Elliot Mountain offers Last Colors of Autumn
By the middle of November, most bright fall colors along the Blue Ridge have faded to brown, and any hope of still finding Maples and Hickories with their signature orange, red, and yellow displays are all but gone. That is, unless experience over the years tells you where to look, even when most “leaf peepers” have given up, and gone home. One of those rare places can be found in the southern McDowell County mountains, along the southern slopes of 2,100 foot Elliot Mountain in particular. For whatever reason, the Maples and Hickories change late on this obscure set of ridges along the eastern slopes of 3,200 foot Hickory Nut Mountain. Even though this year was not the best for color anywhere in this district twenty-five miles east of Asheville, Elliot Mountain was the exception. The elevation of this color is between 1,600 and 1,700 feet.
Here are images that show what I mean.
Distant Tryon Mountain along the South Carolina border.
East view toward Rich and Pinnacle Mountains.
Seven beautiful cabins have been built along a road called Laurel Valley Drive.
Burning Bush and Maple with ornamental Cypress.
These Maples change from their summer green, to yellow, to orange, and finally to a bright red.
Here is a video I made five years ago on November 10th, 2012. That year, the colors were the most spectacular I’ve seen yet. Year to year, you just never know…