As fall approaches the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grandfather Mountain remains one of the best leaf-looking destinations in the South. One way guests can enjoy fall foliage this season is Grandfather’s guided walk series, “The Colors of Grandfather,” offered on October 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19.
Grandfather Mountain is home to numerous species of plants and hardwood trees that range from pumpkin-colored beech trees to blood-red sourwoods and rusty red oaks.
“We're seeing a few early changes happening now, but we still expect the peak viewing opportunities to occur at Grandfather Mountain in the first to second week of October,” said Jesse Pope, director of education and natural resources. “If we experience a pattern of cool, crisp nights and bright sunny days for the next couple of weeks, we'll be well-positioned for a spectacular fall color season.”
“The Colors of Grandfather” will visit various locations around Grandfather Mountain to showcase a spectacular contrast of stunning autumn hues. These guided walks, led by members of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation’s educational staff, give guests an opportunity to learn more about color change and explore the species of plants and trees native to Grandfather Mountain. Participants will become more familiar with tree identification and will be able to ask questions about the annual color-changing phenomenon.
The programs begin at 1 p.m. and are included with regular admission. For more information about “The Colors of Grandfather,” call 800-468-7325 or visit www.grandfather.com.
In addition to the programs offered inside the park in October, fresh fall color photos are posted daily throughout the month on the Mountain’s website, Facebook page and Twitter account. These postings include up-to-date reports on leaf-looking conditions, helpful tips for visiting the area in fall and the best routes for finding the brightest trees.
For the first time this year, Grandfather Mountain will also offer a fall foliage photo contest on Instagram. Park guests can share their best shot taken inside the park on the social network and tag @grandfathermtn or #gfmfallcolors to enter the contest. The person who takes the best photograph, as selected by staff, will win a Grandfather Mountain prize package that includes an 8 x 10 Hugh Morton print.
The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 468-7325 or visit www.grandfather.com to plan a trip.