Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 22, 2014

Great Smoky Mts. Fall Color 10/21/14

Great Smoky Mt. National Park has a new Fall Color Report for  October21, 2014

Fall Color Report – October 21, 2014

Sweeping views of fall colors can now be seen throughout the park as we enter late October. Although last week‘s storms blew the leaves off most high elevations trees, as well as trees that were further along at middle and lower elevations, five days of nearly perfect autumn weather have brought an abundance of color to the park, especially at middle elevations.

Around Cades Cove, approximately 50% of the low elevation trees are still green, but as you look up at the surrounding peaks, color is fully developed above 3,500 feet. Here, sourwood, red maple, sugar maple and blueberry have vivid red foliage. Other foliage is pale yellow. We estimate that we’re at least a week away from full color development around the valley floor in the cove.

On the Tennessee side of the park, middle elevations are developing good color. We had a mini peak of color throughout all elevations in the days before the windstorm as the earliest turning trees reached their most vivid colors. Those trees are now bare, but currently 30-50% of lower elevation trees still green and another 30-40% showing fair to excellent fall color. If crisp days and cool nights continue, fall color will sweep through these low elevation areas within the next week or two.

The North Carolina side of the park is typically a few days ahead of the Tennessee side. There was also a mini peak of early-changing trees here before the windstorm. We expect that there will be another burst of color in the next week or so as 30-40% of lower elevation trees are just starting to turn and another 30-40% have well developed color.

Fall wildflowers continue provide nice displays at the middle and lower elevations. Look for purple asters, white asters, pale jewelweed, great blue lobelia, stiff gentian, and golden rod blooming along roads and trails in the park.

For fall photos and updates from the park, visit our official facebook page at

You can also check out the park’s webcams to see how fall colors are progressing:
Purchase Knob (high elevation)
Look Rock (middle elevation)



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