The High Country is well known for many things, one of them being the beautiful displays of color every fall. Thousands of visitors flow into this area to see the fiery beauty emblazoned on our hillsides, and rarely do they leave disappointed. This year, the peak color for the majority of the area looks like it will come earlier than normal. Typically the peak is around October 10-12, but here it is September 28 and elevations around 3500-4000′ and above are starting to show good color.
While you can certainly see beautiful fall color driving on the main roads, the best color can usually be seen on any of the secondary routes and side roads. One of the most popular routes is, of course, the Blue Ridge Parkway. The elevation of the Parkway through this area ranges from 3100′-4400′, quite a change when talking about foliage colors. The higher the elevation, the sooner the foliage will peak.
While color varies from year to year, and the intensity will be different in various areas, traditionally some of the best locales to see colors are shown here. And if you want to get off the road and get up close with nature, remember that the High Country has some of the best hiking trails in the state.
Remember to always be careful and keep your eyes on the road while touring these mountains. I know it’s hard with the beauty on every side, but remember that you’ll be watching out for you and for other drivers. Many of the tips suggested for driving on the Parkway could also apply here. And always remember to have a camera- even if it’s just your smartphone. I’ve talked to too many people who visit this area and don’t remember to have a camera to record their memories.
Some excellent local resources for foliage reports and good routes to check out for foliage viewing are listed below. Get out there and enjoy this beautiful Fall!
All text and photos copyright 2012 Cassandra Hartley, Blue Ridge NC Guide. No portion of this article is to be copied, saved, or otherwise distributed without express written consent. Sharing is encouraged using the designated social media sharing buttons at the bottom of this article. Photos for this post provided by our sister site Photos by Cassandra Lea. Author received no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this article.