The Hendersonville area experienced heavy rainfall and winds due to Hurricane Joaquin and the weather pattern known as a "Rex Block" this past weekend. Since the leaves are in the early stages of their color change, only a small percentage of the leaves have fallen. This weeks forecast is sunny with highs in the upper 60's and 70's. A hint of color is beginning to appear in the Hendersonville area. Spotty color is appearing along the hillsides in the sourwoods, dogwoods, maples, and birches, but a majority of mountains are still predominantly green. The many hiking trails are blooming with colorful fall flowers such as: black-eyed Susans, asters, Joe Pye weed, goldenrod, wild sunflowers, and virgin's bower.
Hendersonville is gearing up for a colorful fall season and the bounty of the apple harvest. Experts are predicting spectacular fall color due to the drier than usual spring and summer. The Western North Carolina Mountains should display the most vibrant fall color in many years. A good color season requires warm days, cool nights and rain to keep the leaves growing.
Autumn is a favored time to visit the Hendersonville area. On display are brilliant reds and golds of hickory, oak, silver and red maple, dogwood, beech, yellow poplar, scarlet red blackgum, sourwood and orange sassafras all set against the deep green of evergreens. The leaves change color when the food producing chlorophyll in the leaves dies, as the days grow shorter and the temperature drops. The many hiking trails also display colorful fall flowers such as: black-eyed Susan’s, asters, Joe Pye weed, goldenrod, wild sunflowers, and virgin's bower. Mountain hiking ranges from easy flat walks to strenuous trails for the more experienced hiker. The colors are usually at their peak around mid-to- late October. Remember that colors do not disappear after their peak, but become muted with age; the reds turn to rust and yellows into gold.
The peak leaf color season lasts from early October to early November depending on where you are. The western North Carolina Mountains provide a variety of elevations, from the highest peaks, to the gently rolling foothills. One of the most popular destinations for leaf lookers is to venture to the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, located approximately 15 miles Hendersonville.
Suggested Locations for Fall Color
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular destinations for leaf lookers, it is located approximately 15 miles from Hendersonville. Mount Pisgah is one of the many scenic locations along the Parkway, it is 5,700 feet above sea level and offers panoramic. The best color this week will be found in elevations greater than 4,000 feet along the Blue Ridge Parkway around Graveyard Fields, Devil's Courthouse and Richland Balsam. 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 and enjoyment. Check the Blue Ridge Parkway web site for road closures. Please drive carefully on the Parkway and use patience.
Grandfather Mountain is one of the most environmentally significant mountains in the world. Grandfather Mountain is home to numerous species of plants and hardwood trees that range from pumpkin-colored beech trees to blood-red sourwoods and rusty red oaks. Already, foliage on the mountain has seen a dramatic change. Crossing the famous swinging footbridge suspends you more than a mile above sea level. For over 100 years Grandfather Mountain has been a wildlife sanctuary and nature preserve, with an elevation of 5,964 feet. Grandfather Mountain offers a 360-degree view of mountain ridge after mountain ridge.
The color is developing nicely this week on the mountain flanks (3,000 – 4,000 feet in elevation) .
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.