Leaves are shining bright in Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Leaves are shining bright in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Although we battled a lot of rain this summer, we can thank the wet weather for the abundance of color right now.

"When you've got a wet season like we had, the trees probably put on a few extra leaves and retain them longer," says Thom Benson, Communications Director at the Tennessee Aquarium. "Because when trees get stressed when it's hot and dry like it was the summer before, they start dropping leaves earlier. And then you have the drab colors."

He also says the more recent dry weather has added to the display.

"Warm, sunny afternoons like we're having today and those crisp, cool nights to really lock in those sugars and offset the process of the chlorophyll," explains Benson.

It's certainly impressed Mary Ann Gibson who's visiting from Knoxville, meeting family who drove from Nashville.

"Oh, yes. They were more brilliant, actually, when we got to Chattanooga that they were en route. All of us love the pretty leaves, don't we?," she says to her young great-niece, Elizabeth. "She's already said she loves the red ones best."

Benson's pleased that this year's colors have turned out better than last. Tickets for the River Gorge Explorer foliage cruises are going fast, including sell outs this Saturday.

For a rather secluded, quieter look at the beautiful fall foliage, make a few stops along River Canyon Road off Suck Creek Road in Hamilton County and you won't be disappointed. There are other great spots close to the city.

"Roberts Mill Road," says Benson. "Right along the Chattanooga Nature Center at the foot of Lookout Mountain's spectacular right now."

So whether it's on land or by water, take some time to catch the vivid colors that the scenic city has to offer.

"We're fortunate because we've got the elevation and a wonderful array of different types of trees," adds Benson. "So we really get a lot of spectacular color."

"We're so glad to be in Chattanooga," exclaims Gibson.

Benson also says that the colors are likely to begin fading by mid-November, so hurry to get your snapshots!

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