Every autumn, the changing colors of the leaves turn Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains into an incredible combination of fall colors.
The horizon is decorated with the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows that dot the ridgeline of the mountains that surround the Roanoke Valley.
It’s a scene that attracts visitors from around the world who take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy activities like a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike the Appalachian Trail, or paddle along the Upper James River Water Trail. You can also explore the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest, a fantastic spot for hiking, biking, and bird watching.
This 2016 Fall Color Schedule will help you plan your next visit to Virginia’s Blue Ridge and take advantage of the best times to see fall foliage in the region.
Peak Color Dates: October 10-25
According to information from the Virginia Department of Forestry and WDBJ7 Weather, peak fall foliage in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is expected to take place between October 15-25. Due to its higher elevation, the best time for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia’s Blue Ridge will be October 10-20.
The higher elevations in the region will see the earliest changes in colors, such as the Blue Ridge Parkway and communities surrounding the Roanoke Valley.
The deep red colors will be seen on Blackgum, Dogwood and Sourwood trees, while Ash and Poplar trees offer the bright yellow hues. Leaves of the Oak trees range from russet to maroon, and the Red Maple trees will provide a combination of yellow and maroon leaves. You’ll also see beautiful orange color from Beech and Sassafras trees.
Along with the world-famous Blue Ridge Parkway, there are numerous other routes in Virginia’s Blue Ridge that offer a chance to enjoy some of the region’s charming small towns and countryside while taking in the spectacular fall colors. Here are some other options to check out for a fun fall road trip:
- Route 311 from Salem to New Castle
- Route 11 from Roanoke to Natural Bridge
- Route 122 from Rocky Mount to Bedford
- U.S. 220 from Daleville to Eagle Rock
- U.S. 221 from Roanoke to Floyd
The video below was filmed last year on a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Fall Foliage Resources
- Virginia Department of Forestry
- Fall Foliage Report - 1-800-424-LOVE
- Blue Ridge Parkway Information Line - (828) 298-0398 (press ‘3’)
- Fall Foliage Maps - The Weather Channel