Peep some fall foliage via cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway
As we make our way into mid to late October, the visual evidence of the changing season is hard to ignore. For some, autumn is just a ‘shoulder season’ between summer and winter riding; but for others, autumn is what they look forward to all year. The beauty of the Southern Appalachian Mountains is only enhanced by the delicate palette Mother Nature pulls out during that fleeting moment in fall. Like she is sorry to take it all away come winter so she gives us one last fireworks show.
Even if you aren’t particularly enamored by the colors of seasonal transition, take advantage of the cool weather and low humidity by getting up into the higher elevations. The best, albeit not the easiest, way to do this is by taking a cycling tour on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Luckily, there is now a Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Guide app for iPhone and Android phones.
The best elevations for fall color likely will be in the 2,000-4,000 range, but even if you are looking down on it, the leaves will still be spectacular wherever you are. Just driving on the Parkway and stopping at the pullouts would get you an eyeful, but getting in the saddle to ride up is much more satisfying. Two of the best sections to ride at the southern end of the BRP are between Black Balsam and the Parkway’s highest point at Richland Balsam or the engineering marvel of the Linn Cove Viaduct coming out of Blowing Rock. Both provide sweeping panoramas and are less strenuous than other quad-busting sections.
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