The Photography of D L Ennis, and more!


Monday, September 18, 2006

The Beauty of Autumn in the Blue Ridge

The waning days of summer have been wonderful here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The heat and drought of midsummer have given way to cooler temperatures and ample rain and the rivers and creeks have been up enough to make canoeing and kayaking interesting.

However, tourism has been down and I imagine that when the numbers come in we will find that Blue Ridge Parkway visitation will be at record lows. The cost of gasoline has likely been responsible for lack of tourism this summer and as a result many of the regions entrepreneurs, many self-employed crafts people and artists, will be looking at a belt tightening winter.

With autumn approaching and the weather cooling it is the ideal time to head for the Blue Ridge. It’s hard to beat the autumn show of the delicious deciduous waves of reds, oranges, yellows, purples greens and tans that roll across the Blue Ridge Mountains in fall. Our lush Blue Ridge Mountain range puts on one of the longest-running color displays in the country.

As a rule, the number one question is: “When is the peak color?” No matter when you plan an autumn visit in October or early November, you can take a short drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to find the best color. Elevation is the biggest factor in the color show. Weather patterns and temperatures can speed or slow the process. Here is our best guess of the progression of the color show:

*October 5-15: Highest elevations north of Asheville above 5,000 feet show the most color.

*October 13-22: Color will increase in elevations greater than 4,000 feet.

*October 19-28: There should be plenty of color this week, especially in the 3,000-4,000 foot elevation range.

*October 24-November 3: At the 2,000 foot elevation you’ll find the brightest colors this week.

*October 29-November 8: The color show will conclude in areas with an elevation of 1,300 feet.

Another reason for an autumn visit: the many events and festivals that abound during October, including the many Autumn Harvest festivals along the expanse of the Blue Ridge.

When you come to the Blue Ridge Mountains this autumn don’t forget to bring your Christmas list and visit some of the crafts people and artisans of the region to pick up unique gifts for you special friends and family!

All images by D L Ennis



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