Our fall foliage season begins in October in the higher mountain elevations of Old Rag Mountain and moves down the mountain at the rate of about 100 feet per day. This means that the difference between the top of the mountain and the valley is about 1 month. Therefore plan your visits accordingly. If you want to see the leaves from Skyland Drive of the Shenandoah National Park then plan on a trip in the beginning weeks of October. If you want to see the leaves from a valley drive, then plan on a trip in the beginning weeks of November.
These dates also change as a function of the weather. If cold weather occurs early, the turning of the leaves is advanced. If the weather is wet and warm, the turning of the leaves is delayed. Our hickory trees surrounding Spirit Dancer Lodge often turn a bright yellow early along with our red maple trees.