When do they change?

According to the website Romantic Asheville and the Observer's own archives of leaf reports, here's when you typically can expect peak colors:

Oct. 2-11: 5,000 feet and higher; Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain, Beech Mountain, Craggy Gardens.

Oct. 10-18: 4,000 to 5,000 feet; Mount Pisgah, Highlands, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Oct. 16-25: 3,000 to 4,000 feet; Linville Gorge, Boone area, Pisgah National Forest.

Oct. 22-30: 2,000 to 3,000 feet; Asheville (including the Biltmore House), Hendersonville.

Oct. 26-Nov. 4: Foothills areas, including Chimney Rock, South Mountain State Park, Pilot Mountain State Park, Hanging Rock State Park, foothills areas in South Carolina north of Gaffney and Spartanburg.

Nov. 2-10: North Carolina Piedmont and upper part of South Carolina Piedmont, including Lake Norman, Morrow Mountain State Park, Uwharrie National Forest.