Blue Ridge Parkway Fall Colors Tracker


Blue Ridge Parkway Fall Colors Tracker

Final Report For 2013: Past Peak

NOTE: The Graphic Above Is An Averaged Representation. See Below For Specific Milepost Reports.

This Blue Ridge Parkway Fall Colors Tracker is a great way to keep up with Autumn leaf changes. The Parkway stretches over 469 miles and two states with thousands of feet in elevation difference, so there will be a wide range of color reports from different sections of the Parkway. Weather such as high wind, rain, snow, and frost can affect specific locations along the Parkway and not others in very close proximity. View our Maps (in the top menu) and Lodging sections to plan your trip.

October 31st Report:

Leave A Comment With Your Report

If you have visited the Parkway in the last few days, please leave a comment letting us know the location (with Mileposts if possible) and one of the five color categories.

  1. Unchanged
  2. Patchy (10 – 50%)
  3. Near Peak (50 – 75%)
  4. Peak (75 – 100%)
  5. Past Peak

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About Eric McCarty

Eric McCarty is a photographer, writer, and founder of Blue Ridge Parkway Daily. Eric launched Blue Ridge Parkway Daily in 2010 as a social media outlet featuring his own photography of the Parkway and soon opened it up to other photographers. You can see his family photography and connect with him on Google Plus. Eric resides in Johnson City, Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.


  1. Mount Mitchell Golf Course is reporting just a hint of color on the peak of Mount Mitchell, but not yet to 10 percent. Pisgah Inn reports one brown leaf on the ground. :) Peaks of Otter Lodge reports just a few leaves turning, but a prediction of early change.

    Hopefully next week we’ll report some patchy areas.

  2. Just heard from Mt Mitchell State Park. Estimate of 5% change on the top of the mountain.

  3. Hi Eric,

    It’s going to be a wonderful weekend on the BRParkway~~~just a few leaves turning, a few on the
    ground, but the smell of Fall is in the air. Great day to hike Cumberland Knob or Doughton Park.

    • Indeed! We were at Craggy Gardens on Saturday and it was beautiful. Thanks for the comment Blue Ridge B and B and keep us updated on the leaves throughout the fall.

      • Hey.. we are planning 2 days trip from milepost 460 to mile post 350 4th and 5th Oct… do you think we will be able to see good colors??? My boss is not letting me go out after this date :(

        • You should start seeing some good color in the higher elevations around the 4th and 5th. Graveyard Fields (Milepost 418) was today’s Daily Pic and you can see some colors starting to show already there. We will update the tracker each Thursday (possibly more often than just Thursdays) so you’ll be able to see where the colors are best right before you set off.

          • On todays blue ridge parkway fall colors tracker, there is a photo to win of the via duct? Where are you supposed to enter the answer to be entered for the drawing, it does not have instructions of where to answer?

          • Carolyn, you can just hit reply on the email with your answer for your chance to win. Thanks!

  4. The leaf peepers go home and then the leaves start parachuting off the trees here in these eastern foothills of The blue ridge Mountains and on up to the BRP END of October into the first week of November. Stay with us at The Claiborne House B&B in Franklin County Virginia…more than moonshine!

  5. Last weekend Graveyard Fields was starting to show color. I posted a few shots as pic submissions which you re-shared. Other then that, along the parkway from 191 entrance south to Devils courthouse very little was turning but it was starting to. Some maples, definitely the dogwoods and a great deal of goldenrod, and purple aster wildflowers along the roadside. I will be out again starting tomorrow (Friday Sept 27) all day as well as the weekend! I will post pics on my facebook page as well as BRPD.

  6. Report says:
    Milepost 355 – Mount Mitchell State Park – Patchy

  7. Last night at Craggy Gardens on the way up I noticed a a definite increase in color, still very patchy however, but its on the move for sure. See my latest image on my FB page for accurate color at Craggy. This weekend I will be at the very top of the BRP south of Mt. Pisgah and I will report what I find.

  8. Courtney Kite says:

    What is the chance of the parkway being closed this October due to Federal government fiscal problems?

  9. Drove milepost 383-418 on 9/27. Generally still less than 10%.

  10. Monday, Sept. 30: Sumac, dogwood, blackgum, and beech trees have shown significant color change from Afton Mountain to Blowing Rock.

  11. Wondering if anyone knows about how the colros might be at Mabry Mill in Meadows of Dan, VA, area nest Tuesday? Girlfriend and I hope to go back there to eat, walk and buy some awesome jam there.

  12. The air is crisp and clear with patchy color. The maples are beginning to turn at the top.

  13. Leshia Bell says:

    are the trails at graveyard fields to the waterfalls open or not?

  14. What weekend do you think would be the best to see the most brilliant colors for fall this year? I am trying to make plans for a drive on the Blue Ridge this fall (Grandfather Mtn area) and can’t seem to find the “guesstimate” for the height of seasonal color for 2013.

  15. When do you think it would be the best time to see the colors at Blue Ridge in the Charlottesville area.

  16. Wife and I will be traveling from the beginning of Skyline Dr in Shenandoah Mtns, northern Virginia down to Blue Ridge Pkwy and driving the entire parkway to Cherokee week of 10/14. Hopefully we will catch the colors peaking at most elevations.

  17. Jeff Hammond says:

    Anywhere in North Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia above 5500ft is primarily spruce/ fir forests of evergreen that do not change color. There will be a small influx of various colored hardwoods in these areas, but nothing of any great color significance. So the color tracker is sort of misleading saying that color is peak at 6684, when it is green as always. The color only starts in the Mount Mitchell area when enough elevation is lost so that the hardwoods become the dominant species. This would be the same in the Smokies or Great Balsams at the southern end of the parkway.

    • Good point Jeff. The sidebar tracker is a quick-glimpse kind of display and a detailed explanation of the spruce fir line at the tops would be difficult to pull of in that smaller graphic. But there may be a better way to convey that point. We’ll make it better as we go. Thanks for the clarification.

  18. Lynn Whitman says:

    THANK YOU for the chart of the colors, it helps me to decide when and where I should go! Lynn

  19. Atlanta Friend of the Parkway says:

    I was on the Parkway for about 150 miles, from Cherry Lane, NC to Asheville, NC on Oct 11. Despite what your chart shows, colors were not peaking at any point, and seemed to be maybe more than a week or so away from being significant. In fact, for most of that drive, there was little or sometimes, no, color change. Is this chart for real or just something to draw visitors???

    • Hi Atlanta Friend of the Parkway. Thank you for the comment and concern. This Fall Colors Tracker is compiled by gathering reports from all along the Parkway which you see in the milepost-by-milepost bullet list. The reports from the section you traveled included Patchy (10-15%), Near Peak (50-75%) and one section of Peak (75-100%) at Mount Mitchell. Those were reports from people who live and work in those areas. We use gradients for coloring because the categories are fairly broad. The section you traveled is between yellow and orange because we had reports of both Patchy and Near Peak through that stretch with red only at Mount Mitchell. We will work to make the colors tracker better as we go. Your concern about accuracy has been heard and we will take that into consideration as we gather reports and produce this graphic week-to-week.

      Thanks again for your feedback. We do hope you enjoyed the drive!

      • Chris Meyer says:

        Wife and I want to road trip the blue ridge parkway on nov 8-16th.. But I think it will be to late to see the leaves. Will it be worth it that late in the season????

  20. We are driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway from MP 0 to Asheville on Oct. 18. We are returning Oct. 27th.
    I am told a different story when the peak will be, Oct. 15. The other around Oct. 27. Looking at MP 150-200.
    Which one is correct?

  21. Visited the Tellico River headwaters on 10/14. Leaf colors are about 15% and kind of disappointing. Hope to try again next week.

  22. Just got forced off the parkway in NC near Boone by roadblock. Any idea why & how far?

  23. first time to vist/ i really enjoyed it. the best i have found

  24. First ever visit to the region this past weekend was rewarding! Color was still forming (patchy, around 30%) at Asheville (circa MP 384) on Oct 18th and Cherokee (southern terminus, MP 469) on the 19th. Off the BRP, both the 441 heading north through the park and Maggie Valley on US 19 looked more advanced (40 or 50%). Looking up from the valley, the mountains seemed like about 30%, but that’s deceiving since as a first-timer I don’t know how to factor how much of the green is evergreen. Thanks for the informative site. — Wendy

  25. We are at 100% at milepost 229!

  26. Mile Post 120…Weather lovely, leaves have peaked, however, the Roanoke Valley is still peaking…Beautiful trails, bike trails and hiking.
    Lynn Hunt

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  33. Hey.. we are planning 2 days trip from milepost 460 to mile post 350 4th and 5th Oct… do you think we will be able to see good colors??? My boss is not letting me go out after this date :(


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