Fall foliage brightest in southern West Virginia
CHARLESTON — The hills of southern West Virginia are showing off brilliant warm colors as the West Virginia Tourism Office releases its autumn forecast to help travelers enjoy peak leaf season.
The forecast, prepared with assistance from the West Virginia Division of Forestry, is the fourth in a series of fall foliage updates the Tourism Office will release over the next few weeks. Reports will include the percentage of color change across the state and suggested travel routes through peak areas.
“Weather conditions this year have set the stage for stunning fall color,” said Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. “Some parts of West Virginia are still two weeks away from peak color, so there’s still time to your Almost Heaven leaf-peeping adventure.”
Travelers are encouraged to share their favorite fall photos using #AlmostHeaven to help populate the Tourism Office’s live leaf map—available at WVtourism.com/fall.
“It has been so wonderful to see so many fall color photos come in from across the state. We’ve received pictures of our state’s most iconic landmarks, but also photos from family and friends who are enjoying responsible travel this season.”
Travelers visiting West Virginia to see fall color are encouraged to check the status of individual businesses before taking a trip. A statewide indoor face covering requirement is in effect and visitors are encouraged to maintain a safe social distance when traveling the state.
To access the foliage forecast and fall travel inspiration, visit WVtourism.com/fall.
Fall Foliage Update
With the exception of some of the Eastern Panhandle counties, the northern part of the state and the mountainous regions have peaked. Most of the remaining color is in southern West Virginia and the Parkersburg area. Areas with color at 70% or more include W.Va. 68 along the Ohio River toward Parkersburg; U.S. 19 in Summersville near the Gauley River National Recreation Area; and Wyoming County, where Twin Falls Resort State Park is located. The Fayette County portion of the New River Gorge is still slowly turning and not quite peak yet.
Featured Country Road: W.Va. Route 20
If you're in the southern part of the state this week, W.Va. Route 20 from Pipestem Resort State Park to Meadow Bridge is the perfect route for leaf peeping. The drive winds through numerous scenic areas including Bluestone State Park, the historic railroad town of Hinton, and the Sandstone Falls overlook on the New River National River.
Hinton is a great place to grab a bite to eat and take in some of West Virginia’s rich history. This remarkable Victorian-era railroad town has stunning buildings and architecture. The Market on Courthouse Square and Chestnut Revival both offer lighter fare, while Kirk’s serves up hearty, homestyle meals. Hinton also has cozy accommodations if you’re looking to spend the night in the area—Guest House Inn on Courthouse Square and Foxwood Inn Bed & Breakfast are traveler favorites.
Continue on to Sandstone Falls-- a wide, cascading series of river-wide falls that drop around 20 feet. Snap a picture and be on your way or go for a gentle hike on the nearby trails. Continue on to Meadow Bridge or take a detour to Lewisburg. Either way, your scenic drive in Almost Heaven will be one to remember.
As you travel down these fall-lined country roads, post and share photos using #AlmostHeaven.