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When do the leaf colors reach their peak?

blog14We are accustomed to answering a lot of questions at our inn. The two most often asked are “How do you get up your driveway in the winter?” and ” When will the leaves be at their peak?” The answer to the first question is pretty matter of fact depending on weather conditions.

However the second question has no real answer because there are so many factors that influence the timing of the colors including amount of rainfall, temperatures etc.

The best bet is the middle of October around the second or third week. However, we have seen good color earlier in the month and some brilliant color well into November. It is hard to pinpoint the absolute best time. The only thing we can tell you is that the leafs always change, they will be beautiful.

A local motel a few years ago decided to be the leaf prognosticator. On the sign outside his establishment, he listed the percentage of leaf color up to that point. Early in the month, the sign would read “Leaf color at 10%”. As the month went on, the percentage would increase until it reached 100% at what he thought was absolute peak. Of course, his method was to step outside his door, look at the mountains, and make up a number. Truth be known, that is about as good as any more scientific method.

The colors have started. The dogwoods started a few weeks ago along with some sourwoods. We are beginning to see color change across the valley and all indications are that it is going to be a glorious fall.

It is one of the wonders of nature. I have been in the mountains since 1967 and at Hemlock Inn for since 1988. I am still amazed at the splendor of fall. The colors, coupled with cool temperatures, and clear skies make it breathtaking season. My mother-in-law, Ella Jo Shell, use to refer to October as the “color spectacular show in the world”.

Come enjoy the most beautiful time of the year in the mountains. Some room is still available in October and November. We will have a fire in the fireplace, hot coffee in the morning, good meals, wonderful fellowship, and the most beautiful scenery you could ever imagine. You don’t want to miss it.

– Mort

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