CHAPEL HILL – Fall has officially hit North Carolina and the mountains are changing their colors.

In Western North Carolina the leaves are changing colors once again and bringing people in to see them.  Director of sales at the Fairfield Inn in Elkin, Matthew Delano, says more people come to visit during this time of year.

“There’s a lot of people that come from all over just to go up and see Stone Mountain and Pilot Mountain and walk around and see the leaves changing colors, cause it is really nice from looking on the overlook and looking down,” Delano says.

The seasonal changing of colors brings people in not only to visit the state parks and the parkway, but also for the many festivals that follow.  Office manager at the Yadkinville Chamber of Commerce, Misty Matthews, says their pumpkin festival is one of many that coincides with the changing of the leaves.

“This is the season for festivals,” Matthews says, “so this weekend is the apple festival in Wilkes, and the next weekend is the Autumn leaves festival, which is a three day festival Mount Airy has – and from my understanding they get a lot of people from out of the area that come for the leaves and for the festival.”

This year the seasonal colors may bring fewer tourists to some of the most popular places. The Blue Ridge Parkway, a major attraction for tourists during the season, has many parts of it closed due to the government shut down.  Many visitors will not be able to see the Parkway, but still have several other great choices like Stone, Pilot, and Grandfather Mountain.

Although parts of Blue Ridge Parkway are closed during the government shutdown, all of the state parks will still be running and are free to the public.  NC Parks and Recreation spokesperson Charlie Peek says if people cannot make it up to the mountains during the color change, they can see pictures of all the parks online.

North Carolina state parks are doing weekly updates online that allow for people to see the change in the leaves and find information on the parks.  As the season continues the color change will move across the state and other parks will begin to post pictures.  For more information you visit their website by clicking here.