Has the leaves change color on the blue ridge parkway?
No. A few here and there, but not yet'
Middle of October is the best time. I favor the 3rd week, but some folks like it a little earlier or a little later.
Check out https://www.romanticasheville.com/fall.htm for pix from last year and previous years. The leaves change first at higher elevations and work their way down the mountains with low elevations changing last.
What great link...thanks so much.
Can not wait for a fall color tour!!!
If I want to go there on a weekend, do you know if the weekend of 14th / 15th /16th will be better or 21st / 22nd / 23rd . I checked the romanticasheville website and went through last years updates. I also went through pics on flickr.com to get an idea. Looks like at most of the overlooks colors start just around are good around 16th - 20th. Especially around Linn Cove viaduct, which is a great view. I am not sure if it will be too late by the 21st or so. Do you have any feedback on that?
I would come earlier rather than later. The maples are changing now.
Higher elevations change first, lower elevations change last, so you are guaranteed to find some color somewhere as long as you drive around a little. If you prefer a smidge of green with your fall leaves go the 15th. If you would rather see a few brown leaves or bare trees go the 23rd. No way of knowing for sure.
I might opt for the earlier weekend because if you're a little early and see green leaves that's still pretty, but bare trees or brown leaves might make you feel like you missed the boat. For Linn Cove Viaduct, which is at a fairly high elevation, I'd probably choose the first weekend just to play it a little safer. If the second weekend is more convenient I'm sure you can find some good color then too, though.
We often go to Boone (elevation 3333 ft) the weekend of the 23rd because that's around our wedding anniversary and it's usually great then, but we have had the occasional year when it was past peak and mostly brown. More often than not it's beautiful, but no guarantees with mother nature. A big storm can knock all the leaves down, etc. Usually it's great though.
It all really depends on the weather and especially on the elevation. Foliage in Asheville (elevation 2100) changes later than leaves in Boone. Foliage on Grandfather Mountain or Mt Mitchell or Clingman's Dome may change the last of September or the first of October, although all the valleys you will be looking down on will be green, so that's one thing to keep in mind.
The Fall Color Guy's facebook page is another good resource: https://www.facebook.com/FallColorGuy/ .
Earlier this week he mentioned that the ornamental red maples in Boone are just starting to turn. I don't believe these are the same variety that grow wild in the forests, fwiw.
Here's some more good info from him:
"It has been quite cool so far, which is good for stimulating the red colors. So, I think we are still on schedule – mid-October for Boone/Blowing Rock and the Highlands area, a week or so earlier for higher elevations, like the Craggies and Graveyards off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the end of October for lower elevations like the Asheville/Hendersonville area. The Smokies, with their great range of elevation, start changing in early October at high elevations, and peak in mid- to late-October, since they are slightly south of Boone. Check my links on my fall color page at ASU for links to other sites. Here it is:
Thank you so much for the information queeni_traveller and panchopup I wish I could go both weekends or maybe during the week to even it out :). but I can't.
We are at 4,000ft now. The maples are turning quickly.
The rest are just starting or "thinking" about it!
The lower you get, the greener it gets.
We were on the Blue Ridge Parkway today and at 6000 feet - you could definitely see some colors! It isn't peak, but if you don't have a lot of flexibility with the dates you visit then I think you could visit anytime and be content with the color change.