October 28, 2007
Step outside and you'll find a quilt of colors around central Virginia. Shenandoah National Park officials say we're about in peak season for fall foliage.
"Peak at Shenandoah National Park is very hard to pick. We usually say that the peak comes around the second to third week of October, this year it's a little late. We were seeing some very warm days throughout October, even some warm nights," said Karen Beck-Herzog, of the Shenandoah National Park.
They say about 80% of leaves along the drive are showing their fall colors. And peak season is peaking peoples interest.
"Our area, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the east coast because our mountains are covered with trees we have way better leaf viewing than you would get in a lot of places," said Assistant Manager of Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Ted Dinwiddie.
Dinwiddie says that they see a lot people coming in wanting to know the best way to see fall leaves.
"If you park and walk out into the mountains you're going to enjoy them much more. You'll be part of it; you can actually get some better vistas and possibly avoid a lot of the crowds that will be associated with leaf season," he said.
And there will be crowds. Park officials say up to 300,000 people will visit the park in October, and visitors will bring in millions in tourism dollars.
If you miss peak season, you've still got a little time to head out and enjoy the fall colors.
"What they're then going to be able to do is experience the peak as it's actually creeping down the mountains or going down to the Shenandoah Valley, stopping at those overlooks and looking at the patchwork of color," said Beck-Herzog.
The Shenandoah National Park keeps a fall foliage report. They'll keep updating their reports until the leaves fall. They says that usually happens in mid-November.
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