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Fall Foliage! Ride the Rails

Oct 7 2014

by Catherine Hamrick

There is something holy about Appalachia. On “the third day,” God separated the land from the seas. I imagine his fist crashing into the ground to create the Grand Canyon. But for our southern mountains, he pressed his thumbprint into hollows to push up the peaks.

In summer, the chain rolls green, purple, and blue, misting mysteriously in the distance. As warm weather gives way to cool days, tree canopies flame crimson, copper, gold, and yellow. Witness the glory by train.

Two scenic routes typically make the top 10. Hop aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. From its historic depot in Blue Ridge, Georgia, the train winds its way to Copper Hill, Tennessee, and back. Blue Ridge is worth a linger; it’s the “antiques capital” of the Peach State.

Catch a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, which starts in the heart of Bryson City, North Carolina, and cuts its way across the western reaches of the state.

When ice sheeted the continent almost 2 million years ago, animals sought refuge in the Great Smoky Mountains. It also became a haven for plant species. When you gaze upon the mountains, a miracle stretches before you—more native trees than in any region of comparable size in the country.

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Map it! The U.S Forest Service tracks fall colors by state and forest. A quick click will take you to the closest color drive-by.

Credit:

Fall colors courtesy of Fran Trudeau, http://www.flickr.com/photos/papa-t/8116823983/

My blog, Random Storyteller, is a revel in reflections, quirky characters, memory gems, and intriguing places—often with a dash of humor.

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Catherine Hamrick View More Blog Posts from this Author

After a few years as a copywriter for the Southern Living Advertising Department, editor and writer Catherine Hamrick learned her craft in the magazine and book divisions of media giants Time Inc. and Meredith Corporation. She taught writing, literature, public speaking, and business communication at the university level. As a freelancer, Catherine has tackled "almost every topic but porn and physics" and has managed editorial projects or co-authored branded books for imprints such as Southern Living, Oxmoor House, Meredith Books, Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, Country Home, Midwest Living, The Home Depot, Ortho, and Lark Publishing. Certified in social media marketing, she coaches students and professionals in writing resumes, cover letters, and online profiles. She is also a ghostwriter—that is, a professional keeper of secrets. Connect @ChamrickWriter or drop by her blogs: Random Storyteller (https://randomstoryteller.com) and Catherine Hamrick: Writer, Editor, Social Media Human (https://catherinehamrick.com).

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