Fall Foliage Primer - November 1, 2017
- Nov 1, 2017 |
FALL COLOR UPDATE - November 1, 2017
Valle Crucis/Boone, NC - I think that we can safely say that we’ve seen the height of the colors now. This has been an unusual color season. If you “leaf” back through the reports, I know that I went back and forth on just how I thought the colors were going to be for the upcoming weekend. The color ended up being better late than it was early.
On Friday night, I was out in my shirt sleeves looking through my telescope. Saturday brought some rain and falling temperatures. Sunday brought some snow flurries and LOTS of wind. Surprisingly, there are some leaves left that are brilliant in color. If you are headed into Valle Crucis on Broadstone, when you get to the turn with Daisy Ridge on the left, there is still stunning color there. If you look closer to the ground, you can still find some high color areas. Also, looking from overlooks on the Parkway into the valleys will provide some pleasing views. The photos from this week were taken at the Daniel Boone Native Gardens and in Valle Crucis.
The weather for the rest of the week, according to Ray, is going to be pretty pleasant. Highs will warm back into the 50s and 60s with lows in the 40s. There is a possibility of showers on Saturday, but, it’s still a 3 golf ball day. Get the most up-to-date forecast with a click HERE.
For events this week, you’ll want to give First Friday in Downtown Boone a try. The weather should be pleasant to stroll up and down the street, do a little shopping, check out some art openings, listen to some music, and have a bite to eat. It all starts at 5 p.m. Remember parking after 5 o’clock is free in Downtown Boone.
On Saturday, try something new. The Boone Country Dancers are hosting a Contra Dance at the Apple Barn in Valle Crucis. This group always welcomes new dancers and has a new dancer workshop before the big dance begins. Dancers range in age from 7 to 70. You don’t have to bring a partner. It’s fun, and you’ll meet some new people. There is a small charge. To find more follow this LINK.
One other thing I’ll mention, it’s Mast Store’s Employee for a Day Sale on Sunday and Monday. You can follow this LINK to get your coupon for 25% off up to 4 items. There are a few exclusions, but not many, and the discount is only available at your favorite Mast Store along a Main Street, so it’s a good time to plan a trip.
That’s it for me this week. See you again shortly.
Asheville, NC - Brrr! It’s been a cold few days here in Asheville. With this past weekend filled with flash floods one moment and our first snow flurries of the season the next, we could do with some sunny days. Looking at the weather, it looks like we may get it. The temperature is going to go back up a little bit with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s. Friday will get back up to almost 70. Welcome to autumn in the mountains. For weather updates check HERE.
With all this rain the peak leaves in Asheville have nearly come upon us. Looking out from my apartment a can see a sea of reds and oranges, and some yellows peeking through. We will be at our peak sometime this week or weekend I think.
While the snow didn’t stick down here in the city, our high elevation areas like Mt. Pisgah and Craggy Gardens have frosted tips. Pisgah, in particular, is a beautiful sight, and I love being greeted by it every morning. The juxtaposition of the snowy peaks and the fall colors is a unique sight as well.
Be careful if you have plans to travel the Parkway this week. There have been multiple closures due to both rain washouts and ice. This MAP is a good reference to keep track of them. The leaves may be gone, but winter has its own set of wonders up there, if you have the pleasure of catching it. Craggy Gardens in particular is famous for its rime ice, which is frozen moisture from fog and low hanging clouds. Mount Mitchell, as well, gets a fair amount of this winter phenomenon. Both places will remain open until mid November if weather permits, so if you don’t mind venturing out in the cold you should try to see it.
For the remainder of our leaf peeping season, I recommend the North Carolina Arboretum. As I’ve mentioned before it is a gorgeous natural space within 20 miles of downtown Asheville. It will give you a glimpse into the lower elevation forests, and they will peak in these next few days. With all these cold days, the leaves are going to change fast. Entry is only $12 per car, so it is a worthwhile place to spend the day.
If you want a little history as well as leaf viewing I recommend Riverside Cemetery. Open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. once daylight saving time ends, this 87-acre piece of our history is a great place to visit. Nestled against Downtown Asheville in the Montford Historic district. This cemetery includes the names of not just locals, but world famous individuals as well. One of the most familiar is Thomas Wolfe, who grew up in Asheville, and returned at the end of his life. Other notables are author William Sidney Porter (O’Henry), Zebulon Vance, and James Posey, a bodyguard of Abraham Lincoln. Riverside Cemetery is also famous for its gorgeous view of the French Broad River and the rolling hills of the area, so it should give you wonderful views of the last leaves of the season. For more info click HERE.
Heading into November, Asheville has a variety of events happening. On Saturday November 4th, there is the WNC Cookbook and Food Writing Festival at the Asheville Mall. During the afternoon from 2 p.m.-4 p.m., this event gives the public the ability to meet with the chefs from many famous restaurants of the area. If you love writing about, learning about, or simply eating good food, this event is for you.
Wicked Weed Brewery will be hosting its Festival of Artistry to honor local artists and their contributions to the beer industry. The festival will be held on the south slope of Coxe Ave. in Downtown Asheville from noon until 6 p.m. on November 4th.
Lastly, if you enjoy music and want to branch out with some local or lesser known bands, check out the Grey Eagle in West Asheville. This small venue is a great way to experience music and gives you the ability to have a more intimate musical experience. For this week's shows and times check their WEBSITE.
Waynesville, NC - Due to a significant amount of rain, plus some very cold nighttime temperatures occurring this past week, the trees that had held onto their green leaves through what is typically peak color season have finally changed in a dramatic way. We now are seeing yellows, golds, orange and red leaves in abundance. Unfortunately, high winds have also taken their toll on some of the leaves, but enough remain in the trees to present those spectacular views we expect to mark the passing of summer into winter. Expect peak colors to occur the last week of October thru the first week of November.
Additionally, snow flurries on Saturday and Sunday helped to remind everyone that winter is certainly just around the corner, although we will still have plenty of days in the mid-60s so enjoy a hike when those milder temperatures occur! You can get an up-to-date local forecast for Waynesville by following this LINK.
Driving west on I-40 for less then 30 miles from Waynesville into Tennessee, the exit for Waterville (Exit 451) presents another terrific camping, picnic, hiking and sightseeing park inside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. “Big Creek” is actually in North Carolina but, again, the best way to get there from North Carolina is to stay on I-40 to Tennessee and then head south back into North Carolina on Waterville Road to the Big Creek Ranger Station. Waterville is the launching area for several white water rafting companies in the warmer months, but this time of year it is largely unused except for a few fly fishermen. The area of Big Creek is an access point to several excellent hiking trails including access to the famous Appalachian Trail. Mount Sterling or a hike to Mouse Falls are both accessible and popular, but a more moderate level of effort is required then some of the other trails.
With Veterans Day (November 11th) coming up, there will many local events to recognize and honor those whom have given so much for our country’s freedom, but one event is taking place this week before the holiday that is a “must see” for car show enthusiasts. At the Asheville VA (Charles George VA Medical Center) on Saturday, November 4th between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., one of the area’s premier “Car and Bike” shows in Western North Carolina will occur at the Hospital. “Saluting Our Veterans” Car and Bike Show will occur rain or shine and is free for attendees. This event is scheduled to showcase approximately 230 show cars and bikes! The proceeds from this event will be used to support veteran recreational therapy so join us for a day of fun with a purpose!
Hendersonville, NC - Chilly nights and cools days will dominate this week. The temperatures will warm slightly into the high 60s by the weekend, and we will see 40s at night. It is time to roll out the hot cider or the hot chocolate and the snuggly soft blankets to sit and watch the fire crackle! The lovely fall leaf colors are still here and some of the maples look like they are glowing from the inside out. What a beautiful sight! If you head out exploring, follow this LINK for a local weather forecast.
Just ten minutes from Downtown Hendersonville is Jump Off Rock, a scenic overlook with stunning mountain views. It's open all year, sunrise to sunset, and admission is free. Drive up winding Laurel Park Highway to the 3,100-foot summit. A sign helps you identify mountain peaks like Mt. Pisgah and Cold Mountain. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Biltmore Estate and beyond. Watch the sunset, have a picnic, or take a short hike on one of the trails. On the way to and from the park, keep an eye out for wild turkey flocks, white tail deer, and black bears along the road.
To enjoy a little leaf peeping, take a quiet walk in the woods and learn about the forest at the Holmes Educational State Forest. You will find a variety of hiking trails, picnic areas, exhibits, and even talking trees! In addition to free admission, all of their programs and special tours are free. It's just 10 miles from Downtown Hendersonville. The forest is open from mid March through mid November and the mountain slopes are filled with a very diverse collection of trees and wildflowers. Check their bulletin board for what wildflowers are in bloom or to identify trees, stop at the park office for a tree ID brochure. Go HERE for hours and more information.
DuPont State Recreational Forest has 10,000 acres and 86 miles of trails, and it has become a favorite place for exploring the great outdoors. One of the best hikes is a moderate three-mile trail to three waterfalls. It has a few hills, but it is perfect for nearly all fitness levels and families. It's a great way to see the wonderful autumn colors and waterfalls too. It is very popular on weekends especially in the fall. Visit during the week or early in the morning to miss the crowds. Click HERE for more specific trail information.
On November 4th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the First United Methodist Church at 204 6th Ave West in Hendersonville will be sponsoring a Juried Crafts Festival. Over 50 artists and craftspeople will showcase their creations including wood carvings, pottery, handmade jewelry, fabric art, holiday decor, photography, and more. Call 828-693-4275 for more information.
Don't forget to include a stroll along Main Street to peruse the stores and admire the spectacular red maples lining the sidewalks. Mast General Store, of course, is a crowd-pleasing destination too, so don't miss it!
Greenville, SC - The colors in Greenville are starting to pop, even if the weather is not cooperating so we can enjoy it. This past week was rather rainy, but we are settling in to our regular pleasant fall weather this week.
Now that Halloween is over, everything turns to the winter holidays. This weekend marks the beginning of holiday bazaars and craft fairs in the area. The Annual All Saints’ Bazaar at Christ Church Episcopal features wonderful gift ideas, plus a Kids' Carnival and tons of holiday related crafts. Admission is free, and proceeds from the Bazaar and silent auction will benefit Jasmine Road, Inc., a charity that helps women in need with housing.
Taylor’s Elementary School is hosting Tinsel Town, a holiday craft fair and market, on Saturday, November 4th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event features a wide variety of vendors, plus food, baked goods and kid’s crafts. Admission to this event is one non-perishable food item for the Greer Community Ministries Food Bank.
Also on Saturday, the Upstate Mothers of Multiples Club will host their brand-new fundraiser. The Upstate Holiday Market will be held at Christian Assembly Upstate, and features vendors, raffles, a bake sale and food trucks.
For the sports fans, hockey has returned to the Upstate. Our Greenville Swamp Rabbits are off to a slow start, but with several home games scheduled over the next few weeks they are sure to pick it up! Every home game offers great promotions, and every Friday and Sunday features an awesome ticket special. The Family Fun Pack features 4 tickets, 4 meals and a souvenir for only $60.
For outdoor fun, visit nearby Table Rock State Park. The fall colors promise to be spectacular, and you can enjoy hiking, canoeing, kayaking and more.
I highly recommend getting outside this next week to view the leaves. A great walking trail for your family is located at UT Arboretum, which is a short drive from Downtown Knoxville.
If you are looking for a fun event on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies, the Townsend Grits and Grains festival is on November 4th. It's a food and spirits festival with a heapin' helpin' of old-fashioned fun. Townsend is located right in the Smokies, so the color should be good there.
The weather in Knoxville is going to be mild with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. There's a slight chance of a shower each day, but shouldn't be an all-day rain out. You can follow this LINK to get an updated forecast.
The Vols take on Southern Miss this Saturday. Kick off is at 7:30 p.m. If you're heading to the game, you might want to take a fleece.
Fall colors are coming on, so head on over to Knoxville for a visit. More next week!