Fall Color Reports for 2020


Currently, there is still plenty of fall color to be found around Chimney Rock State Park and the lower elevations of Hickory Nut Gorge, especially along the trails, the road, and in the distant views. Check back for updated color reports to see how things are progressing as we near the end of the season.


Fall color is continuing to show up in Hickory Nut Gorge. As you descend into the gorge from any direction, you can see plenty of leaves that have changed to their seasonal yellow or gold along the route. The sporadic trees with red and orange leaves are adding a vibrant splash of color, too. Standing on the Chimney you can look across at the neighboring mountains to see trees in color defining the ridges. Although the warm temperatures are likely slowing things down there’s plenty of color to be found even if we’re still a couple of weeks from peak. Check out our What’s in Bloom page to see what fall wildflowers are currently adding their hues to the season.


It’s starting to look a lot more like fall in Hickory Nut Gorge. From Chimney Rock you can look out and see trees along the ridges showing their colors. Adding to this already showy season are the blooming fall wildflowers that can be found along the trails. There are plenty of colors to be found and it’s just the beginning of the process for our elevation. We expect the cooler temperatures heading our way this week to encourage more transition in the trees. Stay tuned for more updates and photos as things progress.


Fall leaves are beginning to show their color in Hickory Nut Gorge. Although we are weeks away from peak color there’s already plenty of beautiful pigments to be found. The bright red sourwood leaves can be spotted on the ridges and along the roads along with the dogwoods sprinkled throughout the understory offering their dark red and maroon leaves. The yellowing of poplars offers a variation to the canopy at the beginning of this seasonal transition. However, fall color isn’t all about the leaves. The pink flowers of the turtleheads, yellow from the goldenrod blooms, and the bright white of the snakeroot plants along the trail add a variety of shades. No matter when you visit Chimney Rock during this fall season there is color to be found.


Fall is coming, and we’re so ready! One of the most frequently asked questions is always what our fall leaves will look like each year. However, it’s really about much more than just the leaves.

Trees get all the attention, and maybe rightfully so. It’s amazing to see how the color starts on the highest ridges throughout Hickory Nut Gorge and subtly makes its way down to the valley floor. Even in years when the weather patterns don’t encourage vibrant change, you can find patches of beautiful color. The lower elevations found in and around Chimney Rock State Park are an important factor as well. This area is usually one of the last to reach peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains giving us a bit longer to see the seasonal progression. Leaves aside, there are other places to find color this time of year. Our wildflowers, such as goldenrods and asters, line our trails and roadside adding definition to the forest floor. This year, luckily for us, there’s been enough rainfall to encourage a large variety of colorful fungi, too!

Be sure to check back for weekly updates as we move further along into our fall color season!