A final Thursday of October is coming in sunny and mild. Mostly clear skies should persist atop the mountains today with relatively comfortable temps. Mid 30s to lower 50s is the expected range for today and tonight. Winds will be lighter as well, a good break after some strong gusts brought a few trees down on trails and roads yesterday. Kudos to the NPS maintenance crews for mopping it up promptly. Tomorrow and early Saturday look pleasant for some late autumn leaf ramblings before the rain chances return.
If you’re still hoping to catch some colors in the Smokies, about the best that remains is below 3,500 feet. Above that there is a slim range of brown varieties still clinging to their twig tips, and then it’s bare trees prepped for the inevitable arrival of winter. By Halloween, any leaf peeping left to be had might just be relegated to the lower fringes of the park boundary and gateway communities. Drives along the Cherokee Orchard and Roaring Fork roads are tantalizing, but take note that the NPS have temporarily closed a few paths in the vicinity (Twin Creeks and Gatlinburg trails) due to increased bear activity. This time of year is when bears actively forage for nuts and berries to tide them through the long winter months. Please respect the bears and all other wildlife by keeping a safe distance and not clogging up traffic patterns along park roadways.
Have a great day.