Historic Hendersonville Leaf Report for week of 11-6-13
Autumn coming to a close in the Historic Hendersonville area. The leaves are past peak, but spotty color is still visible. Remember that colors do not disappear after their peak, but become muted with age; the reds turn to rust and yellows into gold. Located just 15 miles from Historic Downtown Hendersonville is the Chimney Rock/Lake Lure community where leaves are peaking. Unseasonably warm weather has made this a long delayed leaf season.
Suggested Locations for Peak Color
Chimney Rock Park - Leaf colors exploded at Chimney Rock State Park last week, surrounding us in brilliant golds, reds and oranges! Peak leaf colors arrived late last week, and our mountains should remain colorful into mid-November if the weather remains calm. The maples are stunning this year, and the red oaks are just now living up to their name. Magnolia trees add a rich chocolate brown to the layers of color. Leaf peepers can find beautiful autumn foliage along the Park’s four scenic trails, cruising the road or rock climbing with Fox Mountain Guides this Saturday at Climbin’ the Chimney, 11am-3pm. Colors are awesome around Lake Lure now, making the 75-mile panoramic views from atop the Chimney even more breathtaking. For up-to-date fall color reports and photos, visit Chimney Rock.
DuPont State Recreational Forest is a suggestion for viewing fall color on foot. The forest encompasses 10,268 acres in Henderson and Transylvania counties. It is situated in the Little River valley and includes four spectacular waterfalls and 80 miles of roads and trails wandering through mountainous terrain. The forest is open to the public for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Fishing is allowed with a valid NC fishing license. Take a self-guided driving tour to the forest, for fall hiking to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Western North Carolina. DuPont State Forest is located approximately 12 miles from Downtown Hendersonville. Many scenes from the movie, The Hunger Games, were shot in Dupont State Recreational Forest. The Hunger Games were filmed entirely in North Carolina. For additional information call 828-877-6527. High Falls parking lot, 1300 Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC. GPS Coordinates: 35.18856,-82.632936 www.dupontforest.com
Holmes Educational State Forest offers a series of well-marked trails, accented by exhibits and displays depicting ecology of a managed forest. The forest is open Tuesday-Sunday from mid-March to late November. The Hiking Trails are approximately 5 miles in varying degrees of difficulty. Trail maps are available at the Ranger Station. Bring a picnic lunch, picnic sites with tables and grills are available. Holmes Educational State Forest is located approximately 8 1/2 miles to Historic Downtown Hendersonville. For information call (828) 692-0100. Holmes State Forest
Jump Off Rock is located just minutes from Historic Downtown Hendersonville. The scenic overlook which provides a panoramic view of rolling pastures, the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges. Jump Off Rock also holds an Indian legend that has been passed down for many, many years. Over 300 years ago, a young Cherokee Indian maiden received word that her young Indian Chief had been killed in battle, so she climbed to the edge of the rock and jumped off. Indian legend has it that on moonlit nights you can see the ghost of the maiden on Jump Off Rock The park is open daily, sunrise to sunset. No admission charge.
Jump Off Rock
The drive up to Jump Off Rock takes you through the pretty residential area of Laurel Park. Take 5th Avenue West, which becomes Laurel Park Highway and continue on Laurel Park Highway until it dead ends at Jump Off Rock. Jump Off is located about 5 miles from downtown at the end of Laurel Park Hwy.
There are three hiking trials at Jump Off Rock, varying in length and difficulty. Blue Trail - easy trail, takes about 8 minutes, Yellow Trail - moderate trail, takes around 15 minutes & Red Trail - is the most difficult and the longest.
Carl Sandburg Home, National Historic Site / Hiking Trails, Carl Sandburg, American poet, historian, author, and lecturer spent the final 22 years of his long and productive life at his estate, Connemara, in Flat Rock, NC. Today this National Historic Site offers a keen insight on Mr. Sandburg, his family and their 264-acre working farm. The Sandburg Home houses his collection of 10,000 books, notes and papers. Home tours are offered daily tours. There are numerous hiking trails and a functional goat barn, where Mrs. Sandburg raised her prize-winning goats.
There are five miles of hiking trails located on the Connemara property. Each trail is easy to moderate, with Glassy Trail being steep in only one place. It takes is about 35 minutes at a steady walk to the top of Glassy. Trail maps located at the main house or click for a trail map. For information call (828) 693-4178. 81 Carl Sandburg Lane (located off Little River Rd.), Flat Rock, NC. www.nps.gov/carl
Apple Picking & Pumpkin Patches
North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state in the nation and Henderson County is the largest apple-producing county in North Carolina and grows 85 percent of the apples in the state. The apple harvest season runs from late August through October. Fresh apples, cider, pumpkins, produce and many other items may be purchased at one of the many roadside apple markets or produce stands located throughout Henderson County. Some orchards offer tours and allow you to pick your own apples. Choose the perfect pumpkin for halloween, fall decoration or pumpkin pie at many of the orchards. Apple Orchards
Estimated Dates for Peak Color
Early to Mid-October: Elevations of 5,000 feet north of Asheville will show the most color, especially around the areas of Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain.
Mid-October: In elevations greater than 4,000 feet, southwest of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway will be showing color around Mount Pisgah, Devil's Courthouse, and Graveyard Fields. The Blue Ridge Parkway is located 15 miles north of Hendersonville.
Late-October: Colorful hiking spots include Jump Off Rock, Dupont State Recreational Forest and Holmes State Forest.Take a scenic fall driving tour of Hendersonville & Flat Rock or tour Henderson County's apple country.
The Hickory Nut Gorge area of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure should be peaking. Lake Lure is located 14 miles east of Hendersonville. The small towns of Saluda, Tryon & Columbus in the foothills of Western North Carolina offers scenic overlooks, Pearson's Falls, equestrian events and hiking at FENCE and quiet back roads. Polk County is located 9 east miles of Hendersonville. The color in this area can last into early November.