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Took A Day Trip Tuesday (Oct.29); Fall Foliage Peaking Now

Chickamauga, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Orlando, Walt Disney World
posts: 34,784
reviews: 67
Took A Day Trip Tuesday (Oct.29); Fall Foliage Peaking Now

I took a day trip up to the park on Tuesday, Oct. 29th, and the color was absolutely stunning, especially at elevations at mid and lower levels.

All the rain this year has "brightened" up the colors this fall, but the yellows are definitely dominanting since many of the trees in the park's lower elevations are poplars.

I visited Little Greenbrier (sat in on one of Robin Goddard's last programs at the schoolhouse for the season), Sugarlands, Campbell overlook on Newfound Gap Rd., and Roaring Fork.

Traffic wasn't as bad as I expected, but it was Tuesday and not the weekend which I'm sure was much, much worse. I've never seen more photographers and tripods in the park at one time in all my visits, but it is a very target-rich environment at the moment.

Heart of it all
Destination Expert
for Ohio
posts: 573
reviews: 12
1. Re: Took A Day Trip Tuesday (Oct.29); Fall Foliage Peaking Now

I will be there the 6th through the 10th. Hope there are still some colors.

Grove City, Ohio
posts: 1,314
reviews: 5
2. Re: Took A Day Trip Tuesday (Oct.29); Fall Foliage Peaking Now

It seems we missed peak by one week. We were there last week and it was pretty, but not like it's being described now. In the GSMA's update that I saw yesterday, the author said it was the most coloful fall in the twenty years that he has worked for the Park. We also saw more photogs with nice equipment than usual. It's a great time to be in the Smokies.

Mississippi
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
posts: 1,529
reviews: 21
3. Re: Took A Day Trip Tuesday (Oct.29); Fall Foliage Peaking Now

I'm not sure I've ever seen the colors as brilliant as they were on the 29th and the 30th. Simply spectacular.

Paris, Tn
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
posts: 1,998
reviews: 24
4. Re: Took A Day Trip Tuesday (Oct.29); Fall Foliage Peaking Now

We just got back home yesterday, Friday the 8th. The colors that were still on the trees was beautiful. Driving in either directions on 441 was like driving in a tunnel of golden hues. That's what thrilled me the most. But, while driving I couldn't help but notice how low the water level was in the rivers. In some spots, there seemed to be very little water current splashing over the rocks. Was it just my imagination, or did anyone else think the same thing? As much rain as we had this year, I thought the rivers would be higher than they were.

Heart of it all
Destination Expert
for Ohio
posts: 573
reviews: 12
5. Re: Took A Day Trip Tuesday (Oct.29); Fall Foliage Peaking Now

I agree, Ray. I just got back from my four day trip about an hour ago. The leaves were still pretty on 441, but you are right about the water levels. They seemed very low. In Roaring Fork, the Place of a Thousand Drips was not very "drippy". But it is all still wonderful!

Chickamauga, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Orlando, Walt Disney World
posts: 34,784
reviews: 67
6. Re: Took A Day Trip Tuesday (Oct.29); Fall Foliage Peaking Now

The reason for the low river levels is that it's been pretty dry for the past two months, since late August. While there was more than enough rain up through mid August, the runoff in the mountains once the ground is saturated is quick and of short duration.

The water levels in the rivers and streams now is what's been seeping out of the ground since the last significant rains occured in the summer, and basically it's what you would typically see this time of year. Autumn, unless there are tropical systems coming through the area, is traditionally the dryest time of year.

The water levels will remain fairly low until spring unless a significant rain or snow event occurs this winter. Last January, when I was up at Wilderness Wildlife Week in PF, several hikes in the park had to be cancelled because of severe flooding which came that week, along with a 6-inch snow fall. That's the week Hwy 441 washed out on the NC side. Hopefully, that kind of precipitation event won't happen again this winter.

7. Re: Took A Day Trip Tuesday (Oct.29); Fall Foliage Peaking Now

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