October 8th Fall Color Update

Colder air and some moisture invaded the area. The rain was not heavy but nevertheless dampened the spirits of those attending the Autumn at Oz fun up at Beech Mountain – particularly on Sunday. Although I didn’t make it up there myself this year, John Huffman from Fred’s Mercantile on Beech Mountain relayed some great information. He shared, "We had some strong winds and a lot of leaves have fallen and I’d say we are at or just PAST peak up here today."

That isn’t unusual for the highest elevations such as those atop Beech’s 5506′ elevation. Grandfather Mountain’s mile high elevations are currently AT or near peak as well. As with trees atop Beech, Grandfather too will have some trees already bare and "ready" for winter snows!

However, don’t let John’s comments scare you from heading up to Beech for a getaway this week or weekend as MOST of the higher elevations are QUITE BEAUTIFUL right now and will be through the weekend!

The Blue Ridge Parkway experiences peak fall foliage around the middle of October however there are many factors that contribute to variations in when and where colors will peak.

<Photo provided by Tammy Watts on Friday or this week.

The Parkway stretches almost 500 miles north to south, meanders from the east to west facing slopes, and most importantly, 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.

In Virginia the colors are underway. The Peaks of Otter area is reporting fall colors in the Black Cherry, Black Gum, Black Walnut, Box Elder, Choke Cherry, Dogwood, Mountain Ash, Red Maple, Sassafras, Paradise, Shag Bark Hickory, Sourwood, Striped Maple, Sweet Birch, Tulip Poplar, and White Ash trees, as well as in the wild Grapevines, Winged Sumac, Poison Ivy, and Virginia Creeper.

In North Carolina, we have reports that Bass Lake near the Moses Cone Manor House is producing some of the most dramatic color in the area. There is also some nice color at Price Lake, as well as around Milepost 297 to 299, and Milepost 301 to 305. Goldenrod, Bull Thistle, and Asters are also still blooming in the area.

The high elevation of Craggy Gardens is well underway with its fall color, showing reds and yellows, as the Yellow Buckeye, Maple, Beech, and Mountain Ash trees start to turn.

Driving from Asheville to the Mt. Pisgah area, fall color can be seen in the changing Red Oak, Tulip Poplar, Dogwoods, Maples, Sassafras, Poison Ivy, and Virginia Creeper.

At the southern end of the Parkway the rain and wind of the last few days has left a lot of leaves on the ground. Pisgah is still mostly green but is showing signs of color with yellows and reds starting to pop out.

The rest of the Parkway’s southern end is showing color between 25 and 40 percent in the lower elevations, to about 40 to 60 percent in the higher elevations.

Elevations into West Virginia and Northwest Maryland are close to peak RIGHT NOW with some of the best color to be found in Pocohontas County around Slaty Fork, Marlinton and Snowshoe Mountain. A trip to the Green Bank Telescope would be phenomenal right now.

There is going to be some nice color to look at this weekend if the weather holds. As always, we remind you to drive carefully while on the Parkway. Keep your eyes on the road as you enjoy the view!

If you can’t make it up, I’d suggest these cameras for the best color right now:



09.24.12 02:39 PM

Fall has finally arrived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Experience the crisp morning air and warm afternoons. Make sure you check out our webcam as the leaves begin to change and the views becomes clearer than ever.

There are still 30% discounts available on weekend and weekly rentals until November 15, 2012* (some restrictions apply) so make sure you don’t miss out. You can call us today at 800-438-4555 or book online 24/7. Many of our guest are enjoying the tennis courts, golfing, hiking, mountain biking, gem mining, horseback riding, football games, apples, and all the fall festivals.

Sugar Mountain is conveniently located to Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, Boone, Blowing Rock, Grandfather Mountain, Tweetsie Railroad, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

** Check out the five day forecast by clicking the temperature above and also check out our new video of surrounding area under the "about" tab.

This is a great time to BOOK a vacation for this coming week and weekend’s PEAK COLOR. We’ll be talking about Sugar’s Oktoberfest and more and it’s certain to be a gorgeous peak week!

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