2011 Fall Foliage Report, NC Mountains: Week 2

Forsythia

Our second week of fall foliage started off a bit chilly (highs in the 50s!) and a return to fireplaces and hot chocolate (yay!). Now we’re heading back into warmer temperatures and noticeably more color change at higher elevations, 4,000+ feet. {For example, check out this stunning photo from Grandfather Mountain taken by Helen Moss Davis…wow!}

Here are our elevation (2,300 ft), the rosy reds of sourwoods, sourgums and sumac, along with virginia creeper and burning bushes, are really starting to pop out. A few purplish sweetgums were also spotted this week, surrounded by green. Also, goldenrod is showing off its yellow blossoms in several areas to match some of the tulip poplars, birches and hickory trees. Beech trees are also starting to change a little faster.

But trees are still “mostly green” at our elevation and we suggest traveling a little bit higher up if you want to see more than just a splash here and there. Check out Green Knob, a peak on the Blue Ridge Parkway visible from the orchard at the Inn on Mill Creek (photo taken at sunset)…see, there’s definitely color at the higher elevations!

So if you’ll be planning a trip to our neck of the woods this week and next, we recommend heading on scenic Highway 80 through McDowell County east of the Inn, up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. From there, head north to the Linville Falls or Grandfather Mountain {I mean, have you looked at this photo yet? Spectacular!} and enjoy Carolina blue sunshine, fresh air and early fall outdoors in the mountains.

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