United States Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Leaf peeping in WV and Eastern TN: Timing and crowds questions

Jump to last reply

After spending much time in New England, I'm of the opinion that pre-planned leaf-peeping trips are basically a losing proposition, because it's too hard to try to predict in advance when and where the foliage will be peaking, and one usually ends up just paying premium prices to fight crowds and see nothing particularly special. Nevertheless, I need to head down South in a few weeks anyway, and I'm thinking of stopping in West Virginia and Eastern Tennessee to take in some scenery.

From past threads here and various websites, I've identified two regions in WV, the Monongahela National Forest and the New River Gorge, as well as Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. So here are my questions:

(1) What are my chances of seeing peak or near-peak foliage in any of these locations if I visit during the weekend of October 22-23, as well some extra weekdays after that to give me a better chance of avoiding crowds? My sense is that I'd be much too late for Monongahela, and that I'd probably be past-peak at the New River, but the foliage might well be peaking at low elevations in the Smokies. Am I right? I'm thinking of giving up on Monongahela entirely, but maybe I should try to build in some flexibility so that I could visit either the New River and/or the Smokies?

(2) Just how bad will the crowds be? Someone else posted a question about this recently, but I don't think there were any responses. I'm prepared to deal with some crowded highways, expend some energy researching less-traveled roads, and do some moderate hiking to get to less-crowded locations. But if I'm going to be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic jams on mountain roads for hours and not even see any scenery, then I'd want to skip those areas.

Here's some information that might be helpful to others considering similar trips:
http://www.wvforestry.com/FallColorMapAndLegend.pdf
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fallcolor.htm

10 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Please Take Our Survey
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jan 20, 15 at 11:06 AM
View all United States activity »
  1. 1 Trip Report book your hotel before you travel
  2. 2 Prince William Sound cruise
  3. 3 Trip Report middlebury vt snow
  4. 4 Sunnyvale to San Franisco and back
  5. 5 Gulf access or beach an hr or so north of Tampa?
  6. 6 Fall trip, best location to stay in Vermont. Need help please.
  7. 7 4 Nights in LA: What does our itinerary say about where we should stay?
  8. 8 Ideas for a family on a roadtrip around Denver and Utah
  9. 9 Seeking advice for Glacier National Park
  10. 10 Charleston, SC Hotels
  11. 11 Road trip to the Deep South revisited......itinerary for your perusal
  12. 12 NY to Asheville then country place to stay
  13. 13 Orlando in February
  14. 14 Travel from Seattle WA to Oceanside CA
  15. 15 Parking and Neighborhood for Miami-Dade County Auditorium
  16. 16 ski trip: utah or colorado
  17. 17 Los Angeles day trips
  18. 18 Trip Report 17 day photo trip report - upstate New York
  19. 19 Seattle in July: Warwick or Maxwell hotel
  20. 20 Mt. Hood or Columbia Gorge for family reunion?
  21. 21 Orlando hotels
  22. 22 Sunday morning in southern Florida
  23. 23 Hop On Hop Off Bus Atlanta
  24. 24 Trip Report Photos from Texas Christmas Road Trip
  25. 25 Driving to Daytona Beach from New Jersey
View next 25 » Back to the top