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Fall leaf colors this year?

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Mississippi
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461 posts
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Fall leaf colors this year?

I know it's impossible to predict precisely, but does anyone have any thoughts on when the leaf color might be good in the Smokies this year? I'm planning an October trip & I'm considering two different cabins - one is available from Oct. 22-26 (which were the dates I was originally thinking about) and the other is available Oct. 29-Nov.2. I'm flexible on the dates and really prefer the cabin with the latter dates, but was wondering if that might be too late to see some good color. I know the color is affected by temperatures, rain, etc. Any opinions? Thank you!

Knoxville, Tennessee
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1. Re: Fall leaf colors this year?

Hi Vicky, you're usually safe with anytime in late October for fall color but yes, it's always tricky to know when the peak will hit. It varies so much from year to year. One year we were there in the second week of November and it was just past the peak but still outstanding color.

I talked with someone in Gatlinburg a few days ago and he said looking out toward Mt Leconte he could see the beginnings of color change at the top. That's pretty early he said, so with this second year of drought maybe that indicates earlier fall color again?

Somewhere on Earth...
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2. Re: Fall leaf colors this year?

www.nps.gov/grsm/photosmultimedia/index.htm

Here's a link to a couple of webcams at Look Rock and Purchase Knob. I like the Look Rock one because if you could rotate it 180 degrees it would be looking at my parents house several miles away. I can see the Look Rock tower from their back deck.

Today the camera's are fogged over therefore the visibility out of them is limited. Some times though the views are really outstanding.

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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3. Re: Fall leaf colors this year?

The only reason the leaves are turning color already at this point is because of the drought which is causing them to dry up and fall off prematurely, not because "it's that time of year" just yet.

Be thankful that Fay has decided to head in the direction that it did, as it might just have saved the fall color season single-handedly. Ample rainfall in August and September are heavy factors in the color of the leaves in October and November.

Cullowhee, North...
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4. Re: Fall leaf colors this year?

Vicky5;

Quick botany lesson - chlorophyll production reduces as the photoperiod - the amount of daylight starts to wane as october rolls around. Temperature really influences the rate of change. if we have a warm September and October, fall typically comes later. If we have an early cold front and lows in the 30s in the first part of october, fall comes sort of in the middle.

as far as the drought goes, last year was terrible, yet it seemed to have a positive influence on the length of the fall. We had leaves here in November at Thanksgiving on the oaks which were a brilliant red. more red than I have ever seen them. So, you should be safe come this time period. remember fall starts at the peaks and moves down the mountain. The Blue Ridge Parkway because it travels from the valley to peaks is one of the best places to see fall as peak season can be found somewhere along the road. Enjoy your trip....

Mississippi
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5. Re: Fall leaf colors this year?

Thanks, everyone, for the input. I'm probably going to go with the Oct. 29-Nov. 2 dates and hope for the best. I know I'll have a great time regardless & any amount of color will be a bonus. My plans are to do a Cades Cove hayride, horseback ride, at least drive through the park once, see a show, and just enjoy the temperatures and fall decorations. Thanks, smokybob, for recommending the Blue Ridge parkway. I haven't been on it in ages and have been wanting to drive some of it again.

6. Re: Fall leaf colors this year?

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