Fall colors find the Cumberland Gap

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

It's the time of year to take in the great outdoors. Leaves are changing colors across the mountains, but one place provides a spectacular scene - The Cumberland Gap!

The greens of summer now are turning to yellows and reds.

"Visitation has been remarkable. Yesterday we have over 600 people just within the Visitor's Center itself," said Carol Borneman, Park Ranger.

Borneman said it is the busiest time of year for the park.

"We haven't had a vacation in two and a half years. We just wanted to come see something pretty," said Rick Mikel, visiting from Indiana.

Park rangers said there is a scientific reason the colors are more beautiful this year. It's because of the weather.

A dry summer means we will see more brilliant shades in the fall. They're colors that are always changing.

"It seems like almost hour by hour we are getting more of that artist's palette," said Borneman.

"The bright, bright red is good, but I like them all," said Mikel.

Rangers predict this season will be one of the best in a long time, and they hope people will be able to get out and see the leaves in person.

"If people are inside, get out. Immerse yourself in this beauty. It's unbelieveable," said Borneman.

Those at the park said skies were so clear over the weekend they were able to spot peaks of the Smokies in North Carolina.

The leaves should reach their peak colors in a week or so.

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