Fall view of Lake Glenville with rising mist

Photo by Maggie J

The end of fall in the mountains spells an end to the tourist season. But what the average visitor doesn’t realize are the many spectacular secrets that the cooler weather reveals. Crystal clear vistas and hidden views, fall and winter around Lake Glenville are a reward for the off season traveler.

Once such stunning cold weather sight is lake mist, also know as Steam Fog. This is more of a fall phenomena, but we also see it in the early days of winter. Lake Glenville is a deep lake, and water holds its temperature much longer than the air. So while a cold snap might have Jack Frost nipping at your nose, the lake will retain a lot of the heat it absorbed on warmer days. That cold air running into the warmer water caused condensation forming a fine mist over the water. The warmth of the water also transfers to the mist causing it to rise. Sometimes it forms into vertical wisps or columns. I will try to get a photo of that for next time.

As the air warms for the day, the fog dissipates from Lake Glenville leaving a smooth glassy surface to reflect the clear blue skies. There is a large temperature swing in the Southern Mountains, sometimes as much as 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit. We regularly have days in the 50 and even 60s throughout the winter. On those days, when the sun is brightly shining, we are happy we have stayed through the winter.