Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Foliage at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina is one of the most visited national parks. This past weekend must be super crowded since Friday was the first day all federal employees reported back to work after a 15-day government shutdown. With the leaves changing color this time of year, fall is one of the busiest and prettiest seasons to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

This time several years ago, we made the leaf-peeping pilgrimage to see the foliage in the Great Smoky Mountains. It's a 3 hours drive from Chattanooga. For this particular trip, we stopped at Bryson City, the Oconaluftee Visitors Center, Clingmans Dome (highest spot in the Smokies, with elevation of 6,643 feet) and drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Click on the video below to see the road trip!

The vistas were awesome along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but the palette was mostly yellow, not the vibrant orange and bright reds that we were used to seeing in New England. Tree diversity and weather are key to some stunning colors. This fall however, family and friends up north reported a disappointing foliage.

typical fall colors in New Hampshire
In the Smokies, peak foliage occurs at different times due to the varying elevations;  mid October to early November is a good time for an autumn drive. Check  the park's website for information on fall colors and the best time to view it. Not to dampen your spirits, but I suspect the foliage in the Smokies this fall may not be great either. Up until Saturday, we've been having summer-like temperatures.
Maybe the artic air blowing in from Canada this week will be the catalyst for the leaves to finally change colors. Good luck!

Vista along the Blue Ridge Parkway
You might also like:
Fall Colors along the Tennessee River Fall Colors at the Chattanooga Market Fall Foliage in Chattanooga, Tennessee

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful place and your photos are gorgeous.