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North Carolina Prepares for Fall Color

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North Carolina
Fall Foliage

Raleigh, NC – Fall color predictions are not an exact science. But experts like Dr. Robert Bardon, extension forestry specialist with N.C. State University agree, "there really is no bad year for fall color in North Carolina."

"Leaves will first begin changing at higher elevations, and colors will vary depending on the type of foliage and environmental stressors," he added. "Fall color across the state will be intensified if the fall is dry, with sunny days and cool nights. These conditions will make the colors even more vivid," Dr. Bardon added.

Traditionally, the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains regions showcase a variety of deep colors. The incredible diversity of plants and trees, and the changing terrain in the Appalachian Mountains, cause vibrant colors and the fall season typically lasts longer here.

Across the state, attractions like the Blue Ridge Parkway offer travelers an unparalleled view of fall foliage. The mountains of North Carolina range in elevation from 6,684 feet at Mount Mitchell – the highest point east of the Mississippi, to 2,200 feet in some valleys.

fall foliage in North CarolinaBecause the North Carolina mountains are home to this unique topography and countless tree and plant varieties, fall color typically begins in early October and lasts for as long as six weeks. Each tree and plant variety offers unique color in leaves, flowers and berries. These colors change at different times at different elevations, producing stunning reds, golds, yellows and oranges, complemented by wildflowers like the white and blue asters and the royal purple ironweed.

In the fall, North Carolina prepares for weeks of color. To help travelers preparing for a fall mountain vacation the N.C. Division of Tourism has established the "Leaf Peepers" program.

Each week individuals across the state report the status of changing leaves. These weekly reports usually will begin the week of Sept. 19. To view these reports, visit or you can call 1-800-VISIT NC for the latest update. The updates continue as long as conditions allow.

Courtesy: North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development

More about North Carolina fall colors around the Web:

Fall Foliage Peak in the Southeast

25 Best Places to see fall foliage in the Blue Ridge Mountains

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