Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 26, 2014

Great Smoky Mountains Fall Color 9/26/14

Great Smoky Mountains Association has new fall color report for September 26

 Ploddingly, grudgingly, fall colors are starting to change in the Great Smoky Mountains. Though the pace of change has quickened, the advance of leaf colors is later than average. This means we likely have four to five more weeks to enjoy the transition before leaf colors peak and trees begin dropping leaves.

At the very highest elevations, leaves are progressing more rapidly after a light frost earlier this week. Still, only about 20%-30% of deciduous leaves have changed thus far.

Lower down, several species of trees have started to brighten. Sycamore, sassafras, witch hazel, walnut, tuliptree, black gum, sourwood, Virginia creeper, sumacs, and buckeye are all showing color. Migrating birds are flocking to the dogwoods’ red berries. Fall wildflowers are also conspicuous, including jewelweed, asters, goldenrod, and white snakeroot.

Good places for a drive include Clingmans Dome Road and the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a great time to hike Mt. Le Conte! Upper Deep Creek Trail is also gorgeous this time of year.

The peak of fall colors at the higher elevations is likely a week or so away. At the lower and mid elevations, colors are trending toward a very late October or early November peak.


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