The Spectacular Maples of Elliot Mountain
Elliot Mountain is a small 1,800 foot “knob” located in the McDowell County, North Carolina farming community of Montford Cove. A group of vacation homes dots the heavily wooded slopes, and a few paved and gravel roads encircle the unusually steep hillsides. Eight miles to the south is idyllic Lake Lure, surrounded by soaring ridges, above, and million dollar mansions. Ten miles north is the old furniture town of Marion, and Interstate 40, connecting Raleigh and Asheville. Just to the west is 3,100 foot Hickorynut Mountain, with no development, and no public lands. If you’re viewing this page as part of your e-mail, click on the main title above to go directly to the blog to get the best effect.
With the peak colors of autumn along The Blue Ridge Parkway only a fond memory, the idea that the best color of the season would be found on this non-descript hill on November 9th would surprise even the most dedicated leaf peepers among us. The vibrancy of Fall in Montford Cove owes everything to the Red Maple, the Sugar Maple, and the Shumard Oak, three of the most colorful trees in the mountains. The relatively low elevation of the area also plays a major role, and the presence of hardy evergreens gives the needed contrast to the reds, oranges, and yellows.
As beautiful as the photo above might seem, the best way to enjoy the colors of Elliot Mountain and Laurel Valley Drive is through the video below. It’s barely six minutes long, but it captures the incredible color of the maples and oaks, and the surrounding mountains.