Buying a home is one of the most significant investments that you will ever make. Like most good things, finding the perfect home comes with a lot of work. From your initial search online to your home tour and finally closing, there are many difficult decisions to make along the way. The bottom line is that the entire home buying process can be very stressful, especially when it comes to finding the right mortgage broker and loan for your new home. Since market conditions and mortgage programs change frequently, you have a lot riding on your broker's ability to provide quick and accurate financial advice. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or own several residential properties, you need a mortgage broker in Valley Falls, SC, who can educate you on mortgage rates and provide trustworthy guidance to help you make an informed decision.
My name is Dan Crance - Valley Falls's most trusted mortgage loan officer with more than 30 years in the mortgage industry. I bring unparalleled insight and decades of experience into your home loan process. If you're looking for a new home loan, are interested in refinancing your current mortgage, or need information regarding FHA, VA, or other types of loans, Dan Crance is Your Mortgage Man.
Unlike some mortgage loan officers in Valley Falls, my primary goal is to help you make the right mortgage choice for you and your family. Mortgage lenders have a horrible reputation for turning over clients quickly to expedite cash flow and make the most money possible. While some mortgage brokers come off as pushy and impatient, I encourage my clients to take as much time as they need to ask questions and review their mortgage agreements. I'm here to help answer those questions and provide you with easy-to-understand advice so that you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice. I could say that I strive to provide service that exceeds your expectations, but I'd rather show you. In the end, I want you to leave feeling confident in the loan you've selected, as well as in your choice of broker.
Clients choose my mortgage company because I truly care about helping them navigate the often-confusing landscape of the mortgage process. I am fiercely dedicated to my clients and make every effort to provide them with trustworthy advice and an open line of communication.
In my business, I work for two different customers. On one hand, I have the buyer: the person entrusting me with the responsibility of guiding them through one of the most important decisions ever. Serving homebuyers is not a task that I take lightly. I work with them daily to help them through the process and provide timely updates and news on their mortgage status. On the other hand, I have the realtor: the person who works with my client to find their dream home. Since their commission is in my hands, working with realtors is also a very important task. I update these agents on the status of their customers weekly. Only when I take care of both parties can I say my job as a mortgage loan officer is complete.
As a mortgage broker with more than 30 years of experience, I pledge to give you the highest level of customer service while providing you with the most competitive loan products available. That way, you can buy the home of your dreams without second-guessing your decision.
At Classic Home Mortgage, our team works diligently to close on time without stress or hassle. Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or are buying your new home in Valley Falls, we understand how much stress is involved. Our goal is to help take that stress off of your plate by walking you through every step of the home loan process. Because every one of our clients is different, we examine each loan with fresh eyes and a personalized approach, to find you the options and programs you need.
With over 30 years as a mortgage professional in Valley Falls, Dan Crance will help you choose the home loan, interest rate, term options, and payment plans that fit your unique situation.
30-Year Loan - This loan is often considered the most secure option to choose. With a 30-year loan, you can lock in a low payment amount and rest easy knowing your rate won't change.
FHA Loan - If you're not able to make a large down payment, an FHA loan could be the right choice for you. With an FHA loan, many of our clients have successfully purchased a home with less than 4% down.
VA Loan - This loan is reserved for military veterans and active-duty men and women. Those who qualify may be able to purchase a home with no down payment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
Because home mortgage rates in the U.S. have been so low over the last year, many current homeowners are opting to refinance their home loans. Simply put, refinancing is replacing your existing mortgage with a different mortgage under new terms. Homeowners who refinance their homes enjoy lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and even turn their home's equity into cash. If you're interested in refinancing your home, it all begins with a call to your mortgage broker in Valley Falls, SC - Dan Crance.
Refinancing from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage might seem counterproductive on the surface because your monthly payment usually goes up. However, interest rates on 15-year mortgages are lower. And when you shave off years of your previous mortgage, you will pay less interest over time. These savings can be very beneficial if you are not taking the mortgage interest deduction on your tax returns.
FHA loans are notorious for paying premiums for the life of the loan. Mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans can cost borrowers as much as $1,050 a year for every $100k borrowed. The only way to get rid of mortgage insurance premiums is to refinance to a new loan that the Federal Housing Authority does not back.
Sometimes, borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages refinance so they can switch to a fixed rate, which lets them lock in an interest rate. Doing so is beneficial for some homeowners who like to know exactly how much their monthly payment is each month. Conversely, some homeowners with fixed rates prefer to refinance to an adjustable-rate mortgage. Homeowners often go this route if they plan on selling in a few years and don't mind risking a higher rate if their plans fall through.
Finding the right loan can be a difficult proposition, even if you have been through the process before. This is especially true since mortgage rates and market conditions change frequently. If you're like most of my clients, you probably have questions about interest rates, refinancing options, and a litany of other topics. To help alleviate some of your stress, here are just a few common questions with answers so that you can better educate yourself as we work our way to securing your loan.
By Kristin FoxSeptember is here bringing with it the crisp, cool days of fall and the beginnings of the colorful splendor of the fall foliage. Due to the extreme variations in elevation, the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina are host to one of the longest and most colorful fall leaf seasons.Predicting when the fall colors will be at their peak is always a topic of discussion at this time of the year. Beginning in the highest elevations of Western North Carolina, the fall colors may begin to appear as early as late...
By Kristin Fox
September is here bringing with it the crisp, cool days of fall and the beginnings of the colorful splendor of the fall foliage. Due to the extreme variations in elevation, the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina are host to one of the longest and most colorful fall leaf seasons.
Predicting when the fall colors will be at their peak is always a topic of discussion at this time of the year. Beginning in the highest elevations of Western North Carolina, the fall colors may begin to appear as early as late September and continue to present themselves in the lower elevations into early November.
To help make this fall season’s predictions, visitors and locals can use the recently released 2022 Fall Color Peak Map released by the Appalachian State University Department of Biology. The map conceived by Howard Neufeld and Michael Denslow, who also is responsible for creating the map graphic, gives an estimation of the timing of fall color peaks for the various regions of North Carolina.
This year’s map has added two new features, towns and scenic roads, to the mountain section of the fall color map to help people with travel plans while visiting the North Carolina mountains during the fall season.
The Appalachian State map differs from most other such fall foliage maps because it combines the effects of both elevation and latitude on fall color, whereas most other maps simply use elevation alone. Since there really is not a simple formula for predicting fall color, the map is only an approximation of when the leaves will be at their peak.
According to Neufeld and Denslow, they constructed the map assuming the fall color would start earlier at higher elevations and then figured that for each 1,000′ increase in elevation, peak fall colors would occur about one week earlier, with the exception of those areas near the coast, where the elevation was divided into 500′ sections.
For the latitude effect, the team used data from published papers suggesting that each degree of latitude north is equivalent to going up in elevation by about 200 m (656′). This means that if you were to compare 3,000′ down in Murphy with 3,000′ in northern Ashe County (which are about 2.5 degrees apart), it would be as if you were really at 4,640′ in Ashe County, at least fall color peak-wise.
In other words, the same elevation in the north is cooler than the same elevation in the south, which causes the vegetation to differ. The resultant cooler temperatures mean that peak fall colors will come earlier to those same elevations in the north than in the south.
The Fall Color Peak Map can be viewed at https://biology.appstate.edu/fall-colors/fall-color-map-north-carolina.
Leaf color varies from year to year, from elevation to elevation and even by the direction the mountainside is facing, all affecting the leaves changing their colors. In addition, to make it more challenging to predict the peak, the depth of the color is determined by other complex factors including the type of plant, amount of rainfall and temperature.
The leaves of the mountains will remain green as long as they are producing chlorophyll, the pigment needed to convert sunlight into glucose. As the days get shorter during October, most of the mountain foliage will change its color, as the leaves’ chlorophyll production slows to a standstill, producing beautiful fall colors.
Fall Color Time and Points of Interest in elevations:
September 25 – October 2: Beginning this month, the mountains will begin to see the first bursts of color in the mountains in the higher elevations of over 6,000 feet. Located off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Graveyard Fields and Rough Ridge are two areas in this elevation range that will begin to exhibit the early colors of fall.
October 2-9: The first week in October will be the peak time for areas above 5,000 feet including the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Asheville and Cherokee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The mountains surrounding Waynesville and Cashiers will peak including Whiteside Mountain with the Shadow of the Bear. Other areas to visit include Clingmans Dome, Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell and Waterrock Knob.
October 9-16: October’s second week is predicted to be the peak time for elevations from 4,000 to 5,000 feet. This elevation includes all Blue Ridge Parkway locations and the majority of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as Highlands, Boone and Blowing Rock areas. A ride through the gorge along US Route 64 from Franklin to Highlands offers a beautiful ride to enjoy the colors and waterfalls along the way.
October 16-23: The peak time for the lower elevations from 3,000 to 4,000 is expected during the third week of October. Places included in these lower elevations include Pisgah National Forest including Sliding Rock, Looking Glass Falls, Dill Falls and Wildcat Falls. Other areas included in this elevation are Linville Gorge, Nantahala Gorge and Cataloochee Valley. A trip to the smaller towns of Cashiers, Andrews and Maggie Valley would be the perfect destination to enjoy the fall foliage. This would also be a great time to visit the popular hiking area located in the Joyce Kilmer National Forest near Robbinsville.
October 23-30: The final week of October is predicted to be the peak time for elevations from 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Points of interests included in this elevation include Asheville, Brevard, Waynesville, Cherokee, and Bryson City as well as Dupont State Forest, Biltmore Estate and Cades Cove.
October 30-November 6: The end of the 2022 leaf season will reach its peak in the remaining elevations including Chimney Rock, Lake Lure and the lower elevation mountains. Lake Chatuge in Haysville or a trip on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad will offer a final chance to enjoy the autumn hues of fall.
This fall, many travelers will visit the mountains of Western North Carolina to see the beautiful fall foliage and colors. While predicting the peak of the fall season can difficult due to several variables, the good news is that mother nature’s schedule will change very little and will follow her normal schedule, once again giving us the stunning fall colors that can be enjoyed in all the elevations of the mountains.
Leaves begin changing color at higher elevations, and the color change works its way down in elevation. This is something you’ll want to factor in, when on the Parkway, as you’ll generally be viewing elevations below you.
Many road and bridge projects are planned this year in Spartanburg County by state and county transportation departments.Spartanburg County projectsFunded projects on county-maintained roads this year include:? Intersection improvements at 4th Street/Hanging Rock and Valley Falls roads in Boiling Springs; Lightwood Knott and South Hammett Roads at Reidville Road; Willis Road at U.S. 29; and the installation of a traffic signal on S.C. 290 at Draexlmaier in Duncan.Also, the county will continue to ...
Many road and bridge projects are planned this year in Spartanburg County by state and county transportation departments.
Funded projects on county-maintained roads this year include:
? Intersection improvements at 4th Street/Hanging Rock and Valley Falls roads in Boiling Springs; Lightwood Knott and South Hammett Roads at Reidville Road; Willis Road at U.S. 29; and the installation of a traffic signal on S.C. 290 at Draexlmaier in Duncan.
Also, the county will continue to resurface roads, replace and repair bridges and large culverts on county-owned roads.
Projects planned on county-maintained bridges and culvert replacements include:
? Calvary Road Bridge, Miller Town Road Bridge, Gate Road Bridge, Rabbit Moffit Road Bridge, Reidville Sharon Road Bridge, Beardon Road Bridge, Waspnest Road Bridge, Frey Road Bridge, and Settles Road Bridge.
Spartanburg County Public Works Director Travis Brown said county road projects such as improvements in Boiling Springs near Highway 9 are often done in tandem with state Transportation Department projects.
At the recent Spartanburg County Transportation Committee, comprised of state lawmakers who represent all or parts of Spartanburg County, these new projects were approved:
? Highway 14 East paving; widening of Robinson Road from Fulmer Drive to Highway 290; paving of Sloan Road/Mill Gin Road, from Jordan Road to Mt. Lebanon Road; paving of Shiloh Church Road, from Highway 358 to Wasp Nest Road; paving of Westmoreland Road in Greer; paving of East Church and Savannah streets, Tumbler Rock Road and Pebble Court in Cowpens; Edwards Lane in Duncan.
Also, Woods Chapel and Victor Hill Road intersection project; and curb, gutter and storm drainage improvements to Preston Street in Spartanburg.
S.C. Department of Transportation projects planned in Spartanburg County this year include:
? Lyman Traffic Triangle, $6.5 million. Construction is expected to start this fall. Improvements to main intersection areas in the town of Lyman: U.S. 29 at Pine Ridge Road; S.C. 358/Holly Springs Road at Pine Ridge Road; S.C. 129 at Holly Springs Road and U.S 29. at S.C. 292. Nearby in Lyman, left turn lanes on U.S. 29 at Pine Ridge Road will be lengthened and left turn lanes added on Pine Ridge Road.
? Chesnee Highway and Old Post Road intersection. A traffic light will be installed, and a right turn lane added on eastbound Chesnee Highway, as well as left turn lanes on all four legs of the intersection.
? Old Post Road and Hyatt Street intersection. A traffic light will be installed and the intersection will be reconfigured to allow for through traffic to and from Interstate 85 along Hyatt Street, construction of a right turn lane on eastbound Old Post Road, and a left turn lane added on northbound Hyatt Street.
? Farmington Road will be extended a short distance to align with Old Post Road after the Old Post Road/Hyatt Street intersection is modified. The project is needed due to anticipated growth in the Gaffney area and the corridor’s proximity to both I-85 and the Gaffney Premium Outlets.
? Country Club Road corridor. The existing corridor is primarily a two-lane roadway that connects the City of Spartanburg at Union Street and South Pine Street to Glendale. The $6 million project is near the trailhead of the Mary Black Rail Trail and trails near Glendale Shoals and is expected to start this spring. The road will be widened, drainage improved and safety upgrades at key intersections for a multi-use pathway.
? A roundabout at S.C. 11 and Paris Bridge Road.
Planned paving and widening projects included in DOT's 10-year plan in Spartanburg County include:
? Holly Springs Road (SC 358), 3.3 miles; Bryant Road, 1.15 miles; Southgate Drive; 0.35 miles; Brice Road, 1 mile; Old Georgia Road, 2.65 miles; Lawson Road, 1.68 miles; Freeman Farm Road, 0.33 miles; Walnut Grove Road, 1.69 miles; Greenpond Road, 3.5 miles; S.C. Highway 101, 11.3 miles; S.C. 14 (East Rutherford Street), 1.45 miles; S.C. Highway 14 East, 0.54 miles; S.C. Highway 417, 2.3 miles.
? Also, Waddell Road, 1.83 miles; Fairfield Road, 0.9 miles; Fairfield Street, 0.51 miles; West Georgia Road, 2.69 miles; West Georgia Street, 0.89 miles; S.C. 292 (Inman Road), 2.59 miles; S.C. 292 (Lyman Road), 2.61 miles; South Pine Street, 0.52 miles; U.S. Highway 176 Bypass, 2.93 miles; S.C. Highway 14 West, 3.7 miles; S.C. Highway 14 (West Rutherford Street), 0.86 miles; S.C. Highway 56, 22.73 miles.
Meanwhile, state lawmakers from Spartanburg County are allocated state funds to designate for road projects in their districts.
Is there a road or project in Spartanburg County you want us to check on? Email Bob Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Carolina is a US state located on the southeast coast of the country and is shaped like an inverted triangle. The state is bordered by North Carolina to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the East, and Georgia to the southwest. It is affectionately referred to by the nickname The Palmetto State, because of the many palmetto trees, which are the official state tree. Travelers planning a visit to South Carolina are likely to find them...
South Carolina is a US state located on the southeast coast of the country and is shaped like an inverted triangle. The state is bordered by North Carolina to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the East, and Georgia to the southwest. It is affectionately referred to by the nickname The Palmetto State, because of the many palmetto trees, which are the official state tree. Travelers planning a visit to South Carolina are likely to find themselves flying into Charleston, but beyond this historic city, there is much to explore. See more of the Palmetto State by embarking on an epic road trip with these most scenic route options to choose from!
Ideal Destinations For A 3-Day Weekend In South CarolinaMoreover, housing over five million people, the state is known for its southern hospitality and vibrant culture, which is sure to make any trip here wonderful.
The route from Charleston to Hilton Head Island is approximately 98 miles and is a beautiful road trip option with coastal views and photo-worthy scenery. Travelers can stop along the way to enjoy peaceful beaches in Hunting Island State Park or spread out a blanket for a picnic at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Before arriving at Hilton Head Island, you might want to book a night in Beaufort, South Carolina, which is a hidden gem of the Lowcountry.
The drive from North Myrtle Beach to Georgetown, South Carolina, is approximately 58 miles and offers scenic coastal views along US-17. This beautiful road trip option starts with relaxation and tranquility in the vacation town of North Myrtle Beach and ends in the state’s third-oldest city, founded in 1729. The drive is never dull, with many seafood restaurants and beaches to stop at in Garden City, Litchfield by the Sea, and Pawley's Island. Plan to spend an evening in Myrtle Beach proper to enjoy the restaurants on the boardwalk and promenade, such as Banditos Cantina or Art Burger Sushi Bar.
The Edisto Island National Scenic Byway is a 17-mile, two-lane road that makes for a lovely afternoon drive through the Palmetto State. The byway runs through the southernmost portion of SC 174, providing scenic views of the Lowcountry. More than 50% of Edisto Island’s land area is protected, making it a haven for endangered species and plant life. Attractions along the way include several churches, the Dawhoo River Bridge (McKinley Washington Jr. Bridge), and the Edisto Mystery Tree.
The Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina marks an important site, the Battle of Kings Mountain, during the Revolutionary War in 1780. It’s located near Blacksburg, South Carolina, and is the starting point for a lovely road trip through the Palmetto State ending in Fair Play. The route is around 110 miles and passes through charming towns like Spartanburg, Valley Falls, and Greenville.
If you’re in South Carolina, the Oscar Wigington Scenic Byway is worth adding to your itinerary. This rewarding road trip is around 15 miles long and follows a winding, two-lane road through upstate South Carolina. You’ll drive along SC 107 through Sumter National Forest, with opportunities to stop at hiking trails, campsites, and waterfalls along the way. Walhalla Fish Hatchery, Moody Spring, and the Chattooga River are some of the most beautiful water attractions en route.
The Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway through South Carolina travels through the northwestern part of the state. The Blue Ridge Mountains are a highlight of the route, visible from the byway along with crystal-clear lakes and waterfalls. Along the byway, there are access points to more than 120 waterfalls and 150,000 acres of public land. This is a perfect road trip for outdoor enthusiasts who want to see the natural beauty of South Carolina. Points of interest to stop at include Caesar's Head State Park and Campbell's Covered Bridge.
The Ashley River Road is a worthwhile road trip for anyone visiting South Carolina. It is an 11-mile stretch of road on South Carolina Highway 61, which runs parallel to the Ashley River. The drive is scenic and has several points of interest to make stops at along the way. You will get to see the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Fort Bull Confederate Earthworks, Drayton Hall, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, and Middleton Place as part of this South Carolina road trip. Dramatic, old trees arching over the roadway add to the beauty.
Another must-drive route on the list of scenic byways in South Carolina is the Savannah River Scenic Byway. The byway is 110 miles long, running from south of Clarks Hill, north on South Carolina Highway 81. The landscape isn’t the only scenic part of this road trip; there are many beautiful towns to pass through along the way as well, including Clarks Hill, Modoc, Parksville, McCormick, and Willington. For natural beauty, stop at Hickory Knobb State Park and Lake Strom Thurmond Reservoir along the drive. On the Highway 28 Bypass, you’ll also want to grab a freshly baked pastry at the Swartzentruber's Bakery.
There are many routes for driving from Sheldon to Little River, South Carolina, but the most scenic option takes you right along the Atlantic Coast. The drive via US-17 is approximately 185 miles and can be completed in close to 3.5 hours when driving straight through. However, you’ll want to break up the drive over a few days to provide enough time to stop and enjoy attractions along the way. Spend a night in Myrtle Beach, a few days in Georgetown, and even stop in Charleston.
The drive from Florence to Hardeeville is one of the best road trips in South Carolina, taking you 162 miles via I-95. The route crosses Lake Marion, but that’s not the only beautiful scenery to witness on this cross-state drive. Attractions to see along the way to Hardeeville, which is near the border with Georgia, include Santee State Park and the Edisto Memorial Gardens in Orangeburg.
Go beyond the scenery of South Carolina by starting in the Northwest part of the state and venturing into neighboring North Carolina. The charming city of Asheville, North Carolina, is the final destination on this route, which spans approximately 62 miles via US-25 and I-26. Although you can drive the route in just over an hour with no stops, it is worth dedicating an entire day to the adventure to see some of the major attractions along the way. Sites to see include the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, the North Carolina Arboretum, and the Biltmore Inn.
South Carolina is a gorgeous state with many different landscapes, from the Lowcountry to the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Foothills, to explore. Road-tripping through South Carolina towards Georgia or North Carolina is a fun experience with many natural wonders and historic sites, no matter the route.
North Carolina is home to a number of roadside waterfalls that you can practically see from the highway. Two of them, Dry Falls and Looking Glass Falls are excellent, well-traveled examples. But not many people know that between Cherokee and Maggie Valley North Carolina, there’s a gorgeous pai...
North Carolina is home to a number of roadside waterfalls that you can practically see from the highway. Two of them, Dry Falls and Looking Glass Falls are excellent, well-traveled examples. But not many people know that between Cherokee and Maggie Valley North Carolina, there’s a gorgeous pair of waterfalls just off the highway that merge in a beautiful forested setting. Soco Falls is worth seeking out and here’s what you need to know:
This Easy, 0.3-Mile Trail Leads To Pearson's Falls, One Of North Carolina's Most Underrated Waterfalls
Hike The Green River Narrows Trail In North Carolina For A Scenic Waterfall And River Experience You Need
Hiking At Carter Falls In North Carolina Is Like Entering A Fairytale
Make a waterfall-chasing day of it when you visit Soco Falls and also hike the stairway to (seemingly) nowhere when you visit the nearby Mingo Falls! Have you been to Maggie Valley North Carolina? Share your favorite places with a comment. There’s another waterfall hike in North Carolina that you’re sure to adore too. Of course, for finding the best hiking trails in the area check out the many extra features you get with AllTrails+.
Tori Jane | July 30, 2022
What are some of the best hiking trails with waterfalls in North Carolina?
Some of the best hiking trails with waterfalls in North Carolina include:
North Carolina is a hiker’s dream come true, especially if those hikers have an affinity for waterfalls. As it turns out, there are some truly wonderful hiking trails with waterfalls in North Carolina, and we have too many favorites to mention, though a few do tend to stick out above the rest in terms of awesomeness. Among our favorite picks for the best waterfall hikes in North Carolina are stunning crown jewels like the hike to Lower Cascade Falls at Hanging Rock State Park. You access it via the short and sweet Lower Cascades Trail, and it’s astonishing up close. Another preferred waterfall trail in North Carolina is the Crabtree Falls Loop Trail, which you’ll find leads you to Crabtree Falls, one of our favorite waterfalls in North Carolina.
Where is Soco Falls in North Carolina?
Soco Falls in North Carolina is a stunning natural wonder, unlike any other. It isn’t just a single waterfall there to take your breath away – it's a double waterfall! These splendid cascades can be located in Maggie Valley, between the valley and the Cherokee Indiana Reservation. You’ll find a short trail – just about a half-mile long – that leads you from the parking area to the falls. They are a sight and a half to behold if you ask us!
What are some of the best easy hikes in North Carolina?
Some of the best easy hikes in North Carolina include:
With so many amazing natural wonders in North Carolina, we’re blessed with tons of hiking trails to explore them all, many of which are on the easier side. So, which easy hikes in North Carolina are the best ones to start with? We happen to have a few favorites! If you’re a fan of scenic views, embark upon the Jomeokee Trail on Pilot Mountain. It’s not even very long, coming in at just under one mile in length, but the views are worth it! We also love the hike up the Cloudland Trail on Roan Mountain – it's also got to-die-for views! There is no better way to enjoy those amazing views than by taking a weekend getaway in a cozy luxury cabin in Banner Elk, NC.
The North Carolina hills are about to be alive with color, and forecasters have released their projections for when the shades of red, yellow and orange will be their most intense.If you plan a trip to the mountains, know that tens of thousands of people come to the region each fall in pursuit of “peak” color, which also means peak traffic, especially along the Blue Ridge Parkway.Arriving a few days before or after the projected peak for a particular elevation — and going on a Tuesday instead of a Saturday &md...
The North Carolina hills are about to be alive with color, and forecasters have released their projections for when the shades of red, yellow and orange will be their most intense.
If you plan a trip to the mountains, know that tens of thousands of people come to the region each fall in pursuit of “peak” color, which also means peak traffic, especially along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Arriving a few days before or after the projected peak for a particular elevation — and going on a Tuesday instead of a Saturday — allows you to see essentially nature’s same masterpiece, but it’s easier to find parking spots at the overlooks and there will be fewer strangers in the margins of your photos.
Maples, beech, birch and other deciduous trees in the N.C. mountains show their colors from late September through early November every year, with the peak of color happening first at the highest elevations and cascading to lower elevations over the next several weeks.
Blue Ridge Parkway biologists say colors peak at slightly different times from year to year because of complex environmental factors and the trees’ genetics. Colors are best in years when autumn days are cool and sunny, and night temperatures stay above freezing.
The most colorful autumns usually follow summers when the mountains have had ideal rainfall — enough but not too much.
Unusually cold temperatures in early fall usually result in a subdued color palate, biologists say.
Here’s a breakdown of peak color forecasts by elevation for this year, offered by the N.C. High Country Host, based in Blowing Rock:
? A drive along any of the 252 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway through North Carolina will be dazzling. From the overlooks, drivers often can see a carpet of color stretching out over thousands of feet in elevation. (There are some ongoing closures on the parkway for maintenance and repairs that require detours, described here, but those can be fun.)
To see the peak in late September:
? Visit Mount Mitchell State Park and hike to the observation deck. The highest peak in the Eastern U.S. can be shrouded in fog even when the surrounding area is under blue skies, but the drive to and from the park offers a rich display in late September. Check current conditions at Mount Mitchell through the N.C. High Peaks Trail Association’s weather station.
? Go to Grandfather Mountain – the private attraction, adjacent to the state park – and visit the mile-high swinging bridge for a panoramic view of the changing leaves on the mountaintops.
In the first half of October:
? When leaves are peaking in the 4,000- and 5,000-foot range, have a picnic and take a hike at Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, about a half-hour north of Boone and about 10 minutes from the town of West Jefferson.
? Visit Howard’s Knob, a small Watauga County park overlooking the town of Boone, which also has picnic tables and walking paths. It’s a 10-minute drive from downtown. Note that it closes for the year on Oct. 20.
In the second half of October:
? Leaves will be gorgeous around Julian Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with its scenic lake and friendly hiking trails, as well as the adjacent Moses Cone Memorial Park, where the textile magnate’s 20-room mountain home is once again open to the public. Inside the manor is a gift shop of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
Autumn is festival season in the mountains, with events that coincide with some of the best fall color, including:
? Cherokee Heritage Festival in Hayesville
? Art in the Park, Blowing Rock
? New River Festival, Todd
? Wooly Worm Festival, Banner Elk
? Autumn at Oz and the Mile-High Kite Festival, both in Beech Mountain
? Antlers & Acorns, Boone
? Valle Country Faire, Valle Crucis
? West Jefferson Antiques Fair, West Jefferson
? Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, Asheville
Or if you want to see how the colors are looking in the area where you plan to travel, the Blue Ridge Parkway has a list of web cam links that will give you a glimpse.
This story was originally published September 1, 2023, 3:46 PM.