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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

<< April 2015 >>
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Blue Ridge Marathon, Half Marathon and StarK

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 7:30 am

Birds of the Holly Discovery Trail

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 8:45 am

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 9:00 am

Annual Sounds of the Mountains Music and Storytelling Festival

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 10:00 am

17th Annual Blue Ridge Kite Festival

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 10:00 am

Winery Deck Music Series - Skiffle Creek

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 1:00 pm

Guided Natural History Hike

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 3:00 pm

Classic Car Cruise-In

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 3:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 7:00 pm

"The Giver"

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 7:30 pm
<W
19

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Sunday, April 19, 2015, 9:00 am

Spring Boat Tour

Sunday, April 19, 2015, 9:45 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, April 19, 2015, 2:00 pm

"The Giver"

Sunday, April 19, 2015, 2:30 pm
20

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Monday, April 20, 2015, 9:00 am
21

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 9:00 am

Garden Day

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 10:00 am
22

Vinton Dogwood Festival

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 6:00 pm

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 9:00 am

Earth Day Hike

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 6:00 pm
23

Vinton Dogwood Festival

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 6:00 pm

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 9:00 am

Speak for the Trees!

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 10:00 am

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 7:00 pm
24

NOC Spring Fling & ERA /Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Friday, April 24, 2015, 6:00 pm

Vinton Dogwood Festival

Friday, April 24, 2015

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Friday, April 24, 2015, 9:00 am

Gallery Grand Opening

Friday, April 24, 2015, 4:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, April 24, 2015, 7:00 pm
25

NOC Spring Fling & ERA /Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 6:00 pm

Vinton Dogwood Festival

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Virginia Hot Glass Festival

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:00 am

International Migratory Bird Day

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:00 am

Pioneer Day

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:00 am

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:00 am

Greening Up the Mountains

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 10:00 am

Mountain Thunder Car Show

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 10:00 am

Earth Day Roanoke

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 10:00 am

Spring Open House at Chateau Morrisette

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 11:00 am

Rockin' Brews & BBQ

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 12:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 7:00 pm

Toad Trek

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 7:30 pm
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26

NOC Spring Fling & ERA /Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 6:00 pm

Vinton Dogwood Festival

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Annual Gettysburg North-South Marathon

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 6:00 am

Spring Migration Bird Hike

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 8:00 am

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 9:00 am

Virginia Hot Glass Festival

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 10:00 am

Spring Open House at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 11:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 2:00 pm
27

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Monday, April 27, 2015, 9:00 am
28

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 9:00 am
29

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 9:00 am
30

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 9:00 am

2015 Grandin Theatre Film Festival

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 1:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 7:00 pm
   

Highlights & Happenings

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Civil War Sesquicentennial
  • 2015 marks the 150th year anniversary of when the last shot east of the Mississippi was fired during the Civil War, which rang out in present-day Waynesville.
  • 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.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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