‘This is the Peak Week’ for Leaf Color in the High Country, Nice Weather Forecast

Published Monday, October 12, 2015 at 11:42 am
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The Blue Ridge Parkway was packed with leaf lookers. The following photos are from Sunday afternoon from Price Park Picnic Grounds, Price Park Lake and the Linn Cove Viaduct. Photos by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

Everybody and their sister seemed to be on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a vibrant and sunny Sunday of leaf looking.

As ASU Fall Color Guy, Biology Professor Howard Neufeld, noted “This is THE PEAK WEEK for the Blowing Rock to Grandfather Mountain section of the Parkway.” And RaysWeather.com forecasts sunny weather through Sunday.

“Colors have exploded out over the weekend, even despite the dreary, rainy Saturday that we had. Luckily for us, there was little or no wind on Saturday, so while some leaves did come down, many stayed up, and are now turning beautiful colors,” Neufeld wrote in his Oct. 11 color report.

Neufeld noted the deep reds of the black gum tree arrived to “compliment” the reds of the maples, sourwoods and sassafras trees. Drive south of Linville, though, and you’ll see more yellows than reds because of the prevalence of hickory, ash and oak trees.

“Today, the colors were really spectacular along the Blue Ridge Parkway from below Holloway Mountain road down to the Beacon Heights parking lot. I saw a lot of reds splashed against a background of brilliant orange and yellow. Despite all the bad weather we’ve had, the trees held their ground, and are now showing us all a magnificent display of color,” Neufeld wrote on Sunday.

In another post, Neufeld also touted the color at Elk Knob State Park, which is about 20 miles north of Blowing Rock:

“This part of Watauga County always has some of the best, if not THE best color of anywhere in the High Country. If you haven’t been to Elk Knob, then this is the week to go! An easy 2 mile hike to the top. Go for it!”

Read the entire report on Neufeld’s “Fall Color Guy” Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FallColorGuy/posts/888641007850589

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