibits, book sales, and a trail leading to the summit of Waterrock Knob await visitors. The last hik
  • 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
  • Monacan Indian Nation Fall Festival
  • Come immerse yourself in the culture of the Monacan Indian Nation in a 3-day event including music, dancing, performances and artisans.
  • 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.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • Nearby Accommodations
  • Explore the quaint towns and vibrant cities that the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through, and a variety of lodging choices.
Contact | Press | Sitemap | Mobile

© 2014 Blue Ridge Parkway Association, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
P.O. Box 2136, Asheville, NC 28802-2136
webmaster@blueridgeparkway.org
Web Design by BlueKey in Charleston, SC