North Carolina

Take a peek at the fall colors starting to paint leaves in Western North Carolina

Leaves are starting to burst with color in the North Carolina mountains, and breathtaking photos give a glimpse into nature’s transformation.

This week, trees in the mountains were already displaying fall hues, as shown in pictures from natural areas.

Experts say bright foliage was spotted near Clingman’s Dome and other areas near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee.

“High elevation areas reveal mountain vistas with reds and oranges at the tops fading to greens in lower elevation areas,” Great Smoky Mountains posted Friday on Facebook.

A webcam inside the park offers another peak at the landscape.

Fall colors are dotting the mountainous area surrounding Purchase Knob, which has an elevation of more than 5,000 feet, according to a camera view available Friday.

Red, orange and yellow leaves were visible Friday from the Purchase Knob webcam in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. National Park Service

The annual display also took hold at other North Carolina landmarks.

Even trees at lower elevations are starting to pop with color near Grandfather Mountain, according to a photo posted to a Twitter page for the site roughly 18 miles southwest of Boone.

Also boasting changing leaves is the area near Chimney Rock, about 25 miles southeast of Asheville.

A photo posted on a Twitter page for the park shows fall colors peeking above a cascade as water travels down a rock face. Leaves at the bottom of the waterfall are still green, the picture shows.

“Peak color in our area is forecasted for early November,” according to the Chimney Rock post.

Typically, elevation determines the best times for visitors to see bright fall foliage, according to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which spans North Carolina and Virginia.

Though the peak time for fall colors in Western North Carolina is usually at the beginning of October, forecasters this year predicted a delay, The Charlotte Observer reported. Officials predicted “unseasonably high temperatures” and a “lack of rainfall” could shorten the time for viewing colorful leaves.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer