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Autumn falls into color at Grandfather Mountain

As the Blue Ridge Mountains begin to burst with fall color, Grandfather Mountain invites leaf-lookers to see the brilliant change.

Grandfather Mountain is home to myriad species of plants and hardwood trees that range from pumpkin-colored beech trees to blood-red sourwoods and rusty red oaks.

“I believe we’re looking at a good fall color season this year,” said Jesse Pope, executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Linville nature preserve and travel attraction. “The drought hasn’t caused leaves to prematurely brown, which is always a concern in dry years, and the color that is starting to appear is looking really vibrant.”

One way leaf-lookers can enjoy fall foliage this season is Grandfather’s guided walk series, “The Colors of Grandfather,” offered on weekends Oct. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23.

“The Colors of Grandfather” will visit various locations around Grandfather Mountain to showcase a spectacular contrast of autumn hues. These guided walks, led by members of Grandfather’s naturalist staff, give guests an opportunity to learn more about color change and explore the species of plants and trees native to Grandfather Mountain.

Participants will become more familiar with tree identification and will be able to ask questions about the annual color-changing phenomenon.

The programs typically begin at 1 p.m. and are included with regular admission. For more information about “The Colors of Grandfather,” call 828-733-4326, or visit www.grandfather.com.

In addition to the programs offered inside the park in October, fresh fall color photos are posted daily throughout the month on the mountain’s website and social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 468-7325, or visit www.grandfather.com to plan a trip.

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