Although most of the region is still in the early stages of autumn, the highest elevations in the Great Smoky Mountains are already approaching peak fall colors. Below are a few fall color updates from around the Smokies region:
Steve Kemp of the Great Smoky Mountains Association states in the latest Fall Color Forecast from yesterday that, "Colors should be peaking at the higher elevations over the next 7-10 days. Look for a peak at the lower and mid elevations in late October and early November."
Steve points out that the impressive fall colors already seen in the mountains are a result of the recent cold snap.
The October 3rd Fall Color Report for the Blue Ridge Parkway was also posted yesterday. For the most part, it sounds like the BRP is still several days away before visitors can expect to see the best of what the road can offer. Blue Ridge Parkway Journeys does suggest checking out "the section around Clark’s Gap at milepost 40 which is showing nicely along the road edge with color frosting to a rich green backdrop. At the Peaks of Otter at milepost 80-90, visitors will find Dogwood, Sourwood, Sumac, Sassafras, Sour Gum, and as always Virginia Creeper and even some Poison Ivy which is nice and red."
In the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests, peak viewing of fall colors is estimated to be October 15th through the 25th this year. Right now Brasstown Bald and Rabun Bald are the areas with the greatest amount of color.
For a general overview on the progression of fall colors throughout the southeast, check out the maps from the Foliage Network.
For a list of the best hikes in the Smokies throughout the fall season, please click here.