Fall Foliage Primer - October 16, 2019
- October 16, 2019 |
Valle Crucis/Boone – Fall is here! I have a sneaky feeling that the colors will be on the rise from now on. We had a light frost early in the week, and we are expecting a few nights in the 30s later in the week. No hard freeze yet, but the frost will make the leaves that pushed pause last week really think about turning. The weather will be perfect on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with Sunday being a little cloudy with a chance of showers. High temperatures are in the 50s and 60s with lows in the 30s to 50s. You can get an updated local forecast HERE.
There are more yellows, oranges, and bright reds appearing alongside the subdued maroons of dogwoods and some browns resulting from our drought conditions. I haven’t been able to get out along the Parkway over the last week, but in those elevations, I imagine the peak is near. Click on over to the Fall Color Gallery on Grandfather Mountain’s page for a day-by-day look.
If you are looking for something to do this weekend, you are in luck. If you’re bored, it’s your own fault. Check the Harvest Farm Corn Maze in Valle Crucis. It’s located just a little ways from the Original Mast Store and is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the Flashlight Maze available on Saturday night. Get your pumpkin for your jack-o-lantern and get lost in the maze.
Also in Valle Crucis, it’s time for the Valle Country Fair. It’s a wonderful slice of Americana sponsored by Holy Cross Episcopal Church and the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Over 125 vendors fill the hayfield showcasing their wares, local talent performs on the stage by the barn, and the apple butter gang stays busy stirring large copper kettles cooking down tasty mountain apples. Funds raised at this event are distributed back into the community to help local non-profits. Entry is free, and parking is $10 per car. The Valle should be beautiful this weekend. Get there early to miss the crowds. It opens at 9 a.m.
Just over the mountain is the Woolly Worm Festival. Worms race for the honor of predicting the coming winter’s weather. Bring your own worm, or you can purchase one from the many stables on the festival grounds. Also enjoy live music and entertainment and lots of crafts. The festival is held both Saturday and Sunday.
If you’re in Boone on Saturday, the Appalachian State Mountaineers are hosting the Warhawks from UL-Monroe for a Sun Belt Conference showdown. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. It’s Homecoming, so there will be lots of festivities all weekend starting with the parade at 7 p.m. in Downtown Boone on Friday night.
Bundle up! It may be warm in the sunshine, but it cools off quickly when the sun goes down. You should find many places to see good color this weekend. See you again next week!
Waynesville - Well, it’s finally happening folks; our first week of fall! Here in Waynesville we’ve been enjoying highs in the lower 70s and upper 60s as well as waking up to just the slightest frost on the rooftops! We are looking forward to staying in the 60s this week and maybe even some much-needed precipitation early next week…just the liquid kind for now. While we are not quite into peak season, there are definitely some pockets of color starting to appear! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the Art and Craft Festival this past weekend. I believe the level of artistry increases every year. The weather could not have been better. (Check HERE for a forecast for this weekend.)
Speaking of nice weather, what better way to enjoy it than a walking tour of our historic downtown! I have to say, if you really want to get a well-rounded tour of Waynesville, please check out the History, Haunts, and Legends Tour by local historian Dannehl Strautz. She caters each Main Street walk to her group, and I am pretty sure she knows just about everything regarding Waynesville, as well as Haywood county! You can also find other tours in the area by checking out Leap Frog Tours!
Coming up this weekend is our annual Apple Harvest Festival. It is considered by some to be one of the best fall harvest festivals in the nation! There will be plenty of craft and food vendors along with live music. If you need any help figuring out where to park, do not hesitate to call the store and we can give you the insider scoop (828-452-2101)!
Along with the Apple Harvest Festival, we here at Mast General Store will be having our own fun in the parking lot located behind the store! It is our annual tent sale where everything under the tent will be 50% off! As is Mast Store tradition, there will be something for everyone under the tent. All kinds of outerwear, apparel, and footwear for men, women, and children. Come treat yourself!
Lastly, get lost! Just kidding, but what is fall without a corn maze?! Check out Cold Mountain Corn Maize. Along with the maze itself, there are several fall-oriented attractions to entertain everyone located at the base of beautiful Cold Mountain.
We are doing fall right, here in Waynesville, NC! I hope to see you soon!
Asheville - It has been a beautiful week here in Asheville with temperatures staying between the mid 60s and 70s. We are in for some cold nights this week though, with Wednesday and Thursday dropping to the upper 30s, so make sure to bring your warm clothes with you in your travels. For more information on the weather, go HERE.
This week, I traveled north on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and while we still haven’t quite reached peak color, there was definitely a lot more of it this trip. The Craggy Gardens area had quite a bit of brown and dark orange around the visitor center, and even it’s famous Rhododendrons had some color. But the best place to see color is while you’re driving, the trees along the road and along the mountainsides seemed to be the most vibrant. For more info on Craggy and the Blue Ridge Parkway click on this WEBSITE.
However, even though I was still a little early for the leaf color, the lighting along the Parkway was perfect for taking pictures. Everything was tinted in that telltale autumn gold and even places that were still green had a unique look to them. This was especially true along the road to Mount Mitchell State Park, where deciduous trees and Spruce Pines mix together in a variety of different greens and browns.
Mount Mitchell itself doesn’t have much color, Spruce Pines are conifers and don’t change, but as the highest point east of the Mississippi, it has some of the best views you can get along the Parkway. If you can catch it on a clear day, like we did, you can see almost all the way to Clingman’s Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, over a hundred miles away. It is amazing to see and doesn’t even involve that much hiking, just a short uphill walk from the parking lot to the viewing deck. I did see some color from the top, mostly along the lower elevation ridgelines and along the edges of some of the pines. I’ve never managed to get up there in the autumn, and it didn’t disappoint. Mt. Mitchell continues to be one of my favorite places to visit. Here's where you can find out more about Mount Mitchell State Park.
There are a number of things happening in the Asheville area this weekend, the biggest of which is actually in Black Mountain. Every May and October the city of Black Mountain holds the Lake Eden Art Festival (LEAF for short). The festival goes from October 17th through the 20th and is home to a mixture of artists, musicians, food and more, all with stunning mountain views in the background. If you are in the area and want a festival that has a little bit of everything, this is the place for you. Click HERE for more info.
In Downtown Asheville, we also have the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands in which members of the Southern Highlands Craft guild show off their works. Exhibits have a variety of different crafts ranging from more traditional clay, glass, and fiber to more contemporary art forms. Held at the U.S. Cellular Center this Craft fair is always one of the highlights of the year.
That’s it for my week, I was able to see a lot of color, and I hope that trend continues as autumn moves down the mountains towards Asheville and other lower elevation areas. Rumor has it that this weekend will be peak color in the higher elevations, so be on the lookout! I hope you guys have a great week and are able to enjoy this cool weather and have some adventures of your own!
Hendersonville - It looks like another beautiful fall weather week. We are expecting highs in the 60-70 degree range and lows in the 50s. Time to let out a huge sigh of relief that the sweaty hot temperatures are gone for awhile! The weather can change quickly, though, so be sure to check out the forecast HERE.
The cooler weather has jump-started the fall leaf color, and every day brings more reds and yellows popping up. The dogwoods are sporting a lovely mahogany, the tulip trees are turning golden, and the maples have cardinal red leaves mixed with green. My favorite color is autumn!
Lots of interesting events are happening this week in Hendersonville. Top on my list is the Bearfootin’ Auction on Saturday evening, October 19th. Starting at 3 p.m. in the historic courthouse square, there will be live music while you register to bid on a bear and preview the whole collection of bears. The auction starts at 5 p.m.
The Mast General Store bear benefits Conserving Carolina, this year, and we are very proud of it! Look HERE to find out more.
Chimney Rock Park is an amazing place to visit, and their trails are wonderful. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 19th, there will be a guided hike that will allow you to see all the seasonal changes happening here in the mountains. The Fall Ridge Hike is considered to be moderately strenuous. For more information and cost visit this WEBSITE.
Jump Off Rock is a scenic overlook, which provides an incredible panoramic view of the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges. It is located approximately 5 miles from Downtown Hendersonville. If you go just before dusk you may see some wild turkeys sauntering along the roadside and white-tailed deer peeking out from the trees.
There are three hiking trails at Jump Off Rock, varying in length and difficulty. Blue Trail – easy trail, takes about 8 minutes; Yellow Trail – moderate trail, takes around 15 minutes, & Red Trail, which is the most difficult and the longest. See the sign at the entrance to the walkway leading to Jump Off Rock.
A free tour of the historic church and cemetery of St. John in the Wilderness in Flat Rock will be held on Sunday, October 20, at 3 p.m. It will begin outside the Carriage Door entrance of the church and the tour will last about an hour. The Church was built in 1833 and deeded to the Episcopal Church of North Carolina in 1836. It is one of the oldest church buildings in the area. The cemetery is of historic significance, too, with graves of well-known men and women. Some are descendants of signers of the Declaration of Independence, influential politicians of the 19th century, and military leaders.
That wraps it up for this week. Hope you kick back and enjoy!
Greenville - Fall For Greenville was a huge success this past weekend even with occasional rain on Sunday. There’s no stopping foodies on a mission! Congratulations to all involved – restaurants, musicians, volunteers and City of Greenville employees!
The weather in Greenville is getting slightly cooler so brighter colors should start showing up fairly soon. The Tablerock webcam is starting to show signs of color – check it out! Be sure to check the FORECAST before your visit.
The Fall Bluegrass and Harvest Market continues through October 31 in Traveler’s Rest, just a hop, skip, and a jump from Downtown Greenville. Come to Trailblazer Park every Thursday in October for a small town - get to know your neighbors - community event complete with family-style dining and authentic Bluegrass music! The Travelers Rest Farmers Market sets up under the pavilion with vendors selling everything from local produce to handmade artisan products while old-time, bluegrass songs are performed in the open-air amphitheater. A great lineup of food trucks gathers and families sit down to a community-spirited evening for one of the most charming experiences in the Upstate.
Boo in the Zoo starts on Friday, October 18. It's the Greenville Zoo's signature Halloween event. The event will feature 20 trick-or-treat stations, character photo opportunities, including princesses; an extinct species graveyard, Dragon Alley and Alice's Fun House! Friday, October 18 and October 25: 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, October 19, 20, 26, and 27: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. ( )
A few tickets are still available for The Cook’s Station’s Fall Dinner Cooking Class and scheduled for November 21 at 6 p.m. We mention this now because the class fills up VERY quickly. The session will cover a Fall menu and will feature shrimp and grits, a Fall salad, and grilled pound cake with Fall fruit compote. The class is semi-hands-on and a full meal is served. Wine is included for $45. Space is limited and tickets are available HERE.
Greenville’s fall activities include several art shows, special events, and holiday markets. A few will be highlighted in upcoming newsletters: GCA Fall Festival and Holiday Market on November 2; Swamp Rabbit Trail – best as trees get more color. For more in-depth information about these and other Fall activities, visit Yeah, That Greenville!
Knoxville - Now this is more like it! After one day of rain, Knoxville’s heatwave finally broke, and we are finally experiencing more autumn-like weather! Temperatures have been hovering between the 50s and 70s for the past few days. Weather forecasts predict a couple of days this week with highs only in the mid-60s. Now’s the time to start wearing layers that can be peeled off as needed throughout your daily activities. Be sure to check the forecast when planning your trip. Here's a handy LINK to find out the latest in Knoxville.
Colors are starting to be a bit more pronounced here and there, but in many places, the dry weather has already done its damage and some of the leaves have given up and simply turned brown and fallen.
I caught a few glimpses of crimson and some yellows along the many ridgelines that pepper the Knoxville landscape. Some of the pictures above were taken along Rutledge Pike near the rural districts of Blaine and Luttrell Tennessee. This stretch of road has a bit of significance that is not widely known nowadays as it was a part of the historical 538-mile-long road State Route 1 which stretched from Memphis in the Southwest all the way to Bristol in the Northeast.
This was the first main route that people could travel across the state by car before it was eventually replaced by I-40. Nowadays its environment is mostly a mix between rural and industrial with a few businesses in between to slow passing traffic, but if you are able to avoid the dump trucks and tailgating commuters long enough, you can observe a few remnants of its scenic past; early 19th-Century farmhouses in front of rolling fields, weathered barns, grazing horses, and the shadowing presence of nearby Clinch Mountain.
Things to do this week:
The University Of Tennessee Gardens and the College Of Veterinary Medicine will be hosting their sixth annual Howl-O-Ween Pooch Parade and Pet Expo on October 20. Catering to all breeds of dogs and dog lovers, this Halloween-themed event will feature a judged costume parade, prizes and an expo from many local pet businesses, animal rescue groups and other non-profits.
Fans of comics, sci-fi, and all other forms of pop-culture shouldn’t miss The Fanboy Expo happening all weekend from October 18-20. Hailed as “The biggest pop-culture convention in Tennessee,” this three-day event will feature panels with film celebrities, comic artists, pro wrestlers, dealers of collectibles, vendors and more!
If you prefer to venture farther out of town, try hitting the Gatlinburg Craftsman Fair going on daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the month of October. Over 200 artists will be contributing designs for the World Record Count of Scarecrows in Gatlinburg. Also on display will be several works of leather, glass, furniture, jewelry, pottery and other works by local artisans, live music, demonstrations and much more.
Get out of the house and enjoy this season!