There's a small window of time for seeing the fall colors at their peak, and in many parts of North America, you haven't missed it yet. While leaves become more sparse and the thought of shoveling becomes much more real here in Canada, a long list of U.S. states are finally experiencing peak fall colors. These five destinations are the best of the best for eeking a few more fall foliage drives out of late October and early November.
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville's iconic fall color display along the Blue Ridge Mountain range attracts travelers from around the globe every autumn. The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles from Skyline Drive in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountain National Park's U.S. Route 441 in North Carolina. It winds through the Asheville area for dozens of miles, offering varying colors at the different elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because of the drastic 1,524-metre elevation change, Asheville's fall color season is one of the longest running in the country. Trees at higher elevations peak in early October while the foothills shine brightest in early to mid-November.
Photo credit: Mountain Vacation Resorts
Few natural wonders add to the beauty of the reds, purples, and oranges of fall in Kentucky quite like waterfalls. Head to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, located in the Daniel Boone National Forest on Highway 90 in Corbin, for mild fall temperatures that are ideal for long, colorful hikes along the Cumberland River and to the picture-perfect Cumberland Falls. The Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is home to sourwoods and dogwoods that change vibrant shades of reds, while the abundant maples offer yellows, reds, and oranges to the mix. The park's rainbow of wildflowers, including lobelias, asters, and goldenrods, add a unique twist to the area's iconic late October color show.
Mountain City, Georgia
Black Rock Mountain State Park is Georgia's highest state park, and its scenic forest is even more of a must-see in autumn. Known as the recreational jewel of the area, Mountain City offers a gateway to some of the most picture-perfect adventures in Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Cruise along the park's scenic roads in late October and early November, and you'll find overlooks that provide 80 miles of visibility on clear days. Waterfalls, wildflowers, and babbling streams add to the beauty of the lush forests in fall.
Photo credit: Thomsonmg2000
Fort Payne, Alabama
The Little River Canyon bursts with color at the end of October, offering expansive views of yellow, orange, green, and red from the park's famed sandstone cliffs, boulders, and canyon rims. Hop on Highway 35 in Fort Payne and cruise along it to Highway 176 along the rim of the canyon, you'll find yourself pulling off the road again and again to snap photos of the streams and rivers winding through the fiery colors of fall.
Oconee County, South Carolina
Cruise along South Carolina's Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway to take in a bit of Cherokee history with your fall colors. The winding two-lane road, once a Cherokee path, offers a fall tour through charming villages, peach orchards, the Cowpens National Battlefield, and some of the best fall colors in South Carolina. Late season travelers will find the brightest colors toward the end of October and early November, just in time for the mild temperatures of fall to settle in for the season.
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