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Fall colors are fading fast in the mountains of Virginia, with
almost all areas past peak and many leaves turning brown and dropping.
Lower elevations and those sheltered from wind still provide pockets of
color. The Shenandoah Valley and eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge
resemble a rich patchwork quilt of earth tones.
This week, the Piedmont is positively aglow, so it's a good time to
check out the rolling hills. Most of central Virginia is at or close to
peak color, with gold to orange tones predominating. Oaks, which turn yellow
to deep red or rust, still vary from mostly green to fully colored. In
the Coastal Plain, the colors are more muted golds and yellows, but they are
still lovely. Bright red sumacs, deep red dogwoods, and the occasional
flaming maple provide an especially pretty contrast along Piedmont and Coastal
Plain forest edges. Take note of
eastern Virginia’s trademark sweetgums, with their interesting palette
of orange, red, purple, and gold, all on a single tree.
"And myriad leaves, on which the Summer wrote
Her blushing farewell, at my feet were strown."
—Albert Laighton, “In the Woods”
But take heart: not all of the autumn leaves in Shenandoah National Park will be at your feet this weekend. Some of them are still on the trees, especially in the lower elevations of the southern half of the Park. The fall color is past its pinnacle, but there are still some heart-stopping displays from the overlooks and summits, as you gaze out onto the lower hills and hollows. Not to cause a panic, of course, but: hurry. It’s called fall for a reason – it could have been called “rush” – and though there’s still quite a bit of color to be seen in this Blue Ridge national park, you need to pounce on it before it’s all gone. Read the full report.
Escape, just the two of you, to Virginia's fall splendor.
Take the road less traveled. Enjoy photogenic foliage opportunities, great eats, and other hidden treasures.
From the rough and tumble on the mountains to the paved or sandy shores, there’s no end to the scenic views and adventures Virginia has to offer.
Order your Free Virginia Travel Guide.
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