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Thread: Smoky Mt.

  1. #1
    JBEAR12
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    Smoky Mt.

    Would like to tour the Smoky Mt. this fall on my 1200rt. What would be the best time to go and see the fall colors. Leaving from Hot Springs, AR and will have 8 days to travel. Any suggestions appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Generally late Sept. early Oct., it kind of depends on the cool weather starting the leaf change. I can't remember the name of the site but there is one on the web that follows the time of year for this, I'm sure you can find it.
    Be aware the roads are cloged at times with cars, vans etc. with people that come from the other states to see the same thing and they think nothing of stopping in the middle of the road or wherever they might feel like stopping to look at the colours and it can be painfully slow riding, especially on weekends when you can combine all the locals in the mix. Really beautiful but bring a lot of patience.
    Mo Shaffer
    Maggie valley NC,
    St. George, BM

  3. #3
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    the timing of the leaf change depends on elevation, too.

    early-mid october for above 4000 feet.

    late october to 1st week of november below.

    go during the week.

    here's a link.

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  4. #4
    JBEAR12
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    Thanks for the link.

    Will be leaving Hot Springs on Oct 10 and returning the 17. Have to make plans now and hope for good weather.

  5. #5
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    We went late October 2008 -- it was cool and the leaves had just started turning -- a week or two later would have been better I think -- when we rode around the Blue Ridge Parkway and roads intersecting the parkway there were lots of leaf - looking tourists driving slowly -- try and plan for weekdays if possible.
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  6. #6
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBEAR12 View Post
    Will be leaving Hot Springs on Oct 10 and returning the 17. Have to make plans now and hope for good weather.
    if you want to see colors and ride mountain roads not crowded with tourists, i suggest you check out Hot Springs, NC.

  7. #7
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    if you want to see colors and ride mountain roads not crowded with tourists, i suggest you check out Hot Springs, NC.
    hwy 209 to hot springs
    Texan RT | Houston | IBA
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    You can go to the Look Rock Air Quality Web Camera web page to get an idea of the peak color periods. There is a selection called "Archive Views" on the page that you can click on. You can then go back and look at archived daily pictures of the view, and see, historically, when the colors have peaked. Just know that Look Rock would be considered the 'lower elevations' and you are not looking at the above 4000' foliage.

    Here's the link: http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/webcam...am/grsmcam.cfm

    I would say the colors have not peaked in the past few years (in the lower elevations) until the first week or so of November. I can tell you last year that the above 3000 ft. colors came and went in just 2-3 days around October 20-22. A storm blew through on the 22nd and knocked all the leaves off! What was brilliant and beautiful on the 21st was completely gone on the 22nd! Below that, it was mostly still green.

  9. #9
    tbourque
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    I know you made your plans, but the leaves do change different times in the fall depending on the amount of rain fall. More rain means shorter leaf season and less rain means a longer leaf season. This summer it has been a rain forest here. Expect a short season for leaf watchers. Possibly a later one too.

  10. #10
    EyeBiker
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    Roan Mountain,TN, Oct 11, 2008

    Taken in Roan Mountain State Park last year.
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  11. #11
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
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    Try NE Alabama and NW Georgia..........LOTS of hills, undiscovered back roads, and little traffic. HWY 136 in Georgia pretty much goes across the state from west to east following the ridges..........ends up over by all the touristy "discovered" places; but on the way LOTS of gooooood riding.
    When I say "hills" please understand that is what most of the southern "mountains" really are when comparing to the west; but for us they are mountains..........I live on top of one of them with a great place to camp on my 21 acres of forest and view...........YOU are welcome to stop by anytime........Dennis

  12. #12
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisDarrow View Post
    When I say "hills" please understand that is what most of the southern "mountains" really are when comparing to the west; but for us they are mountains..........I live on top of one of them with a great place to camp on my 21 acres of forest and view...........YOU are welcome to stop by anytime........Dennis
    My understanding is that the eastern mountains are much older and hence much more worn by weather and time...and this of course makes all that good soil for the trees and such to grow on.

    Dennis, if you're serious about that invitation, I'm just down the road...
    2012 R1200GS

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  13. #13
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
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    Veg.........If you have never explored the roads up around Calhoun you have missed something great. I really hesitate to publish this as the lack of traffic and squid bikes is truly a blessing. Not only is Hwy 136 a treat but the back roads are a true challenge. LOTS of off roading in the National forest service roads are another subject by themselves.

    You are right about the soil and the trees. Hardwood forests with old growth oak and hickory are God's blessing for us here. Anyway, yes, am serious about a spot to camp. Look me up in the anon. Only listing in Sugar Valley, Georgia.............See you then........Dennis

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    Talking

    Leaf season is tricky business. Last year the leafs did not turn until November. I'm headed up the second and third weeks of October and keeping my fingers crossed.
    I do recommend staying away from the Galtlinburg (hwy 321 ans 411) on the weekend. I highly recommend the Blue Grass PKW. You can pick it up several places but I like the Cherokee, NC entrance. Watch out for the ELK!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    I do recommend staying away from the Galtlinburg (hwy 321 ans 411) on the weekend. I highly recommend the Blue Grass PKW.
    Blue Ridge Parkway? Or up here in the blue grass state of KY? Bluegrass Parkway

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