Parkway and 221

Parkway and 221

Stray leaves and reflected pinpoints of sunshine create a dazzling galaxy in a pool of water near the Blue Ridge Parkway/U.S. 221 intersection, leading toward Grandfather Mountain. This entry marks the last in Grandfather Mountain’s 2017 Fall Color Gallery. Compared to previous years, 2017’s fall color progression was somewhat unusual, in that the change came on quickly, only to stall, start again, stall again and start again. Experts attribute this — and some resulting premature defoliation — to the erratic fluctuations in temperature that dominated October’s forecasts. However, autumn is always glorious in the North Carolina mountains, and this...
Milkweed

Milkweed

A milkweed plant in nearby Pineola assumes its autumnal form. The plant is named for its milky sap and is a favorite among monarch caterpillars, which feed exclusively on its leaves. Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation...
Linville River

Linville River

Fall color frames the Linville River, this section located in Grandfather Mountain’s hometown of Linville. Those looking for Halloween fun this weekend are encouraged to visit Grandfather Mountain for the park’s annual A Beary Scary Halloween celebration. Featuring games, crafts, nature programs, a costume contest and trick-or-treating, the festival also offers kids the chance to create special treats for the mountain’s furry and feathered habitat residents. Plus, kids in costume get in for half-price! The fun runs from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., rain or shine. Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation...
Hwy. 221 Overlook

Hwy. 221 Overlook

An overlook off of scenic U.S. Hwy. 221 showcases fall splendor in the High Country. With much of the High Country past peak, Grandfather Mountain’s mile-high overlooks offer a prime vantage point to see fall color in the elevations below. Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship...
Stack Rock View

Stack Rock View

Stack Rock Creek takes a dip through fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Colors are still vibrant at some of the High Country’s higher elevations, as the changing of the leaves progresses further down into the valleys. Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship...
Stack Rock & 221

Stack Rock & 221

Colorfully crisp fall foliage lines the ridge between Stack Rock (Milepost 308.4) and the U.S. 221 exit on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway-facing side of Grandfather Mountain continues to be a prime spot for leaf-looking, although vibrant colors are popping in many areas of the High Country, especially in descending elevations. Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship...