Get the shot: autumn in the mountains

There’s no better time than fall to capture epic Mountain State photos with amazing color!

The best part is, you don’t need a bunch of expensive equipment to capture amazing fall photos— in fact, you can get some awe-inspiring shots right on your smartphone.

Searching for the perfect spot? Start with these 3 awesome locations, and you’ll likely uncover more along the way!

1. Coopers Rock State Forest

Standing high above Cheat Canyon, the main overlook at Coopers Rock will show you fall color as far as the eye can see— and it’s an easy hike, too! If you want to find a bit more foliage, hike the Ravens Rock trail for about 1.5 miles to another overlook with stunning views, where you can snap some vibrant panoramic photos. With more than 20 hiking trails, you can surround yourself with some of the best fall color.

New River Gorge in the autumn, WV

2. New River Gorge

It’s hard to beat the New River Gorge any time of year, but the fall adds a bit more drama. There are several spots in and around the Gorge worth exploring for that perfect shot. The iconic New River Gorge Bridge always provides an amazing backdrop from several vantage points. One of the best spots is the overlook at Canyon Rim Visitor Center. There are quite a few steps to walk, but it’s so worth it.

Grandview always gives a good show, with its jaw-dropping views that guarantee some great shots. Don’t miss some of the nearby state parks, tool, like Hawks Nest and Babcock.

Autumn foliage surrounding Blackwater Falls, WV

3. Blackwater Canyon

Head to the Blackwater Canyon in Tucker County , which has loads of places to capture a good shot. Sure, you can climb high to catch some panoramic views of the canyon below, but some of our favorite shots are down at ground level. Blackwater Falls State Park is the perfect spot. Head down to the viewing platform to capture some shots of the falls surrounded by all the fall color.

Tips for catching great shots

While smartphones can take some pretty impressive shots on their own, here are a couple quick tips to make your photos really pop:

  • HDR (high dynamic range) can create some surreal-looking moments. While it doesn’t always work, it’s something fun to play with. If your camera doesn’t have this setting already, there are several apps that do!
  • Saturation is another great setting to really make fall colors pop. Again, many cameras have this built into settings, but there’s no shortage of apps.
  • If you use these features, just remember there’s no need to crank it to the max. A little goes a long way here, especially when dealing with fall color.

So there you go! Now you can head out into Wild, Wonderful West Virginia and capture fall color like a pro.

We’ll see ya in the mountains!

This post was last updated on March 16, 2022