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Fall Foliage Primer - October 25, 2017

 
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FALL COLOR UPDATE - October 25, 2017

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


HCCollage

Valle Crucis/Boone, NC - Well, last week I told you that this fall’s color season has been downright weird. It was, but this week, I’ll say it’s been really surprising. From the looks of things last week, I thought the curtain was about to come down on the fall show. As it turns out, it has not. Even with the copious amounts of rain and wind we had on Monday, there are still some spots in the Boone area that are just now beginning to show color. 

While you won’t be totally engulfed in a sea of yellows, oranges, and reds, there’s still a pretty good amount of color. I stopped at Grand View Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to take one of my photos. Unfortunately, the camera cannot do the scene justice. You can see the fall colors washing over the lower elevations.

Our weather forecast calls for fall-like weather to be the order of the day, including some nights with lows in the lower 30s. The highs will be in the mid-50s, with maybe a little rain on Saturday into early Sunday. You can always check the local forecast with Ray HERE

This weekend is the final one of the season for Tweetsie’s Ghost Train. It’s a lot of fun – even for big kids. Make sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time. Since it’s close to Halloween, we’re pretty sure it’ll be busy. 

You might want to take a ride out to Elk Knob State Park. On Saturday, they are having a ranger program called The History of Halloween. It looks at how nature has influenced this celebration over the years. It starts at 2 p.m. in the park's amphitheatre. If you hike up to the summit, the colors in the valleys should be extraordinary. 

For something new in Boone, you might want to take the Mountaineer Mystery Tour. A costumed storyteller takes you from here to there and back in time, too. We took the tour ourselves last weekend and learned a few stories that we hadn’t heard. Our docent said they took care to choose stories that are based in truth. You’ll hear about the old jailhouse and other tales of the dark side. Make sure to get your tickets early. 

I’ll see you next week.

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AshevilleCollage

Asheville, NCHello again! I think we may finally be nearing peak color at last. With this last big rainfall it seems like the colors have just popped. Even though they are not widespread yet, the color is already looking magnificent.

Other than the large amount of rainfall in the last day or so, it looks like the rest of the week is going to be mostly sunny, with a small chance of rain on Sunday. High temperatures are going to be in the 60s and lows in the 30s. We've hit fall temperatures at last. You can find a local forecast right HERE

This week I made it out to the Biltmore Estate and put my annual pass to good use. However, this time I didn't explore the house, I instead visited the estate's vast gardens. It always amazes me how much artistry is involved in the creation and upkeep of these gardens. They always manage to mix seasonal flowers in such colorful ways.

On this visit, I chose to walk the vista point beside the Estate itself. Here you can get a glimpse of all the Pisgah National Forest Lands that used to belong to the Vanderbilts. You can see Mt. Pisgah in the distance, surrounded by many other large peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

While not widespread yet, the color that was visible from this vantage point was vibrant and added wonderful highlights to the view. I think in another week or so the area will be at peak color.

As we head into Halloween, Asheville is coming alive with the number of events and celebrations happening this weekend. Running from Wednesday October 25 through Sunday the 29th Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain is hosting the 5th annual Haunted Trail.

This charity event includes a walk through local trails riddled with live actors, spooky sounds and props. Afterward, there is Party at Pisgah Park with Halloween games, crafts, and a plethora of food trucks to choose from. If you enjoy Halloween events and want to help make a difference, please check out Pisgah Brewing Co. this weekend. Check HERE for ticket prices and more information. 

Another popular event for kids is the Fall Festival at Lake Julian. Running from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on October 28th. Children can relive the events from their favorite stories, whether it be aboard a pirate ship or underneath life sized Lego blocks. There will be many autumn related activities, food trucks and fantastic views of Lake Julian to enjoy. If you want a unique place to bring your kids this weekend this is the place to go. 

Lastly for those looking for something separate from the Halloween activities, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair is Happening at the WNC Agricultural Center on October 27th through 29th. This family-friendly art show not only shows off fiber garments but also gives access to the animals involved. They will have workshops you can take to learn spinning, weaving, knitting and much more. If you get the chance this is a great activity to check out. Here's where you can find more INFO

I hope to get more pictures for you to enjoy as we get closer and closer to peak here in Asheville. See you guys out there!

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WVCollage

Waynesville, NCAfter a good amount of rain on Monday, the expectation is for much cooler temperatures to follow over the next several days. In the mountains, there is even a forecast for some light snow early next week, so dress and drive accordingly! Expect the mountains to have lows in the 30s with highs reaching only into the low 60s. For the best and most up-to-date weather, see Ray’s Weather Center.

Now...about those leaf colors! This year continues to be one of uncertainty with “when” peak leaf season has or will occur, and “where” to find the best opportunities to see them. With expectations high after a less then stellar 2016, the talk around town from those who have been here for years is that 2017 hasn't been as dramatic as years past either. Mainly due to a lack of substantial rainfall in the late summer many leaves are going from green to brown before immediately falling to the ground.

Two attached links will hopefully explain why this is happening again in 2017 and where to possibly see more of those vibrant orange and red colors. While autumn is still a beautiful season we hope the rain earlier this week will help motivate those green leaves still on so many of the trees to make a change to bright yellow, orange and red before they ultimately fall to the ground. Here are other websites to consult for color reports: Top News and Knoxville Times News

About 30 miles west of Waynesville is the quaint town of Bryson City. Possessing dining, shopping, and window shopping while strolling through a slice of history, this area won’t disappoint! Home to the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, visitors can take a trip through some of the most beautiful land in Western North Carolina. The Nantahala Gorge Excursion is a 44-mile train ride that follows the Nantahala River from Bryson City to the “Gorge” and back. With the leaves changing, this trip is especially beautiful. Plus, you are still in time catch one of the final three days for the kids to enjoy the PEANUTS(TM) Pumpkin Patch Express where Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy characters come to life! And, with Halloween less then a week away, don’t hesitate to let the children ride the train in their costumes!

Also, just a couple of miles from Bryson City in the Great Smoky National Park is Deep Creek. Very busy in the summer months due to the popularity “tubing the creek,” it is also an excellent fall destination. There are three nice waterfalls all within a mile or so of the main parking area. For the slightly more adventurous hikers, the Deep Creek Loop Trail is between 5 and 6 miles in length and will connect to even longer trails for a more arduous hike. Ample parking is available this time of year in the picnic area complete with grills and clean restrooms. The park also has tent and RV campsites and permits fishing (state fishing license required) and mountain biking in specified areas. Here's where you can find DETAILS for a visit. 

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HVCollage

Hendersonville, NCHalloween week is finally here. Goblins, pumpkins, gourds and haunted houses are everywhere, so watch out! We have peak color for leaf peepers this week, too. The trees have finally gotten the show on the road and are incredible with blazing reds, fiery oranges, and butter yellows at every turn. The unusual warm weather at the beginning of the month delayed the changing leaf colors by a week or so, but we are glad it is here at last.

This week promises to have real fall weather with highs in the 50s to 60s and a touch of frost on the pumpkins every night. Saturday may be drizzly, but we can hope for the best. It will be great weather to go to a haunted house to scream and snuggle up with a partner. For a list of haunted houses, trails and farms in our area, follow this LINK. You can also find an updated local forecast from Ray, HERE

Apple orchards are still a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Grandad’s Apples has it all, a five-acre corn maze, a pumpkin patch with giant pumpkins, apples, and a barnyard with farm animals you can feed. Don't miss the bakery while you are there either.

The Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center will be taking place October 27 and October 28 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is also open on Sunday from 9a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be hundreds of vendors and displays including animals, crafters, contests, handmade garments, accessories, yarns, fleece, supplies, affordable workshops & demonstrations. Go to this WEBSITE for more information.

Go to the 36th Annual Halloweenfest in Downtown Brevard on October 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is the closest we get to Transylvania! It is a full day’s worth of family fun and a celebration of the spookiest day of the year! Come take part in the annual costume contest and parade or compete in the pumpkin carving contest or the pie bake off. Great food and good fun!

Don't miss Trick or Treat Street in Downtown Hendersonville on October 31 at 5 p.m. All the merchants on Main Street will offer trick or treating from Allen Street to 6th Avenue. The Halloween costume contest and Monster Mash Street Dance will be between 4th and 5th Avenues. Costume registration begins at 4:30 with judging to follow. Come to compete or to watch, the costumes are crazy and cool!

Wishing you a creepy, spooky, spine-chilling, spell-binding Halloween!

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GreenvilleCollage

Greenville, SCOur patience has finally paid off, and color has begun to pop up in Greenville. Many areas of the Upstate are starting to show their true fall colors! This week’s pictures were taken in and around the downtown area. The cooler weather continues this week, with highs forecast in the mid- to upper-60s.

The colors are sure to be popping at Paris Mountain now, and that makes this weekend the perfect time for a Fall Color Walk. An experienced ranger will lead the tour to Mountain Lake while identifying leaves and discussing the reasons for the color changes. Be sure to bring your camera!

This Saturday also marks the final day of the season for the TD Saturday Market in Downtown Greenville. As always, this final morning is the Autumn Harvest, and features Halloween-themed activities. Children can enjoy trick-or-treating at the vendor booths, a cupcake walk, and a costume contest.

This weekend is the weekend before Halloween, and that means TONS of events throughout the Upstate. The Greenville Zoo is getting in on the holiday fun with two exciting events. A Behind the Scenes Tour of the zoo offers guests an inside look at the care and training of the animals. Tours are held monthly, and this month’s tour will be held on Saturday, October 28th. Also, this weekend is the last weekend for the popular Boo In The Zoo event. The fun-filled activity allows children to trick-or-treat through the zoo, and allows all visitors a rare evening view of the animals.  

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KVCollage

Knoxville, TNIn the Knoxville area we  are still waiting for more leaves to change color. A long walk around Ijams Nature Center is fun but there is still mostly a canopy of green.  A short drive into Sevierville was pretty, but did not provide a lot of change in foliage just yet.  

Fall foliage seems to be similar as last year, when the best display of color took place in the later weeks of November. The lack of colors so far this year is likely due to the warm weather we experienced mid-September  and now into October.

We are feeling optimistic that next week, we will have a better variety of fall colors on display here in Knoxville.

In the meantime, we will wait but have some fun and educational things to do around town.

How long has it been since you carved your own pumpkin?

The fun of carving pumpkins is not just for kids. The Central Collective is hosting a Pumpkin Carving Party on October 25th. You can register HEREThey will provide the supplies and the pumpkin. 

Visit the Blount Mansion located in the heart of downtown for a Halloween History Tour. This is the home of William Blount, one of the signers of the US Constitution. It was built in the 1790s, and thus has witnessed many events in the Knoxville area. These tours take place on Saturday, October 28, and also on October 30 and 31. Here's where you can find more INFO

Learn about  East Tennessee's features of the day and night sky at The Muse, which is a children's museum perfect for children up to age 10 (but we're pretty sure we've seen some obviously older "children" enjoying the activities, too), which is located in Historic Chilhowee Park (516 North Beaman Street, Knoxville). The Knoxville Skies Star Tour is on Friday, October 27 from 4:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. This show is always different! Tickets for this show are $2 (Free for members) and can be purchased at the front desk. Museum admission not required for the 4:30 live star show. All ages welcome!

See you next week!

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