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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

<< December 2014 >>
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
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The Polar Express™

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 7:00 am

Saturdays with St. Nickolas

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 10:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 11:00 am

Winter Waterfowl Cruise

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 2:00 pm

Classic Car Cruise-In

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 3:00 pm

The Polar Express

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 5:00 pm

Candlelight Tours

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 5:30 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 6:30 pm

Roanoke Ballet Theatre presents "The Magic Toy Shop"

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 7:00 pm

So You Want To Be An Astrophotographer?

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 8:00 pm
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21

The Polar Express™

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 11:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 5:00 pm
22

The Polar Express™

Monday, December 22, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Monday, December 22, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Monday, December 22, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Monday, December 22, 2014, 11:00 am

The Polar Express

Monday, December 22, 2014, 5:00 pm
23

The Polar Express™

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 11:00 am

Christmas Crafts for Kids

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 4:00 pm

The Polar Express

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 5:00 pm
24

The Polar Express™

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 11:00 am

Christmas Eve Hike

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 5:00 pm
25

Fashions for Evergreens

Thursday, December 25, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Thursday, December 25, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Thursday, December 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Thursday, December 25, 2014, 11:00 am

The Polar Express

Thursday, December 25, 2014, 5:00 pm
26

The Polar Express™

Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Friday, December 26, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Friday, December 26, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Friday, December 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Friday, December 26, 2014, 11:00 am

Day After Christmas Eve Hike

Friday, December 26, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Friday, December 26, 2014, 5:00 pm
27

The Polar Express™

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 7:00 am

Winter Bird Hike

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 9:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 10:00 am

"Peter and The Wolf"

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 11:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 11:00 am

Orienteering Treasure Hunt

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 5:00 pm
<W
28

The Polar Express™

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 11:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 5:00 pm
29

The Polar Express™

Monday, December 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Monday, December 29, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Monday, December 29, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Monday, December 29, 2014, 10:00 am

The Polar Express

Monday, December 29, 2014, 5:00 pm
30

Fashions for Evergreens

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 10:00 am

The Polar Express

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 5:00 pm
31

New Year Celebration

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fashions for Evergreens

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 10:00 am

The Polar Express

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 5:00 pm

New Year's Eve at Peaks of Otter Lodge

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 8:00 pm

New Year's Eve Reception and Gala

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 8:00 pm

Big Lick Countdown

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 8:00 pm

New Year's Eve - Downtown Marion Celebration

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 9:00 pm

New Year's Eve Celebration

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 9:30 pm
     

Highlights & Happenings

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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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