Fall colors peaking, huge weekend ahead in the mountains

AVERY COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The color change is accelerating in the North Carolina mountains and this weekend is expected to be the busiest tourist weekend of the fall season.

"We're all booked up," said Troy Clark at the Pineola Inn. "This could be our busiest October ever."

The summer drought and recent rainfall has been the perfect recipe for brilliant colors, say experts. The only drawback lately has been windy conditions. That has knocked some leaves off but what remains is showing good color, according to most tourists.

"They are beautiful," said Haley Fornelli, an Appalachian State University student from Charlotte.

With the weather expected to remain dry through the weekend, big crowds are definitely expected.

In Banner Elk, the 38th annual Wooly Worm Festival is set for Saturday.

Cooler temperatures are expected. Daytime temperatures could just be in the 40's in some places and officials say it not only will look like fall, it will finally feel like it too.

People hoping to stay the night somewhere are urged to call ahead. Though most places say they are booked up, cancellations and openings are not unusual.

Either way, officials are hoping people will come up, even if just for a few hours.

"But you better bring your jacket " said Church.

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