Peak Autumn Color Still 7-10 Days Away?

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This is going to show my age (not that my gray hair doesn’t) but Harry Nilsson had a song back in the late sixties called “Everybody’s Talkin'” and that’s appropriate for the amount on conversation going on about the fall color season that is upon us…or that is supposed to be upon us.

Usually by now, October 18th, we’d be talking about holding out hope that the peak season would at least last through the Woolly Worm and Valle Fair weekend that arrives Saturday. At this point in mid-October, 2018, we are still very much a “green High Country” and I’m talking biologically and not so much conservationally.

We’ll Leave the Fall Color Report to the Expert…

Dr. Howard S. Neufeld The Fall Color Guy

Dr. Howard S. Neufeld of App State and “The Fall Color Guy”

Dr. Howie Neufeld, “The Fall Color Guy” and professor of biology at Appalachian State University has been keeping a great, fall color report going for a few years now and he travels every mountain range in the region and does a wonderful job of posting updates for leaf-lovers everywhere.

If anyone is an expert at this stuff, it would be this guy with a title – Professor , Physiological Plant Ecology, Plant Water Relations Ecosystem Ecology, and Air Pollution Effects on Plants.

I can tell you that although his Facebook content is well-read by in excess of 8400 followers…we need to help spread his message and help him to gain more popularity because our roadways have been packed with travelers who evidently have NOT gotten the message that our mountaintops are still quite green.

I was at Outback in Blowing Rock last Friday evening and the wait was over an hour and a half and one glance at license plates in the parking lot would tell you that people were here in hopes of catching some color. All I can say is – I hope they like green.

Cold Temps Will Jump Start This Autumn Paint Shop

This morning’s temperature was 35° in Banner Elk and Seven Devils and it has been chilly the last couple of nights. That burst of cold temps will certainly fast-track the process of transitioning green leaves to every hue in the rainbow.

Although I used Skip Sickler’s photo as our Photo of the Day, I want to share it here as well so that I can give him credit – where credit is due.

A herd of deer forages in MacRae Meadows at the base of Grandfather Mountain. Cooler temperatures in the Western North Carolina High Country seem to have jump-started the fall color change at higher elevations, while experts anticipate foliage below the 3,500-foot mark to follow suit over the next couple of weeks. Photo by Skip Sickler. (Click to Enlarge)

Back to Dr. Neufeld…

His facebook page is a VALUABLE resource for those of you who love fall color and he also does an awesome job of co-promoting the region as a whole. Check it out at the link below and save it as a favorite. It is definitely one of mine. ( )

As you can see via his Facebook content, people are talking about us as well. Thanks to Dave Crotts and Dr. Neufeld for giving us some props. As one of their followers mentioned, the website is a great way to see what’s going on with the color. He also mentioned our newest camera – The Lodges at Eagles Nest – at

We have been meaning to tell you guys about that new camera and thanks to Jeremy Handysides and the great people at Eagles Nest for partnering with us to bring you that camera view.

More WebCams On the Way!

We’re looking forward to TWO NEW webcams at The Wisp Resort in Maryland that should be LIVE sometime this next week. Railey Realty, a long time partner, advertiser with and just purchased two new cameras and one will be aimed at THE FACE, one of Wisp’s most popular black diamond trails and the other camera will feature an awesome view of Deep Creek Lake.

…and now back to the colors…

One tour around the webcams from all of our mountain communities will show a lot of green and very little color.

Skip Sickler of Grandfather Mountain is featured a ton this time of year – both on Dr. Neufeld’s site and here at

Photo by Skip Sickler. Click to Enlarge!

Here’s today’s fall color posting from Grandfather:

Another AWESOME photo by Skip Sickler from yesterday at Grandfather Mountain. Click to Enlarge!

Dr. Neufeld’s Post from Wednesday, October 17th, 2018.

From Grandfather: Golden autumn hues frame the Boone Fork Bridge, located near mile 299.9 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Although the bridge itself is still closed due to flood damage from this past spring, the Boone Fork area is beginning to pop with fall color. With temperatures continuing to drop, the color change is becoming much more prevalent with each passing day. Photo by Skip Sickler.

I am now seeing noticeable colors on the hillsides around Boone, and expect to see more and more from this weekend through to next weekend. I think we are finally going to get our High Country fall colors!

Fall Festival Weekend Weather May Not Be “Chamber of Commerce like”

One look at Saturday’s forecast for Woolly Worm and Valle Fair weekend and you’ll see rain is in the forecast. Right now our best hope is that maybe it will blow in and out quicker than anticipated. As the forecast is right now, we’re looking at light-to-steady rain Saturday, which will definitely affect traffic. We’ll see.

Even if the rain comes in…it does appear that we’ll begin to see some color popping out and about.

Capture from the Resort Cams, Canyon Rim camera. Click to Enlarge!

Here’s a nice link to the New River Gorge Canyon Rim cam as it shows some color trying to burst out.


I also few the drone on Sunday and really didn’t get anything all that impressive for sharing in terms of color. Maybe I will try that again today or tomorrow.

We are working on getting our 2018-2019 Long Range, Winter Forecast ready for posting. We also expect to hear from Meteorologist Brad Panovich with his version. Of course some lucky, winning Woolly Worm will be providing his or her forecast Saturday…and we’ll share of that and more as soon as possible.

In the interim…here are some nice websites that we hope you’ll check out and share with your mountain friends. Email me personally at [email protected] with any questions, thoughts or input.

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