Abnormally dry seasons, such as Western North Carolina has experienced this year, tend to mean lackluster fall foliage. Or do they mean brighter-than-average leaves? Folk wisdom tends to clash with official forecasters’ reports when it comes to the all-important autumn outlook, and even climatologists have different opinions.
Thanks to social media, though, we can have our leaf reports in real time. According to a passage on blueridgemountainlife.com, peak week is over in the highest elevations (4,500 feet and above), but is pretty much happening right now in the 3,000-4,000-foot range — great news if you’ve planned your vacation in the south-mountain counties this week.
The following events, while not geared for those wanting to enjoy nature in solitude, are ideal for prime viewing, muscle toning, and photo capturing. All happen on Saturday, October 22:
A Naturalist Niche series of fall hikes, included with admission at Chimney Rock Park and running 8:30am-12:30pm, will be led by a park naturalist and limited to 15 people. Call ahead to reserve a spot: 800-277-9611.
Planned for more intrepid leaf peepers, the Leaf Season Fitness Tour, 9am-1pm, is a six-mile “full body workout” hike that includes mountain peaks, a waterfall, and a snack. Sponsored by DuPont State Forest. Trailhead convergence is at the Fawn Lake access area on Reasonover Road in Cedar Mountain. $50. 828-513-0564.
The Fall Foliage Hike sponsored by Pisgah Field School runs 10am-3pm, is graded “moderate,” and includes a panoramic view of Looking Glass Rock and a stop at Bold Rock Cidery at the end. $50. 828-884-3443, cfaia.org/pisgah-field-school-brevard-nc.