Autumn Arrives Late near Mt. Mitchell

With only one mild freeze so far this season in all the mountains, autumn is taking her sweet time to descend down the slopes. Last year, the peak color along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mt. Mitchell was October 13th. I was up there today, October 18th, and the peak is sill four or five days away. Driving from Marion to the Parkway on NC 80, a climb of 2,100 feet in elevation, the colors have yet to happen, and driving south on the Parkway toward Mt. Mitchell, the first intense trees didn’t appear until the 4,000 foot level.

Blue Ridge Parkway Northeast View
Looking northeast toward Linville Gorge.

Blue Ridge Parkway East View
Another northeast view. No reds at all.
Blue Ridge Parkway Southeast view
This view is toward the south from the Parkway.

Blue Ridge Parkway South view
Looking to the southeast, there is still alot of green in the forest.

Blue Ridge Parkway at Mt. Mitchell
Stopping at an overlook east of Mt. Mitchell, the colors are not nearly at their peak. Mt. Mitchell, the highest place east of the Mississippi, is to the far left in the Black Mountain range.

Mt. Mitchell Golf Course
Leaving the Parkway and heading west on NC 80, the Mt. Mitchell Golf Club sits directly under towering Mt. Mitchell. No sign of peak color here either, but the green of the course reminds you that Jack Frost has stayed away.

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