Thursday, October 4, 2012

Leaf Viewing in Western North Carolina

Fall is a great time to visit the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests in western North Carolina. To help visitors find the best viewing spots in the region, the National Forest has published an online guide on their website.

The rich displays of fall colors usually start at the highest elevations in late September and early October, while gradually progressing to the lowest elevations by late October and early November.

At high-elevation, above 4500 feet, red, crimson and orange colors are displayed among the sugar maples and mountain maples, yellow hues are displayed with beech and yellow birch, and red displayed with serviceberry, red oak and high-bush blueberry leaves as well as mountain ash berries. Fall flowering species at these elevations include yellows from skunk goldenrod and roan goldenrod, blues from wavy-leaved aster and eastern agueweed, and white wood aster. Red spruce, Fraser fir and Catawba rhododendron provide a backdrop of green evergreen foliage within many of the high-elevation areas.

Excellent places to view these colors include:

- Cherohala Skyway in Graham County;
- Wayah Bald and Wine Spring Creek area in Macon County;
- Big Butt trail in the Mount Mitchell area of Yancey County;
- Roan Mountain in Mitchell County.

To view the entire guide, please click here.

Hiking Trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Mamabug said...

Leaving for Tennessee in the wee morning hours Sunday! Going to drive the Cherahola next Wednesday into NC. I can't wait to get there!

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Mamabug - sounds like a great time - hopefully you'll have great weather! Enjoy!

Neil said...

Leaf-lookers To drive a little farther north will find Grandfather Mountain is absolutely beautiful right now; Beech Mountain, Elk Knob, and Mount Jefferson are also looking great. The Blue Ridge Parkway between the Linn Cove Viaduct and Fancy Gap, VA are good now, too, but will be at their peak mid-week or this coming weekend.

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Neil - thanks for the additional tips!!