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The Southern Section

Cherokee to Asheville

Along this 77 mile stretch you'll find the highest points along the Parkway, with the ability to pull right up to views at 6053' and hike up to 6400' along several points. You'll experience ideal weather during the summer and fall months, not exceeding the mid 70's above 5800'. This area is also the wettest in the Eastern US with annual precip total exceeding 90 - 95" across many locations, alongside micro climates not found anywhere in the Southeast; for example ridgelines above 6000' experience climate similar to Southeastern Canada.

Spring colors begin in late March - early April (the lowest elevations along this section are around 3100') and take till late May to fully green up, some years pushing into June. We experience a plethora of wildflower blooms from spring through summer and into fall, alongside annual showcases of rhododendron, rosebays, and blueberry patches that provide picking opportunities into August. Fall colors return around late September, mainly for the Hwy 215 and Upper Graveyard Fields sections, with peak color typically occurring regionwide from mid - late October, followed by a second peak season (mostly oaks) that extends into mid November. 

Inspiring color seasons and perfect weather aside, this section also offers numerous opportunities to relax, have an adventure, or simply disconnect from everything. Be sure to check out our Local Spots section for our favorites or reach out to be connected with one of our many local guides, specializing in wildflower walks, forest bathing, snorkeling sessions, picnics, and so much more. 

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Southern Map
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