Bays Mountain Park’s vibrant colors are on the way. The predicted peak time to view the fall colors is a little bit earlier this year, from Oct. 10 through Oct. 20.

Park visitors have many ways to view the leaves this fall, from barge rides to hiking and biking. Barge rides run daily Monday through Friday at 3 p.m. and on the weekends at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

“There are 110 tree species at Bays Mountain,” said Tom Bowman, retired Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium park director. “The differing pigment levels and combinations of all of these species produces the array of fall coloration we enjoy in our area.”

In addition to the regular barge rides, Bays Mountain will also be having a night barge ride on October 14 at 7:30 p.m. and a twilight barge ride on October 25 at 6:30 p.m. Reservations for barge rides can be made by calling the park.

Starting November 1, the park will move to winter hours. During winter hours the park grounds are open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Nature Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on Bays Mountain, or to reserve a spot on the barge ride, please visit or call 423-229-9447.

Bays Mountain Park in fall

Photo Credit: Rick Currie