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Fall Foliage Primer - November 8, 2017

 
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FALL COLOR UPDATE - November 8, 2017

Choose your report:
Valle Crucis/Boone • Asheville • Waynesville • Hendersonville • 
Greenville • Knoxville


HCCollage

Valle Crucis/Boone, NC - We can say that we are officially in “stick season” here in Valle Crucis and Boone. Although, the oaks certainly aren’t ready to let the curtain come down on the fall colors. There are some amazing explosions of yellows, oranges, deep reds, and robust browns from oak trees. When the leaves leave, the long-range views become easier to see. Head on up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and pull off at any overlook. You’ll see colors rippling down into the valley, and the ridgelines in the distance will be a little more defined because the summer’s haze has lifted.

Events for this week include a big rivalry game for the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Long-time SoCon, and now Sun Belt, rival Georgia Southern comes to town for a Thursday night game. Be aware of heavy traffic in and around Boone starting probably early in the day. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.; so you’ll want to bundle up a bit if you’re headed to the game. While it may be mild during the day, when the sun goes down, the temperatures chill quickly. Check Ray’s Weather Forecast HERE to get game time temps and the extended forecast for the weekend.

The Original Mast Store is hosting a Flag Retirement Ceremony on Saturday, November 11, which is also Veterans Day. If you have a flag that needs to be retired, drop it off at the store ahead of time or bring it with you on Saturday. The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. We appreciate our local Boy Scouts, who will be doing the retirement ceremony.

It won’t be long until other trees become the center of attention. Christmas Trees are already starting to make their way off the mountain to be the center of someone’s holiday celebration. You can find information on Choose-and-Cut Trees with a click HERE. Don’t delay too long because this is a popular activity beginning the weekend before Thanksgiving. 

You’ll want to be in Downtown Boone on Festive First Friday, December 1. Activities begin at 4 p.m. with carolers throughout the area. The solar Christmas Tree will light up around 6 p.m. And there will be a snowball fight – with a snowman – later in the evening (please bring your own snowballs…large marshmallows). There’s more happening. Keep an eye on the Mast Store Calendar of Events for more info.

Tweetsie has a new event for the season – Tweetsie Christmas! It starts on Thanksgiving weekend and will feature a train ride through a winter wonderland of lights, visits with Santa, and more. Here’s where you can get your tickets. 

That’s it for me. Thanks for following along on this year’s hunt for beautiful fall colors. I hope to see you again next year.  

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AshevilleCollage

Asheville, NCWell, this is it for this season, one last report to highlight an interesting, but beautiful, autumn. We hit peak a few days ago here in Asheville, with colors along the roadways just as vibrant as the ones in the distance. We still have a little to go, but the bulk of the leaves have changed.

The weather here is still in flux, as is typical of fall in the mountains. Days have risen to temperatures of close to 8,0 while nights remain in the 40s. This week, however, temperatures are on a downward turn, with highs in the mid to low 50s by the end of the week. There is also a chance of showers on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Check out the local forecast HERE

This is the time of year to explore Asheville’s variety of parks. While the high elevation areas are still accessible, much of the Blue Ridge Parkway buildings and activities close up in November. As an alternative, there are 54 public parks in the city of Asheville to visit and explore. While many of these are simple green spaces, like Pack Square Park in the center of Downtown Asheville, many of the parks are popular locations for outdoor sports and picnics.

The parks along the banks of the French Broad River are particularly beautiful.  These parks are popular locations for biking, running, or simply walking your dog. They provide wonderful natural settings within the city limits. Some of these parks I have already mentioned like French Broad River Park, but others, like Carrier Park, have been around longer and have a much larger acreage. Carrier is famous for its velodrome, a former racetrack, which is now used for cycling. The park also boasts a 2.8-mile paved trail along the riverside for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Another area that is nice to visit within the city limits us Beaver Lake. This man-made lake is crystal clear, and is surrounded by mountain views that often reflect in its surface. The lake is a popular location for low key water sports and casual strolls along the lake bed. It is also a prime location for birdwatching and is home to the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. This 10-acre section of land is home to many of Asheville’s resident and migratory birds. It is a gorgeous area to sit and enjoy fall color as well as watch for the many birds that call this wetland area home. The boardwalk trail within the Sanctuary is only 3/4 of a mile and is well worth a visit.

For more information on any of Asheville’s most popular parks, click HERE.

As for events, the holiday season is fast approaching and as such the city is preparing. The Asheville Holiday Parade will be happening downtown the morning of November 18th and is a fast and easy way to get into the holiday spirit. Another big draw for the holiday season is Christmas at the Biltmore, which, as of November 3rd, is in full swing. Come see the lights at the Biltmore Estate, as well as their 55 decorated Christmas trees for this once a year event.  

Separate from the holidays, this week we have the Asheville on Tap Craft Beer Festival. Happening on November 11 at the US Cellular Center this event celebrates Asheville’s beer culture by putting all the craft brews you know and love under one roof. If you enjoy specialty beer and want a unique thing to do this weekend, this is the event for you. 

It has been a pleasure writing for you guys and helping to share the beauty that is autumn in the mountains. I hope you have enjoyed the adventure as much as I have, and I hope to see you all next year for another wonderful fall leaf season. Good luck out there!

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WVCollage

Waynesville, NCThe forecast for the upcoming week predicts some wet weather and cool days with colder nights! Expect daytime highs to be in the low 50s and lows to be in the low to mid-30s. Of course, if your plans include any trips into some of the higher elevations or onto the Blue Ridge Parkway, you'll need to take into account temperatures can be a good 5 to 10 degrees cooler than in town! Rain will be clearing on Thursday with the weekend expected to be mostly clear and sunny but chilly before another possibility of rain on Sunday. As always, for the best and most accurate weather in Waynesville, check Ray’s Weather at www.waynesvilleweather.com.

As expected this time of the year, most of the vibrant color leaves are now either off the trees completely or they have turned into more of a dull brown color, although there are a few pockets of color still to be found. While this season may have disappointed some people, the widespread beauty of the past couple of weeks still gave many of us pause when looking at our mountains inundated with reds, oranges, yellows and browns or when coming around a corner and being suddenly confronted by a splash of color that confirms why this part of North Carolina is so popular.

The area in and around Waynesville is certainly beautiful all year long, and it is nice to experience the visual and recreational delights of all four seasons...and yes, even during “stick season” when there are very few leaves left on the trees there is a special beauty found in long range views when ridge lines long obscured are opened up for a few months. No matter if you are blessed to live here full time, part-time, or can only stay for a few days or weeks, this area holds a special place in many hearts when we can pause to take a breath, slow down and experience the beauty that abounds this area of our magnificent country.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday there will be several Veterans Day events! Attending any of these events is a great way to honor the service and sacrifice of our past, present and future heroes! Starting on Friday at noon there will be an event at Haywood Christian Academy (HCA) that will culminate with a free lunch for veterans; the next day there is a full-blown parade in Franklin (about 40 miles southwest of Waynesville) and two events at 11 a.m., and lastly a Sunday concert recognize Veterans Day and to honor our veterans! The weather is forecast to be sunny but cool so be sure to bundle up when attending one of these events:

Haywood Christian Academy will host an event at noon on Friday, November 10th. Tuscola High School’s Air Force JROTC will Parade the Colors then following speakers and student presentations a free lunch will be provided for veterans.

Veterans Day Parade in Franklin, NC on Saturday will start 10:30 a.m. by the Town Hall. 

A Veterans Day service is being sponsored by the Town of Clyde and the Vietnam Veterans Association Chapter 980. The event will take place in front of the “Big Gun” in Clyde at 11 a.m.

The Town of Canton will also recognize Veterans Day with an event at 11 a.m. on Saturday and then a concert on Sunday at 3 p.m. Saturday’s celebration at Memorial Stadium (across from the Canton Middle School) will be opened by Pisgah High School’s Navy JROTC color guard and the singing of our National Anthem. After two guest speakers the event will conclude at noon with a motorcycle parade. The following day at 3 p.m., the Haywood County Arts Council will host “Sunday at the Opry" at the Colonial Theater. Tickets are required for this event, so check this LINK.
   
So, this wraps up Waynesville’s weekly input to the 2017 Leaf Season / Fall Foliage! It has been an exciting time for me to share all the terrific outdoor activities, community events, festivals and, of course, photos from Western North Carolina. Maybe next year will be more spectacular then this year, but as you can see, even a year that wasn’t perfect was still pretty darn beautiful! Thank you for the opportunity to share what we love about living here with you!

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HVCollage

Hendersonville, NCAnother wonderful leaf-looking season has come to an end. The happy news is that the leaves are still gloriously colorful and will probably remain so for about a week or more! We had a delayed onset of autumn color this year, and it has given us extra leaf peeping days.

The weather may not co-operate the beginning of this week, it looks to be overcast and rainy. But, maybe that calls for a nice drive along back roads to admire the maples, chestnuts and oaks through the window. One of my favorites is from Black Mountain to Chimney Rock. Take exit 64 off Interstate 40 at Black Mountain and follow N.C. Highway 9 South for about 16 miles. When you arrive in Bat Cave turn left on U.S. 64 toward Chimney Rock, where you will have spectacular views of Hickory Nut Gorge as you drive. Be aware that the Chimney Rock State Park is closed due to a landslide the end of October.

A trip to Bullington Gardens is always fun. It is a public botanical garden, in Hendersonville, on 12 acres of rolling land and was once the nursery of Bob Bullington. These gardens have some of the many unusual trees that he collected along with other plants. On November 8th from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., they are hosting a walking stick workshop. You can make your own walking stick from natural materials for yourself or as a gift. All materials are supplied. $35/per person. Please call 698-6104 to register.

For a fun and wacky way to start the holidays, take a short drive to Brevard to the Transylvania Heritage Museum at 189 West Main Street. The annual Aluminum Tree and Ornament Museum is the only museum dedicated to vintage 1950's aluminum Christmas trees. The museum is open Wednesday-Saturday, and it's free to visit.

If the weather clears (find an up-to-date, local forecast HERE) and you are looking for a hike, be sure to visit the Hike WNC website for information and ideas. The website is very specific and offers maps and trail information all around the area.

And to get us through the cold winter months, I recommend feeding the birds because you never know what you will see.

Fare thee well, until the turning of the leaves next year!

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GreenvilleCollage

Greenville, SCThe beautiful colors of Fall have finally arrived all over the Upstate! This week’s pictures were taken at Furman University and in the area just outside of downtown Greenville. Our weather continues to be scattered, with rain forecast for mid-week and another clearing ahead for the weekend.

This weekend marks the 16th edition of Greenville Open Studios. This weekend event throws open the studio doors of local artists and allows patrons to see the them at work. It’s a wonderful event, and this year features 145 artists in locations throughout a 15-mile radius of Downtown Greenville.

Later this month, the “Toughest Race in the South” returns when the Paris Mountain Road Race is held on November 18th. This year’s 20k race hosts the 2017 Road Runners Club of America South Carolina 20k Championship. There are also 10k and 5k events for the less adventurous! See the link for all information regarding registration and participant restrictions.

Thanksgiving Day brings not one, but two Turkey Day 5k’s to the area! The Taylors Turkey Day 5-Can Run features no pre-registration – just bring 5 cans of food or $5 for the local community ministries. Pre-registration is required for the Trees Greenville Turkey Day 5k and 8k. This race features a new course, new start times, and new swag and giveaways.

Thanksgiving also marks the beginning of holiday light displays in the Upstate. Roper Mountain Holiday Lights runs through December 30th, with all proceeds helping local education and non-profits. The Upstate Holiday Light Show is held at the Greenville Pickens Speedway through December 31st, and features a skating rink and petting zoo.

It’s been loads of fun sharing the colors and wonders of the Upstate with you this season! There are special events planned throughout the holiday season, so we hope to see you stop by for a visit!    

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KVCollage

Knoxville, TNIt is as if it suddenly happened over night! We are seeing beautiful Fall colors at their peak over Knoxville and East Tennessee. They are brilliant and in Technicolor! 

The temperatures have shifted from cooler days back  to above average this past week. It's been like a yo-yo with the weather.  The warmer temps made it easy for everyone to get out and enjoy their evenings before the time change this past weekend. The temperatures for the next few days will be below our average temperatures with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s and 40s. Check out a local forecast from WBIR HERE

I took a drive on my day off and was overjoyed with all the colors at every turn.  The truth is the photos do not do them justice.  I would highly recommend to get out as soon as you can to the Smokies or one of our Tennessee State Parks so you can see for yourself how beautiful Fall in East Tennessee truly is.  

If you have checked out my report before, you know I suggest Norris Dam State Park often.  Check out one of their FREE Bluegrass Concerts on Sunday, November 12.  This would be the perfect time of year to walk the trails there or take your own picnic.  More information can be viewed at their WEBSITE.  

Please Come support and thank our Veterans by joining us for Knoxville's Annual Veterans Day Parade on November 10th. The parade route goes right down Gay Street and will begin around 10:30 a.m.  The area in front of our store is a prime viewing spot. More information and Parking information can be found HERE.

A fun workshop for kids will be taking place at The University of Tennessee Gardens On Sunday, November 12th. If you and your kids love to collect and press the beautiful fall leaves you have found, this class is for you. They can learn more about the season of Autumn and identify the leaves at this specialty class. Follow this LINK to register and to learn more. 

The season has been unusual with warmer temperatures and the colors peaking later than normal.  I look forward to what next Fall will bring us next year.  Until then, we say "Happy Trails from Knoxville!"

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