Fall Colors Progressing in the High Country

Published Friday, October 9, 2015 at 5:28 pm

A view of Grandfather Mountain from Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville. Photo by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

ASU Fall Color Guy, Biology Professor Howard Neufeld recently wrote a fall color report based on a trip from Boone to Highlands. Below is a snippet of Neufeld’s report concerning where the color stands in the Boone-tourism region:

“As I traveled from Boone to Grandfather, I noticed that the forests were still turning color, especially on the east facing slopes of Grandfather, above the Parkway. Colors were progressing very nicely in this area and the upcoming weekend will be a good one to see colors there,” Neufeld wrote.

“As one goes south of Grandfather, and down toward Marion, and you drop in elevation, the colors are still mostly green, with some reds/yellows/oranges at the tops of the hills, but lower down not.”

Oct. 9 Photo by Jim Morton | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Oct. 9 Photo by Jim Morton | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Grandfather Mountain has been sending out daily photos with verbiage of color around Linville and atop the attraction. The cutline for Grandfather Mountain’s photo for Friday, which is attached, reads:

“Brilliant maple leaves greet a duo of motorcyclists on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Rough Ridge. Motorists can expect heavier traffic than usual on the parkway this weekend, as peak color continues its steady approach in the High Country.”

On Thursday evening, Neufeld posted a mini color update. He mentioned that red colors have been somewhat “muted” because of the rain and warm weather.

“Just a short note to let you know that a cold front is coming through later tonight and will bring some rain to the mountains tonight and tomorrow. Not a great forecast, but Sunday is looking very good. I’m thinking that the red colors are somewhat muted this year, probably due to the extended rains and also the warm weather we’ve been having. This year may go down as the warmest year on record, which is saying something considering that last year, 2014, was the previous warmest year on record!” Neufeld wrote.

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