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Fall Color Season

Weekly Fall Leaf Color Report


Photo by: Jim Dick - DuPont State Recreational Forest


 

Hendersonville Leaf Report for week of 10-21-14

Hendersonville is located in Western North Carolina, 22 miles south of Asheville, NC, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a plateau with an altitude of 2200 feet above level.

The beautiful fall color show is painting the landscape in the Hendersonville area. Dogwoods and Sourwoods are changing to a deep red, Maples are displaying colors of red, yellow and orange; Sumacs are showing a rich red and Tulip Poplars, touches of yellow can be seen. With the onset of cooler weather, this week, and more fall like temperatures, it should speed up the color process. The best color is still to be found around 3,000 feet, Hendersonville is located at 2,200 feet above sea level. Leaf lookers should able to find good color into late October and early November.

North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state in the nation and Henderson County is the largest apple-producing county in North Carolina and grows 85 percent of the apples in the state. The apple harvest season runs from late August through October. Fresh apples, cider and many other items may be purchased at one of the many roadside apple markets or produce stands located throughout Henderson County. Some orchards offer tours and allow you to pick your own apples. Apple Orchards

Suggested Locations for Peak Color

A great way to explore the breathtaking views of fall is on scenic drives and mountain hiking. Fall foliage outings include self-guided driving tours, mountain views, apple orchards, country roads, local attractions, waterfalls, colorful hiking trails and fall wildflowers.

The best color this week will be found in elevations around 3,000 feet along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest. Enjoy a scenic self-guided tour starting at the Hendersonville Visitors Center, taking leaf lookers to the major sights in Pisgah National Forest. The Forest is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway, approximately 18 miles west of Hendersonville. Directions to access the Blue Ridge Parkway from downtown Hendersonvile or enjoy a lovely loop tour.

One of the most popular destinations for leaf lookers is to venture to the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, located approximately 15 miles from the Hendersonville.The Parkway's 469 toll-free miles combine an awesome natural beauty, mountain forests, wildlife, wildflowers,and magnificent views. The Parkway was designed especially for leisure travel, hiking, and enjoyment. There are numerous overlooks and parking areas to view some of America's finest scenic vistas. Check the Blue Ridge Parkway web site for road closures.

DuPont State Recreational Forest is a suggestion for viewing fall color on foot. The forest encompasses 10,268 acres in Henderson and Transylvania counties.  It is situated in the Little River valley and includes four spectacular waterfalls and 80 miles of roads and trails wandering through mountainous terrain. The forest is open to the public for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Fishing is allowed with a valid NC fishing license.  Take a self-guided driving tour to the forest, for fall hiking to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Western North Carolina. DuPont StateRecreational Forest is located approximately 12 miles from Downtown Hendersonville. Many scenes from the movie, The Hunger Games, were shot in Dupont State Recreational Forest. The Hunger Games were filmed entirely in North Carolina. For additional information call 828-877-6527. High Falls parking lot, 1300 Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC. GPS Coordinates: 35.18856,-82.632936  

Pisgah National Forest is another favorite destination for fall color. The Pisgah National Forest's 501,691 acres stretches across the eastern edge of Western North Carolina's mountains. The forest is located on Hwy 276 and is filled with colors of yellow toward Looking Glass Falls and the Cradle of Forestry. The Forest offers hiking trails, fishing, camping, picnic sites, and spectacular waterfalls. Some of Pisgah National Forest's attractions include Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, Pisgah Forest State Fish Hatchery, Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, The Cradle of Forestry and the North Mills River Recreational Area. The North Mills River Recreational Area is located just 13 miles from Hendersonville and offers picnic sites, campsites, river fishing & tubing. For additional information call 828-877-3265.

Chimney Rock Park - The drive to Chimney Rock is gorgeous now! Fall color is spreading daily through the Park’s higher and middle elevations and at Rumbling Bald Access. Bursts of yellow are appearing in the Chestnut Oaks, hickories and locust trees, and especially the ash trees near the Chimney. The dogwoods are a vibrant maroon with sourwoods adding splashes of red. While there’s still a lot of green, with some more cool nights and sun, autumn colors could be good in the highest elevations by early next week. Some autumn wildflowers are still blooming, including many asters and some snakeroot.

Apple Picking & Pumpkins Patches

North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state in the nation and Henderson County is the largest apple-producing county in North Carolina and grows 85 percent of the apples in the state. The apple harvest season runs from late August through October. Fresh apples, cider and many other items may be purchased at one of the many roadside apple markets or produce stands located throughout Henderson County.  Some orchards offer tours and allow you to pick your own apples. Apple Orchards

Estimated Dates for Peak Color
Early to Mid-October: Elevations of 5,000 feet north of Asheville will show the most color, especially around the areas of Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain.

Mid-October: In elevations greater than 4,000 feet, southwest of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway will be showing color around Mount Pisgah, Devil's Courthouse, and Graveyard Fields. The Blue Ridge Parkway is located 15 miles north of Hendersonville.

Late-October: Colorful hiking spots include Jump Off Rock, Dupont State Recreational Forest, the Carl Sandburg Home and Holmes State Forest. Take a scenic fall driving tour of Hendersonville & Flat Rock or tour Henderson County's apple country.

The Hickory Nut Gorge area of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure should be peaking. Lake Lure is located 14 miles east of Hendersonville. The small towns of Saluda, Tryon & Columbus in the foothills of Western North Carolina offers scenic overlooks, Pearson's Falls, equestrian events and hiking at FENCE and quiet back roads. Polk County is located 9 east miles of Hendersonville.

   
  Click for suggeseted scenic fall drives & hikes

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