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2014 Daily Photos & Blog:
Bass Lake is very close to downtown Blowing Rock, offering a walk in the woods and respite from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, any time of year. It's particularly bewitching in fall with leaf-strewn paths and autumn light filtering in from a multi-colored canopy above. Who wouldn't be beckoned down this trail?
Bass Lake Trail in Blowing Rock
Another beautiful day! This year's peak is showing more muted tones, like russet, burnt orange, and deep gold. As an example, here are some views from very close to Blowing Rock, at Thunder Hill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway:
Thunder Hill Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock
A hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a great way to enjoy fall foliage. We started at the Stack Rock Parking Area just south of the Linn Cove Viaduct. Here's the view:
View near the Stack Rock Parking Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Along Stack Rock Trail
The weather started out cloudy at the Valle Country Fair today in Valle Crucis. The skies did clear around noon, but the broken light in the morning made for some lovely views on distant hillsides.
At the Valle Crucis Conference Center Grounds for the Valle Country Fair
Valle Crucis hills
At the Original Mast General Store nearby, the surrounding hills were showing peak color, as was a maple in the parking and picnic area:
At Mast General Store in Valle Crucis
A drive along back roads is definitely recommended in the autumn season. Some of the very best views can be found in the dips, valleys, and ridgelines that skirt the main areas. Just be careful to watch the road while you're moving! And if you'd like to go slow so you can really enjoy the views, take a moment to pull over if folks are behind you. Many locals use the "back ways" to get around faster in busy season like autumn! Here's a view from the intersection of Flat Top Road and Payne Branch Road in Blowing Rock:
View from the end of Flat Top Road in Blowing Rock
There are few things more refreshing and inspiring than looking up at a bright blue sky edged with the golden leaves of a canopy. Take a fall hike; you'll be so glad you did! Here are a couple of shots from Annie Cannon Memorial Garden, where you can find the trailhead for the Glen Burney Trail, a rugged waterfall hike, just steps from Main Street.
Glen Burney Trail Head in Blowing Rock
At Annie Cannon Gardens and along Glen Burney Trail, near downtown Blowing Rock
What a storm! Last night, heavy winds and rains swept through, including a tornado warning. We expected to wake up to lots of fallen leaves and no color left. What we found however, was views like this one:
From Moses Cone Manor on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock
While some ridges and exposed areas did lose foliage, trees approaching peak color around Blowing Rock remain full and vibrant. In fact, there is still some green foliage left to change, so perhaps we will see more vibrancy in the coming days. At the Blowing Rock elevation, around 3500 feet above sea level, the foliage is just beautiful right now.
From Moses Cone Manor on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock
Some ridges and exposed areas did lose quite a bit of foliage. It's still surprising, however, to see how many trees are still hanging on to their peak-color leaves in this view. And, there is still some green left here to shift into autumn hues.
Inside Cone Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock
Along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock
Along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock
Just inside Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock
At Sims Creek Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock
More rain and fog today- here's a pretty hillside along Meadowview Road in Boone, where the mists were lifting for just a few moments. You can see that there is quite a bit of color waiting to be unveiled when the weather clears.
Meadowview Road, Boone
More fog and mists today, making woodland views especially pretty. From Roaring River Drive in Blowing Rock
Roaring River Drive in Blowing Rock
Foggy day! While exploring on days like today, the fall foliage creates a sort of glow through the mists. No long range views, but still beautiful in its own way. Here's a pretty maple from Deerfield Road in Boone.
Along Deerfield Road, Boone
Today is rainy and misty, but the rain is slacking off for a pretty afternoon. Here's a shot just as the rain began to ease up by the Broyhill Gazebo. This view is a great example of how one particular spot can be mostly green, while others just around the corner are near peak color. And those changes can be fast, too! The slopes around Tweetsie Railroad, pictured on October 9, are already showing more color than they were two days ago. We'll get a second shot of a previous location for comparison tomorrow.
Broyhill Park in Downtown Blowing Rock
The trees along Sunset Drive are really putting on a show!
Sunset Drive, Downtown Blowing Rock
Between Blowing Rock and Boone, the slopes are looking very pretty with a sprinkling of fall foliage mixed in with remaining green leaves. At this elevation (about 3400 feet above sea level), this color distribution is roughly the norm right now:
Highway 321 between Blowing Rock and Boone, by Tweetsie Railroad
Today was a gorgeous day to get out and enjoy the foliage in the High Country! Since last week, color has really begun to develop at the higher elevations. Today’s images are again from the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is still among the best places to view fall color.
Here’s a tip to really enjoy this view: Park at Rough Ridge Overlook (milepost 302.8), then cross the road and walk south along the roadside. There’s a nice wide grassy area along the road that follows a rock wall. The rock wall in the Viaduct image is the one you’d walk along.
Linn Cove Viaduct, Blue Ridge Parkway
The Linn Cove Viaduct is at about 4400 feet above sea level. So while we are still approaching peak color, these images demonstrate where the best color can be found right now: around 4000 feet and above. This would include places like Grandfather Mountain and the surrounding Blue Ridge Parkway areas, and High Country towns like Beech Mountain. ASU’s “Fall Color Guy” Dr. Neufeld, notes that “forests are mostly still green below 3,500’. From this elevation upwards, colors are springing out, although it depends on the slope and aspect.” http://biology.appstate.edu/fall-colors/fall-color-report-week-october-6-2014
Blue Ridge Parkway, just south of Rough Ridge Overlook, milepost 303
Here is an image from on the other side (heading south) of the Linn Cove Viaduct by Stack Rock Parking Area. The camera is located at about 4200 feet, and the view is of the slopes below the viewing area. This one shows how much green is still left, lest anyone think that they’ve missed a chance to see great color! It’s always good to note that because of such varying elevations in this area, when color is peaking in one location, it may be just arriving in another. For reference, Main Street Blowing Rock is at about 3500 feet and 10 miles from the Linn Cove Viaduct. Boone’s elevation is at about 3300 feet.
View near the Stack Rock Parking Area, Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 304.6
Local experts expect fall color to really come in over the next weeks. From Dr. Neufeld again: “The interval covering the next two weekends should be excellent for viewing fall foliage color here in the southern Appalachians. So if you haven’t yet made it up to the mountains, you still have plenty of opportunities this season.”
Today's photo was taken from Goforth Road, looking over the Blowing Rock golf course, with Moses Cone Manor on the ridge in the distance. The rain cleared in the afternoon, bringing some mists and pretty views like this one. As you can see, the area right around Blowing Rock is showing some color, but is still mostly green.
Goforth Road, Blowing Rock
A walk around Bass Lake is beautiful and relaxing any time of year. In the fall, it's almost magical. Even on an overcast day, the maples light up the water. As you can see, the leaves on the trees right along the water are showing good fall color, while those on the hills around the lake are still fairly green.
Along Bass Lake Trail, Blowing Rock
Along the Trail, and looking up toward Moses Cone Manor from the heart-shaped pond.
It was a beautiful, although fairly chilly, day for a hike along the trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway! Today's image is from Tanawha Trail above the Rough Ridge Overlook at milepost 308.2. You'll find these views at the top of the trail, a short, steep hike to the ridge. The trail continues for several more miles through various types of woodland and ridges.
The best color in the area can be found at places like this: ridges above 4000 feet.
On Tanawha Trail above Rough Ridge Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway
Today is a blustery day, as all the fog and rain is blown out of the area. Art in the Park is going on today, although the artists are really having to batten down! Here are some shots of the foliage around the Art in the Park grounds:
Art in the Park on Wallingford Street, Blowing Rock
Art in the Park on Wallingford Street, Blowing Rock
Rain and fog were in the forecast for the day, and it all rolled in around 10am. Luckily, the morning dawned clear enough to snap a good shot before the weather turned. This pretty display is found right by Main Street Gallery in Downtown Blowing Rock. You can see that the trees in the distance are still green.
Main Street Blowing Rock
A bright, warm day makes the park a very pleasant place to be today! There is still a lot of green in town, but the maples in the park are really starting to light up.
Memorial Park, Downtown Blowing Rock
A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway is always a good idea, and today the views showed lots of patches of fall color. There is spotty color around Price Lake, along the Linn Cove Viaduct, and at various overlooks (not in the valleys they look over, though). Here's a shot from the Parkway just north of Blowing Rock:
At Rough Ridge Overlook, milepost 302.8, elevation 4293 feet.
Near Green Mountain Overlook (left) and at Price Lake (right).
Update from September 24, 2014:
This photo from yesterday (Sept 24) at Bass Lake shows some maples just beginning to show fall color. Color is filling in but still spotty, and we're likely at least a couple of weeks from consistent displays. Daily photos begin October 1st.
Update from September 17, 2014:
We are still a few weeks out from widespread or consistent color displays, but a little can be spotted here and there. The local hydrangeas are blushing, and this maple by The Last Straw is getting a head start on the season. Both photos were taken today on Main Street. Autumn color is just around the corner! Be sure to keep an eye out for our Daily Fall Photo postings beginning Oct 1.
2013 Daily Photos & Blog:
The Village of Blowing Rock Bass Lake - photo by Scott Graham
Grandfather Mountain- photo by Doug Holstein Linn Cove Viaduct -photo by Hugh Morton