October rolls around and we all start wondering when that brilliant fall foliage will follow.
Luckily, even this far into the month, the forecasters — and the passenger-seat predictions based on what we’ve seen before — tell us there’s still plenty of time to schedule a fall color trip.
And even if you’re already raking the yard, chances are you can expect more shades of autumn in your North Carolina neighborhood.
Here’s the latest leaf forecast, according to BlueRidgeMountainLife.com.
(We like their projection because it makes room for some early November color, which lines up with what we can see from our fall foliage photo archives. Keep scrolling for a look at those.)
Now through Oct. 20
Peak leaf season for elevations from 4,000 to 5,000 feet. Think Grandfather Mountain.
Oct. 18 – 26
The best leaf color will likely be at elevations from 3,000 to 4,000 feet. So your drive into the Boone and Blowing Rock area will be brilliant. Linville Falls, off the Blue Ridge Parkway near U.S. 221, is another favorite.
Oct. 24 – 31
Expect fall foliage to be at its brightest from 2,000 to 3,000 feet. So you’ll likely see cover-photo-worthy views around Hanging Rock, Pilot Mountain and Stone Mountain state parks.
Oct. 26 – Nov. 8
This is the time for the rest of us to welcome fall color. The red and yellow leaves will most likely stretch into lower elevations in early November. Still want a mountain trip? Chimney Rock State Park and Lake Lure often put on fantastic shows late in the leaf season.