When you live in a two-season place like Florida or California, autumn colors seem like a privilege strictly reserved for East Coasters. Sometimes the only way to really know that it’s fall is by observing the latest shopping mall fashions! If you’ve never experienced a “real fall” and you have your own RV, there’s no reason to miss out on this once a year visual feast. Just pack up your gear and head across the country for a fall foliage RV road trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Fall Foliage RV Road Tripping in Appalachia
Many RVers have a New England fall foliage excursion on their bucket list but if you’re not into crowds you can skip it. Instead, consider a meandering journey down the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers equally beautiful scenery with more solitude, wide open spaces and open RV campsites. The best part is that you can take your time getting there; prime foliage viewing in this area begins a few weeks later than in the northeast. This allows you to extend your fall foliage RV road trip well into November, when other areas have already peaked.
Start your trip in Virginia at Shenandoah National Park and you’ll kick off your excursion with a 105-mile long, 300 square mile autumn showcase with three RV-friendly campgrounds to call home. If you’re looking for a more down-home, country feel, try taking a drive along the Crooked Road, Virginia’s music heritage trail. You’ll wind along country roads with lush fall canopies while enjoying authentic folk music that’s like nowhere else in America. Along the way, Virginia farmer’s markets and stands are stocked with autumn’s best produce and festivals celebrate the cooler days ahead.
Keep traveling south and catch the brilliant palette of North and South Carolina forests, where you’ll get many opportunities to enjoy the reds, oranges and yellows that blanket these gently rolling mountains. And last but not least you can conclude your journey in the hilly, treed mountains of North Georgia. These tall forests have such spectacular fall color that the Georgia state parks system even has a “Leaf Watch” website to showcase the best parks, viewing spots and other seasonal activities.
Before You Go to Appalachia
Mother Nature won’t make promises about when leaves will turn or which locations will have the best fall color. Do Internet searches for phrases like “Fall foliage report for (city name)” and you’ll find current information on places you want to visit. As you plan your fall foliage RV road trip destinations, keep an eye on the weather and remember that warm days and cool nights offer the greatest promise for colorful scenery. However if frost conditions occur, leaves will turn color faster so you’ll have to plan accordingly.
Something else to consider is that camping reservations are a good idea in the east. Despite the popularity of leaf peeping season, this is the time of year when many smaller RV parks shut down for the season. Always call ahead to the campgrounds you want to visit.
Finally, make sure your rig is prepared for changing seasonal conditions. From the air in your tires to the oil in your engine, don’t leave home without making sure your RV is ready because shoulder seasons like fall are unpredictable can hit RVers with any number of dramatic weather events. If the worst happens and you need help on the open road during harsh fall weather, having a Coach-Net Emergency Roadside Assistance plan in place gives you peace of mind wherever and whenever you travel off the beaten path.
About the Author:
Rene Agredano, a Coach-Net member since 2015, is a self-employed full-time RVer who enjoys writing, jewelry design and animal advocacy. Her adventures with a three-legged dog and husband Jim are chronicled at LiveWorkDream.com.