Fall Foliage Reports

Fall has officially arrived, and soon we will be fascinated with the beautiful colors that the season brings.  Keep a LIVE LOOK on the fall foliage from the Upstate with our Table Rock webcam, and check out our fall foliage reports posted each Wednesday.

Fall Foliage Report, Nov. 20, 2013

Like a sunset that is vibrant one moment then vanishes away the next, so it seems is the fate of fall foliage. The few oak trees that remain color cloaked are a rich russet or lighter brown but over the next several months, the hardwoods will stand in dull dormancy as the forest floor will quietly rest tucked in by fallen leaves. Before the fresh spring tones of green return to the mountains, the best views of color will be in the sky as the low angle of the winter sun will provide some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Thanks for tuning in this fall and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall Foliage Report, Nov. 12, 2013

The peak of fall foliage started to fade about as quickly as it arrived. Any visible green now belongs mostly to the pines and other evergreens along the mountain slopes. Many leaves are falling every day with trees at the higher levels revealing only gray branches.  The remaining colors will gradually disappear until the lower elevations are last to shed their attractive mantle. Currently, various shades of brown, pale-yellow, and burgundy are in place. Combine that with the blast of cold air settling in this week and the great outdoors will be feeling and looking more like Thanksgiving and perhaps Christmas. There may be a final gasp of nice leaf displays in some places this coming weekend but the year and the season is fast coming to a close.

Fall Foliage Report, Nov. 6, 2013

The fall foliage reached its peak along SC Highway 11 over the past weekend. Some trees are retaining green leaves, but the overall view is dominated by autumn colors. From here on out there may be a few individual flashy trees showing red, orange, or gold leaves here and there but as things keep changing, the forest scene will reveal a canopy that is less bright, yet richer with a variety of brown, russet, tan, and deeper reds on display. Post-peak conditions will linger at least for a week or two. Oaks will hold their leaves the longest, but soon the highest peaks will start looking bare once again as winter looms closer. There are still some good views and good times to be had along roads, on trails, and in parks as our extended fall season in the south keeps giving us a little more to enjoy.

Fall Foliage Report, Oct. 30, 2013

The fall colors are gaining momentum at all elevations in the mountains thanks in part to the big chill down over several days during the end of last week. With some milder weather on tap through the rest of this week, conditions will be ripe for getting out for some viewing. If the foliage is not at peak by the coming weekend, it should be very close. Maples and hickories are changing more and the oaks should be joining the ranks before long. Higher elevations are especially looking good for observing. If rain or wind doesn’t spoil the party, there should be some lingering leaves to enjoy at least up to the second weekend in November.

Fall Foliage Report, Oct. 23, 2013

The foliage in the upstate has been stubborn to give up the green but the highest elevations have started to show hints of more color change. The cold air moving in this week may be just the timely nudge needed to spur things on towards the best viewing. Peak color will probably not arrive by this coming weekend but the pace should be picking up real soon. It has gotten to the stage now where you can notice the daily progress in the anticipated fall leaf display. 


Fall Foliage Report, Oct. 16, 2013

At the midpoint of the month, the broad view of the mountains still shows green leaves monopolizing the canopy foliage; however, looking at the forest edges along roads, lakes and fields reveals that color is starting to change more. Yellows are increasing mainly on the tulip poplars and darker reds are in place on some of the understory trees. The brighter displays of red, yellow, and orange in the maples and the golden yellow of the hickories are not in place yet. Some colder nights would help, but it may be another 10 days before we have major color changes to observe. Although peak is a little ways off, you can’t go wrong getting out to enjoy the autumn weather and scenery for the rest of the month and into early November.

Fall Foliage Report, Oct. 9, 2013

Not much has changed during the first full week of October on the fall foliage front. Most days have been mild and sunny, which is needed, but the overnight lows in the mountains have remained mostly in the mid 50’s so there hasn’t been any extra push by the weather to hasten color changes. The overall forest may be a slightly paler green, but it is only individual trees so far that are showing the first colors.

Besides the reds of dogwoods and sourwoods, more yellow is showing up in the larger tulip poplars. Tulip poplars are always one of the first trees to change color and begin to shed leaves. The outlook for temperatures does not show a big change over the next week but with daylight growing ever shorter, we may start to see more progress in the autumn color scene soon.

Fall Foliage Report, Oct. 2, 2013

As we enter into October, our thoughts turn to the fall foliage display that will arrive later in the month.  How will the record rainfall this past summer affect the leaf color this year?  Our well-watered trees may retain their leaves longer into the season but cool, fall weather will be more of a factor for getting brilliant foliage. The drier the weather and the more sunshine that occurs, the better autumn show we should have.

When the nights have chilly temps down into the 30’s but not freezing, that will help intensify the red pigments in maples and other trees bearing red leaves. Currently, the scene is looking very summer-like which is normal for the forest in early October. Dogwood and sourwood leaves are starting to show hints of red as the days continue to shorten. The peak of fall color in the mountains usually arrives by the last week of October and may linger into November.

We'd like to invite you to visit our State Parks Facebook Page and post your best photos of fall foliage across our parks.

Check out some of the best state parks to view fall color:

Caesars Head State Park
Chester State Park
Devils Fork State Park
Jones Gap State Park
Keowee-Toxaway State Park
Kings Mountain State Park
Musgrove Mill State Historic Site
Oconee State Park
Oconee Station State Historic Site
Paris Mountain State Park
Poinsett State Park
Table Rock State Park

Read more about color change and autumn here.