Welcome, October! Week three of Fall has begun and it’s been fairly chilly in the mornings and evenings, so bring layers to wear when you come to visit us in the North Carolina mountains because while there might be a chill in the air during breakfast, the sunshine can warm up the afternoons into the mid-70s, making for perfect leaf hunting opportunities.
The cooler temperatures will hopefully bring about more rapid leaf color over the next couple of weeks. Green is still the dominant color at our elevation (2,300 feet) around Asheville and Black Mountain, but bits of color are being reported at elevations above 4,000 feet along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The trees currently providing an intro to this year’s fall color show include the reds of dogwoods and sourwoods and the yellows of a handful of birch trees and tulip poplars. Many trees are getting lighter and will be letting loose with their colors over the next few weeks. We’re also enjoying color from wildflowers and shrubs such as coreopsis, goldenrod and burning bushes, the latter turning a very vibrant red…just a taste of color to come.
With its beautiful panoramic views and varied elevations, the Blue Ridge Parkway is always a good option for early October leaf peeping. One of our favorite drives is scenic Highway 80 through McDowell County up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Head south on the Parkway and enjoy several overlooks as you gain in elevation on the way to Mt. Mitchell State Park, where you can then head a short distance on Highway 128 to the highest mountain in the eastern United States and catch some great views of the peaks below, or head further south on the Parkway to the Greybeard Mountain overlook at Milepost 363 and the Craggy Dome overlook at Milepost 364, both of which are at around 5,600 feet and allow for views of the mountains at the 4,000+ ft. range.