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Fall Color Update: Leaf Color Beginning to Change Now at Lower Elevations

Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

By Nathan Ham

While some of the highest elevations in the High Country have seen a lot of color change already, the peak still seems to be another week away, that is according to the latest fall color update from Howard Neufeld at Appalachian State University’s Department of Biology.

Neufeld predicts that this weekend and into next week will be the peak of color for the bulk of the High Country.

Fall color change has started its descent from the higher elevations of Grandfather Mountain, past the Linn Cove Viaduct and into the valleys below. While color has peaked in certain areas near the viaduct and on the Blue Ridge Parkway, green can still be seen at lower elevations. That is expected to change very soon.

“Trees that are coloring up this week include birches, beeches, red and striped maples, sassafras, and sourwoods. Oaks will be the last to color up, probably in about 10 days or so, maybe even later,” Neufeld said in his weekly fall color report.

This coming weekend is expected to be a busy one, with not only fall color traffic but thousands of visitors in the area for the annual Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk Oct. 19-20, the Valle Country Fair in Valle Crucis Oct. 19 and Homecoming Weekend for Appalachian State’s football game against UL-Monroe.

Photos from Friday Afternoon

Grandfather Mountain
Grandfather Mountain
Beech Mountain
Sugar Mountain