Cooler Overnight Temps Changing the Leaves!

Fall Color in the Mountains

This weekend is the unofficial “peak weekend” normally for the mountains of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. Usually by now things are already past peak at some of the highest elevations in the region such as those elevations up around Snowshoe Mountain’s 4848′ and Beech Mountain’s 5506′.

Madison chooses a plump pumpkin for carving for Halloween! Click to Enlarge.
Madison chooses a plump pumpkin for carving for Halloween! Click to Enlarge.

I rode up to Banner Elk yesterday and the recent, colder, overnight temps have definitely triggered some color pops here and there. The ridge up on Seven Devils (around Hawksnest) was looking pretty awesome and maybe close to peak as there is pretty brilliant color on that ridge. The range that makes up Grandfather Mountain looked kind of yellow/orange right now and there IS quite a bit of color at that mile-high elevation as well.

The trees across MOST of the region though – are probably STILL about a week away – or at least a few more days as there is a LOT of green yet on display. This is most likely a side-effect of the warmer-than-normal temperatures and drier-than-normal period that we’ve experienced over the last two months or more.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name…

2016-october-14-fall-color-citgoI usually don’t get my day started until I’ve stopped in at the Foscoe Citgo and Country Store on Highway 105. The reason I bring that up is two-fold. One – when you guys are visiting the area, you need to drop in on these guys as they truly have THE BEST breakfast, short-order cook maybe on the planet. The second reason is that if you ever want to know the scoop on what’s going on in the area, this is your place.

I was bringing up the fall-colors and a couple of people quickly chimed in and shared that the “seasons” and weather in general have been “off” since about May. May was cooler and wetter than normal – which as more like April. Then June through September was summer-like with each month more like its “normal” preceding month. Right now the weather is really much more like mid-to-late September according to the experts at the Country Store and the fall-leaf season pretty much reflects that as well.

Several people have emailed me asking about WHEN peak season will be here and I’d say that we’re probably still about a week away in most areas. Also, things do seem a little bit muted in terms of more rustic color and not the usual brilliant burst of reds, yellows and oranges. That could change was “PEAK” gets here.

It Should Be an AWESOME Autumn Weekend

2016-october-14-fall-woollyThis weekend is the Annual Woolly Worm Festival weekend and over in Valle Crucis they are hosting the Annual Valle Fair. The weather looks AWESOME for those and all of the other Octoberfests and Autumn Fairs that are happening across your favorite mountains of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic.

2016-october-14-fall-tweetsieIf you’re headed up to the mountains this weekend – we will be at Tweetsie Railroad’s Ghost Train tonight. That is always an awesome time. I spoke with Woolly Worm Festival Chairperson, Mary Jo Brubaker and she’s asked that we pay a visit to the festivities and do our “drone thing”. We agreed and so if you see the drone camera hovering over the festivities – that will be us. Watch for the landing area and follow that to yours truly if you want to come by and say “hi”. I’ve recruited a couple of local high-schoolers to walk the festival grounds with camera and microphone in hand to interview some of those in attendance. That’s always fun to watch and I’ll edit and share some of the aerials and ground-level photos and videos as soon as we can.


We will share some great video with you guys on Sunday, but if you want to watch the crowd LIVE you can do so by visiting In fact, is an awesome way to see the leaf changes to date. Click on MOUNTAIN CAMS and SKI CAMS for a tour of your favorite mountain.

Mountain Cams

Ski Cams

If you guys want a bit more information about this weekend’s events, please check out each of the ski area’s websites and these mountain communities are always hosting fun stuff this time of year.

Visit the following links for more information: – The Woolly Worm Festival Schedule – For the best views in the region. – For Ski Area Community Weather and Links. – Valle Country Fair


Banner Elk Hwy 184

Email me if ya like: [email protected]

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.