Fall Color scouting: Foothills Parkway (GSMNP) and Cherohala Skyway 10/13/2012

This is from Cherohala Skyway.. Compare to previous image in Scouting

Yesterday was a big loop of scouting. I started out on the Foothills Parkway around 6am, planning to shoot star trails to sunrise. But being completely enveloped in fog put an end to that thought. I waited out the fog and then started about around 815 down the parkway. Finally getting above the fog, found some nice areas to shoot. Color is coming along on the Parkway with several really nice maples turning along the road. I stopped at Look Rock to shoot an example of color back towards the Smokies.

Look Rock, Foothills Parkway

After Look Rock, I mounted my GoPro to my windshield and did a time-lapse of driving the “Dragon” (US Highway 129, 318 curves in 11 miles). You can see it here.

Then I drove down along the Tapaco Creek and toward the Cherohala Skyway. Along the way, I stopped at the Snowbird Picnic area and meet researchers from Univ of TN EEB dept sampling nettings from the river for one of the local darters. From there I headed up the Cherohala Skyway. The color was really nice, especially on the NC side, before Hooper Bald. At the top elevation, some of the trees were already bare. I especially liked the area between Hooper Cove and Spirit Ridge (from 3000 feet to just below 5000 feet). This area had the most color and should be peak this next week.

Cherohala Skyway around 3500 feet, NC Side.

Same area of Cherohala Skyway!

Fun with Multiple exposures!

The area around Bald River Falls is probably a week behind the upper area as it was more predominantly green. My friend, Bob Tatum, went to Obed WSR today and told me color looked great. I will be headed there tomorrow as I will be spending the rest of the week starting Tuesday in the Smokies. Stay tuned.

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