If I only discovered one new thing during the past month, I would have wanted it to be the suddenly invaluable fall foliage map from smokymountains.com. I now reference it every other day. It doesn't really change much, but I still visit frequently. Here's what our leaves are doing right now--October 18th, 2023.


The key on the lower right tells us that we're already seeing changes in color. But, then again, you can look out at the window and see that. The main value of this map is what it tells us WILL happen. And we will get to that as soon as I tell you about a perfect destination for fall foliage viewing. It's Breaks Interstate Park, also known as the "Grand Canyon of the South." I totally get the nickname.

I also understand the desire to take a drone, but if you do, you need to understand Breaks Interstate Park's regulations regarding such devices. Permission is required to use a drone at the park because there are areas dedicated to camping and lodging, and those areas, obviously, are off limits.

Breaks Interstate Park--located in both Kentucky and Virginia--is actually NOT a hidden gem to hiking enthusiasts. Oh, it's a gem, alright, but it's not hidden. Hikers know where the best trails are, and they flock to Breaks for the experience.

And don't forget about the prime ziplining opportunities:

But as we approach the middle of autumn, it just might be the perfect photo opportunity you're looking for. And that brings us back to the fall foliage map. There's a cursor on that map that you can drag all the way to November 20th, when the last vestiges of fall color will be present in the U.S.

If you're wanting to visit Breaks Interstate Park for that reason, you're best bet will be the weekend before Halloween:


Drive safely. Dress warmly. Take lots of pictures. And please share. I may not have a chance to get there in time, and I'll need to live vicariously through your photos, if you don't mind.

[SOURCE: WLKY-Louisville]

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