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A Defining Transition Line

This week's Color Report is the most in-depth coverage this season, as we climb from the Brevard Rd Entrance in Asheville (French Broad Overlook at 2100') to a viewpoint above Graveyard Fields (5800'). This section is hands down the most colorful right now, with full leaf out along the valley floor, leading up to a spectacular color display of deep greens, lime greens, budding flowers, and the even more impressive transition line between no buds and the dappling of spring colors. See circled are below.

Starting out at 2100' at the French Broad Overlook, you'll notice 90% or more of the trees have achieved leaf out and most of the colors are some range of green or yellow; pollen season has begun!

Keep driving up the Parkway and full leaf out continues till roughly 2900 - 3200', with Dogwoods and Service berry trees dappling the landscape with white, although at this elevation they are mostly green with little flower remaining.

Around 3000' we recommend looking out to your left and snagging a view of the valley below as new openings in the viewshed provide perfect examples of the greening up of the mountains.

Eventually you'll pass through a tunnel and come up on the Wash Creek Valley Overlook, which sits at 3435'. This is a great spot to pull over and notice the transition line that is beginning to form, especially noticeable as you look out across the valley and behind/back towards the tunnel.

Below is another example of the transition line, with the forest service road cutting in at 3200', while the ridgelines above and beyond remain bare as they sit above the 5000' mark. Mt Pisgah sits in the background.

Coming around the bend you'll see the Hominy Valley Overlook which sits at 3980' and this is when we really notice a dropoff in leaf coverage, with spotty spring colors taking over against a background of buds and bare sticks.

A little further up is a view that made us pull over, one that provides a perfect example of the greening up of the mountains, with a cove of green coverage sitting below Mt Pisgah.

Below is an example of where spring colors dominate while leaves continue their fight to leaf out and take over. This was taken at 4100' and shows the transition line where spring and winter colors are located, moving ever so slowly up the mountain over the next few weeks.

Mt. Pisgah at 5721' remains bare and stick season prevails in most locations above 5000' across the Southern Section. The Pisgah Inn and the store are open for the season!

Taken at Pounding Mill Overlook which sits at 4700', this overlook provides the best view of the Pisgah Inn and US 276 as it heads down to Brevard. Below this picture is the view just to the right of, showing Pink Beds and the transition line where the valley and foothills are duking it out.

Lastly we have a view of Graveyard Fields, Looking Glass Rock, and the overlook, showing little color but only the occasional service berry trees in white. This area will likely not turn over till early May.

For those chasing wildflowers, the best elevation seems to be in the 3600 - 4100' range, with trilliums doing quite well as of late.

We added three 360° views with this update one in the woods at 3600' showing the bright lime green colors found along Hwy 215, a second at Hominy Valley Overlook at 3980' and the third above Graveyard Fields at 5800'. Click here to check them out.

We'll stop here and circle back next week, with a focus on the Waterrock Knob section. Enjoy the spring-like weather this weekend and happy color chasing!


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