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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 >>
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Oktoberfest

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

Hauntober Weekend

Friday, October 24, 2014, 9:00 am

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

Silent Film Screening

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

Fall Colors Canoe Excursion

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 2:00 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

Exploring Old Home Sites

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 10:00 am

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

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Monday, October 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

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

Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 3:00 pm

Fall Festival Downtown Trick or Treat

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 3:30 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

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

Oktoberfest

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 10:00 am

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

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 10:00 am

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

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Friday, October 31, 2014, 10:00 am

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

Halloween Eve Fish, Fry, Wine & Costume Party

Friday, October 31, 2014, 5:30 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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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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