Thursday, November 15, 2007

2007 Smoky Mountains leaf color change season peak

Leaf color changes thought the Smokies have just passed their peak but there will be plenty of color in the leaves of the trees and the mountainsides for weeks to come in Tennessee as well as in North Carolina.

In the Tennessee Smoky Mountains there are still plenty of trees still in the green phase but most have turned into light green, yellows, oranges and flaming reds giving a nice contrast to the tans and browns of leaves that changed colors sooner.

Last weeks cooler temperatures helped move things along in Tennessee’s leaf season and driving down Newfound Gap Road (441) from the North Carolina side by the 7 mile marker the riot of color in the leaves really show off. Of course now day by day this will work its way down to the lower elevations.

I have still found tons of great color in all of the hikes I have done in Cades Cove, Elkmont, Tremont, Greenbrier, Sugarlands and even Crosby this week and see that the oaks and the maples have at least another 2 weeks more color left in them.

Just as in real estate the key word is location. Some of the road sides are now past peak but once you wander in to the valleys or look up the side of the mountains you can see the yellows, green, reds and browns that make the Smokies a great place to see autumn colors.

While the peak has passed sooner in North Carolina there are still tremendous pockets of fall colors with hardwood trees now showing their flashy colors. Trees in some of the higher elevations have lost most of their leaves and the last few days’ rain has knocked off any of the leaves that were about to fall.

Hiking along ridge lines yesterday in North Carolina as well as driving along the Blueridge parkway I still found eye-popping colors and spectacular views everywhere.

Today may see some snow flurries in the upper elevations with little or no accumulations making for some spectacular pictures. No more snow is predicted for the next week.

If you are planning on coming to the Smokies in the next week or 2 you won’t miss out on the spectacular fall colors – just most of the traffic!

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