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Leaf Colors Offering Up a Mixed Bag of Shades and Hues as the Season Continues to Unfold

A view of Grandfather Mountain from Highway 105 on Wednesday.

By Harley Nefe

As the High Country saw some steady, but gentle rain and no appreciable wind in the beginning of the week from remnants of Hurricane Delta, it still took down some leaves. 

Appalachian State University Biology professor Howard Neufeld, who is better known as the “Fall Color Guy” on Facebook, has been one source keeping the public informed about fall leaf colors.

In a post he published on Oct. 10, Neufeld said throughout last weekend, colors were near peak and it was “quite spectacular compared to years past!” He further wrote, “Had it not rained, (Oct. 10 and 11) would have been one of the two best weekends this season to view the leaves.”

While a good number of leaves have fallen off because of the storms, most have remained on the trees.

Neufeld posted another update on Tuesday, Oct. 13, saying that in his opinion, it was peak color week.

“This would be THE week to see the colors in the High Country of NC,” Neufled wrote. “So, if you can get out this week or the coming weekend, you should have a great experience. The colors are on-time this year, and exceptionally bright, and I would rank the fall color season this year as an 8.5 to 9.0, depending on where you are.”

Neufeld’s latest Facebook update from Thursday, Oct. 15, reads, “This weekend will be the peak weekend for the High Country. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any color the following weekend, but they are at their zenith right now.”

Other fall leaf color updates are being shared by Sugar Mountain Village Tourism on its website with its fall peak leaf color forecast and guide for this season and on Sugar Mountain’s Facebook page, “See Sugar Mountain, NC.”

Sugar Mountain’s latest update from Oct. 15 said:

“Fall colors are definitely the best in years – even after the heavy rain last weekend! It’s currently peak color in the Sugar Mountain and Banner Elk area. Find the best colors at 3,500-4,500 feet elevation. It’s past peak above 5,000 feet. Color will slowly progress into the lowest valleys in the area during the next two weeks – including Linville Gorge.”

Grandfather Mountain is also still showcasing its annual Fall Color Gallery, which is updated daily at www.grandfather.com/fallcolor and on Grandfather Mountain’s social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). The Fall Color Gallery provides viewers with a real-time glimpse at foliage progression in the area.

Be sure to keep checking back with the High Country Press for updates on the fall leaf season in the mountains.

Read the High Country Press’s last update on fall leaf colors here: https://www.hcpress.com/news/fall-leaf-color-update-leaves-explode-with-color-remnants-of-hurricane-delta-may-take-down-some-leaves.html.

Pictures from Wednesday afternoon from the Linville area and from the ride up to the top of Grandfather Mountain.