The fall color season has really cranked up in the last week or so. Some high elevation areas peaked last weekend, and mid elevation sites should be peaking this weekend into next at lower elevation sites. As usual, fall color will probably last into early November for areas at the bottom of the mountains.
Intensity wise, it’s been a strong moderate year. Maples and sourwood are reaching brilliant orange to red colors, while most other species have stuck to yellow. Quite a bit of the color is vivid and saturated while, unfortunately, a good portion of the trees are going straight to barren brown – probably due to the drought. Tuliptrees at lower elevations are changing sooner than the rest, so some of the valley color may be out-of-sync. It’s not been a disappointing season at all despite what the forecasters said in response to the drought, and the rain this week should make the overall scenery much more exciting. Clear, cool weather returns for the weekend. Get out the cameras and hit the trails!