Fall Leaf Colors 2012



[two_third]It is my favorite time of year again, when the night temperatures are dipping lower and the morning air is crisp.  Fall is on the way and the dying foliage will begin to paint the mountains with vibrant colors.  Fall is a busy time of year for Western North Carolina as leaf peepers begin to flock to the mountains to see the intense colors displayed by nature.[/two_third]

[one_third_last][image size=”thumb” lightbox=”lightbox”]http://jlbuildersco.com/wp-content/uploads/western-north-carolina-sunrise.jpg[/image][/one_third_last]


As a flat lander by birth, growing up in New Orleans where the seasons are hot, hotter and hottest; Fall is eagerly welcomed but what takes place baffles me.  I have the typical questions:



[blockquote]How long do the colors last?[/blockquote]

[blockquote]What is the best time to view the colors? [/blockquote]

[blockquote]Where should I go to see the fall colors? [/blockquote]


What I do know is this: rain conditions and how cool the night temperatures fall will play an integral part of the length and intensity of foliage colors in the Smoky Mountains.  The colors start at higher elevations and work their way down to the Foothills beginning in late September and finishing up in early November.  And it all happens in the blink of an eye!


Don’t worry about missing out!  With the abundance of tree species and winding roads of the mountains, everyone is sure to catch an eyeful.  I have listed some of the popular vantage points and roads for leaf peeping along with some websites that provide play-by-play of the foliage conditions.

Vantage points

  • Blue Ridge Parkway – Many access points from Cherokee to Virginia.   Pack a lunch and enjoy one of the many picnic spots along the way.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • NC Arboretum
  • Hiking trails are abundant and allow you to view the canopy from underneath, far away and up top.
  • Zip lines – A new way to check out the tree canopy is from a zipline.

Must Do

  • Take a camera and remember forever.
  • Bring a sweater or coat.  Temps change with elevation and average sunlight.
  • Pull over and enjoy the view rather than let that jerk tailgate you on the Parkway.

2012 Resources

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