Fall Foliage Primer - October 4, 2017
- Oct 4, 2017 |
FALL COLOR UPDATE - October 4, 2017
Valle Crucis/Boone, NC – Omigosh, the weather could not be any nicer. Seriously! The nights are going to be in the 40s, maybe tickling 50, and the daily highs are predicted to be in the 60s with sunny skies. We had one night over the weekend that could trip the switch on the color change, but we haven’t had a hard freeze here in the middle elevations around Boone and Valle Crucis. You can check out Ray’s local forecast with a click HERE.
The colors are still mostly green, but there are some more yellows beginning to peek out and at the higher elevations, like you’ll see in my photos around Tater Hill (top left photo), are beginning to see some reds and oranges. My guess is that higher places will have much more color this weekend. Again, the weather will be AWESOME to make your way up to see them.
The Mountaineers take on the Aggies from New Mexico State. It’s homecoming and it’s also the team’s first game against a Sun Belt Conference opponent. Be sure to make your reservations before heading up the mountain. For game information, click HERE.
Also this weekend, start things off with First Friday in Downtown Boone. Many art galleries have new artists openings and special guests and shops and restaurants stay open a little later. On Sunday, you’ll want to make your way out to the Boone Heritage Festival at the Horn in the West grounds. Crafts, food, music, tours, and hands-on activities are the order of the day. You can learn more about the festival by following this LINK.
A nice scenic drive for the weekend might take you from Blowing Rock south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Pay particular attention when you get close to Rough Ridge and the Linn Cove Viaduct. The ridgelines there always seem to have beautiful, vibrant colors around about now.
See you next week!
Asheville, NC - It's been a great week to be outside. Weather in Asheville has finally cooled down into proper autumn weather and should hopefully stay that way. It looks like most of the week stays in the mid 70s with nights dropping down into the 50s. The only chance of showers is on Sunday. For changes check with Ray, whose weather station is located at the Mast Store Asheville store.
Fall hasn't progressed too much in Asheville this week, so we are still a few weeks from peak. Even without a lot of color, the fall lighting has been beautiful, giving everything just a little golden glow to add to the season.
This week I took a trip up to the town of Blowing Rock and took the trip back to Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I stopped at the Moses Cone House (milepost 294) and Price Lake (milepost 296.7). Both locations only had a little bit of color. As I went south, the color came in spurts with the highest elevations showing peak color and the rest rushing to catch up. The Linn Cove Viaduct (milepost 304.4), famous for its engineering and fall color, was also not quite at peak, but was gorgeous nonetheless.
I had a lot of favorite stops this trip, but my stop at the Orchard at Altapass was definitely one of the highlights. Nestled against the Parkway just ten miles south of Linville Falls (milepost 316) is this historic Orchard and its famous heirloom apples. Heirloom refers to varieties of apples that existed before the rise of grocery stores and genetically-modified fruits. Altapass has many unique types of apples like the Red York Imperial and the Grimes Golden, the only ones ripe this early in the season. The Grimes Golden in particular is considered to be an ancestor of the Golden Delicious.
The Orchard made me feel like I was a kid again, slipping on apple husks, straining to reach the “perfect” apple, surrounded by the smell of all sorts of apple products, it was refreshing. If you like orchards and want a unique place to visit, and bring your kids, I highly recommend Altapass. Not only is it historic, it is in a gorgeous area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. For information on the Orchard and its 40 varieties of apples check HERE.
On my trip home, I took US-221 and Hwy 226. Both are windy roads but they are wonderful routes to take if you want to avoid the Interstate. Color on these roads was sporadic, but what was there was vibrant.
I can't wait for the color to finally turn in Asheville itself, because it looks like it's going to be a gorgeous year, if the roads leading to and from the city are any indication.
There are many events happening this weekend including our Mast Store Tent Sale from the 6th to 8th. For all you Beer and Cider lovers out there, we have Asheville's Oktoberfest in Pack Square and the Fifth Annual Ciderfest during the afternoon on October 7th. Both are ticketed events, so purchase your tickets early.
Also happening on the 7th is Asheville's weekly Art in the Park, also at Pack Square. This popular event will have many local artists with their works for sale. For more info, visit this WEBSITE.
This has been a great week already and looks to be an event-filled week to come. Please come visit us at our tent sale while out on your out on your adventures and have a wonderful week!
Waynesville, NC - To all those who last week thought summer time was still visiting the mountains, the fall weather we expect this time of year has once again returned. With forecasted highs to be in the upper 60s and mid-70s for the next 10 days, you should expect to use a light jacket especially in the evenings. The forecast is always changing, so head on over to Ray’s Weather for a local Waynesville forecast.
Hummingbird activity has largely abated over the last week with those unique birds starting their annual migration into the deep-south. For the next several months, they will grace the skies of Mexico, Central and South America until their return next April.
For an enjoyable local hike off the Blue Ridge Parkway between Asheville and Waynesville, don’t miss Graveyard Fields. This is a highly-trafficked hike with restroom facilities at the start of the trail. The Upper Falls hike is longer and more arduous with the Lower Falls being easier and closer to the parking lot. On your way to the Lower Falls, there are a good number of stairs and deck-like walkways constructed to get to this exceptional waterfall.
And, if you make it out to this area, visit the Pisgah Inn before they close for the season on October 30th. It is located a few miles farther south of Graveyard Fields on the Parkway. You can spend the night or just enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a drink while sitting on the deck or in one of the many rocking chairs overlooking a specular view.
With no shortage of great hikes in the Maggie Valley area, don’t overlook an easy to moderate hike up to the Appalachian-Highlands Science Learning Center. The Purchase Knob hike is at the end of Hemphill Road. While the first 45 minutes of this hike is up, up, up, it is on a forest road versus a trail. However, if you want to hike farther into a more challenging environment, take the Cataloochee Divide trail or hike a trail back down to Ferguson Cabin before meeting the road back down to your vehicle. Note: The Learning Center is for training and observation, not for hikers or unscheduled visitors but it is a great place to sit and enjoy the views!
Hendersonville, NC - Although we are all anxiously awaiting the return of Fall with the astounding leaf color we get here in the mountains, it is taking its time getting here. There has not been much change since last week and the only leaf color we are seeing is still in a few scattered areas around town. Just a hint of reds and yellows to tantalize us. All good things come to those who wait, and we are impatiently waiting! The weather is going to be a repeat of last week, too, and it will be wonderful! Highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s to 50s. There is a chance of rain later in the week, but not a big one. You can get an updated forecast anytime at Hendersonville Weather.
On Saturday, October 7, the ever popular Farm City Day will be the place to be! It's a family-friendly event that takes place at Jackson Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be antique and modern farm equipment, music, square dancing, clogging, arts and crafts, children's activities, games, demonstrations and plenty of food. Be sure not to miss the greased pig contest, it is a toss up which is more fun - competing or watching. Best of all, it is free!
The fifth annual Blessing of the Pets will be held on Saturday, October 7 in Hendersonville's Laurel Park Green at 11 a.m. Everyone is invited to bring their pet to be blessed by Reverend Richard Weidler of the First Congregational Church. First, there will be a dog obedience demonstration by the Asheville Obedience Club. Then there will be a brief service and each pet can come forward to be blessed. Water and pet treats will be provided.
The migrating birds, especially warblers, are still gliding through and you can see them at feeders and on the walking trails at Jackson Park. You may also notice many lovely autumn wildflowers along the trails too. Remember, all days are beautiful, only the weather changes.
Greenville, SC - After the pleasant Fall-like weather of the past weekend, our temperatures will rise again before rain and more cool weather come back next week. Check out the Greenville forecast here. The cooler weather is certain to bring some dynamic color changes to our wonderful foliage. The changes are subtle right now, but there are still many beautiful sites to see! It's always a good bet to stop in at Falls Park, where most of my photos were taken this week.
This weekend gives outdoor enthusiasts another opportunity to learn about and enjoy what the Upstate has to offer. Get Out Greenville is “a celebration of all that Greenville County and Upstate South Carolina has to offer.” The event will feature music, vendors, games, and several races for kids and adults.
Whether you’re German or just want to be for the day, come out to Downtown Greenville this weekend. Oktoberfest will be held at NOMA Square, with German music, beer, food and more. The festival runs Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Starting planning early – October 13 – 15 is Fall for Greenville!
Knoxville, TN - Looking to find indications of Fall this past week, I decided to take a drive out to Fort Loudoun State Park in Vonore, Tennessee. This park is located about 45 minutes away from Knoxville. The warmer-than-average temperatures have delayed the colors for now, but the scenery was delightful. If you have not been to this park I would recommend it. There are several nature trails in the park, and we enjoyed the Lost Shoe loop. We did not get to view any fall colors, but the flowers and the trail were a lot of fun.
The centerpiece of the park is the recreation of a French and Indian War era fort. Give yourself some extra time to stop in and check it out. In a few weeks, they hold a reenactment that is very unique (October 21). More information about the event and the park can be found HERE.
If you are a music enthusiast, please check out Pickin' in The Park at Norris Dam State Park. It will be a perfect Fall evening to kick back and enjoy the sounds. Here is a LINK for more details about the event and the park.
Norris Dam State Park is a great spot to hit the trails when you are trying to get away from the multitudes of people that the Smokies attract this time of year.
While we are getting ready for the peak of Fall colors, we have enjoyed seeing our neighborhood decorate for the occasion. If you are interested in creating a fall setting for your porch or yard, check out Stanley's Green House. They are an excellent place to visit to get you in the mood for Autumn's arrival. They will be holding a free family-friendly festival October 14th and can help you with all your fall decor needs.
Warm and sunny days are forecasted for the upcoming week, and the cool nights will help some of the colors pop up more frequently. The weather can change in a flash, so make sure you’re prepared with a weather forecast. Get a local one HERE. The local Fall Foliage experts have reported that the colors will start their peak around mid-October. For now, we will be resigned to spotting fall decorations around Knoxville and discovering Autumn Flowers or interesting fungi along the trails.