Chimney Rock’s panoramic 75-mile views capture the full spectrum of Western North Carolina’s legendary fall foliage, and it’s getting easier to know when to catch it at the peak. Weekly fall color and wildflower reports are available at chimneyrockpark.com to help you know where and when to find the best color. Peak fall colors are expected to appear in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure between mid-October and early November. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers a handful of favorite ways to admire autumn colors this year, from expert- and self-guided hikes to rock climbing and a photography workshop. The Park was voted the “best beautiful fall foliage spot” by readers of Blue Ridge Country in the 2013 Best of the Mountains poll, along with a gold award for “best scenic photo opportunity.”
“The Blue Ridge Mountains feature one of most vibrant and longest fall color displays in America, attracting visitors from around the world. In late September to early November, from popular destinations along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, Western North Carolina is among the most beautiful places to go leaf peeping, hiking and auto touring,” said Emily Walker, Park Naturalist & Education Manager.
Catching Peak Colors. Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains rewards leaf peepers with brilliant displays of leaf colors, from deep red and maroon to fiery yellow and orange. Chimney Rock and Lake Lure have a large variety of colorful tree species and an elevation ranging from 1,100 to 2,500 feet, which are ideal conditions to create a long window for optimal viewing. Peak colors typically arrive at the Park’s higher elevations around mid-October and spread down to the lower elevations through early November.
Fall Color Report – October 7: Early leaf colors are starting to show on the higher-elevation roads leading to Chimney Rock State Park and are sprinkled on the ridges and upper trails in the Park. Splashes of red are appearing in the dogwood and sourwood trees, along with yellows in the poplars. This is a very good wildflower season for goldenrod, snakeroot, Wingstem and a variety of asters. Brown-eyed Susans and sunflowers are also blooming, with some Pink Turtlehead remaining.
Submit your fall photos of the Park by Nov. 30 for a chance to win great prizes in the “Many Faces of Chimney Rock” photo contest. Prizes include a two-day getaway with a stay at the historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa, Park annual passes, zip lining, boat tours and more. Contest rules and entry instructions listed at chimneyrockpark.com.
Chimney Rock is 45 minutes southeast of Asheville. Call 800-277-9611 or visit chimneyrockpark.com.