Sarah Wilson in the Smokies

Fall is a beautiful time of the year to be outside and catching the peak of our state’s leaf change is a highlight. Howard S. Neufeld, biology professor at Appalachian State University, has been forecasting the leaf change cycle for years. Dr. Neufeld is the North Carolina Division of Tourism’s official “Fall Color Guy” and provides his predictions on autumn glory at Dr. Neufeld developed a Fall Color Map that is helpful in planning your trips to enjoy the colors.

Fall Color Map Developed by Howard Neufeld and Michael Denslow

This map below was developed by Howard Neufeld and Michael Denslow. The map gives an estimation of the timing of fall color peaks for the various regions of North Carolina. If you have used this resource in the past, you’ll see that they have added two new features to the mountain section of our fall color map: towns and scenic roads. These new graphics help you orient yourself as you decide where to visit in the North Carolina Mountains during our fall foliage season. This map differs from most other such maps because it combines the effects of both elevation and latitude on fall color, whereas most other maps simply use elevation alone. More details on this resource at

So to help you plan your trip our staff has the following suggestions where you are sure to find autumn’s blaze of glory.

1) Grandfather Mountain State Park – Check out the colors at their peak!

2) Hanging Rock State Park – Sourwoods and Black Gums are among the first trees to change.

3) Wiseman’s View at Linville Gorge – The Grand Canyon of North Carolina

4) Nantahala National Forest – Be sure to drive along Cherohala Scenic Byway

5) Shining Rock Wilderness Area – The Art Loeb Trail is a great Hike

If you have questions about where and how to reach any of these destinations please Twitter us @TrustyGOPC or contact one of our local shops.

Enjoy this wonderful Fall!