A range of elevations means multiple opportunities to see the leaves at their prime. Find a scenic country road and escape to your fall paradise in West Virginia. Explore these nine divine drives for a one-of-a-kind Almost Heaven autumn.
The Potomac Highlands region is a mecca for spots with incredible fall beauty. Follow the timber flanked roads on U.S. 48 and appreciate the charming mountain towns along U.S. 219 to Canaan Valley Resort State Park, Blackwater Falls State Park and the Monongahela National Forest, which all boast stunning fall foliage.
But that’s not all if you’re looking for some more jaw-dropping views this fall, visit the overlooks at Pase Point, Lindy Point, Table Rock, old Olsen Fire Tower or catch the changing colors of the beautiful blueberry bushes at Dolly Sods. The leaves in the Potomac Highlands change just in time for the Leaf Peepers Festival in the rural town of Davis, held annually the last full week of September.
Great time to hop in the car: Late September/ Early October
Drive along the Ohio River on scenic WV-Route 2
For a dazzling display of fall color, take a road trip to Wheeling, a quick one-hour drive outside of Pittsburgh. Once you get there, spend time exploring the gorgeous property of Oglebay Resort with its manicured grounds, bask in the stunning views of fall foliage at Grand Vue Park or walk along the Wheeling Heritage Trails and see just how beautiful “The Friendly City” is in the fall. Each spot will allow you to peep different types and colors of dazzling leaves.
For an even more fall-filled drive, take a short 30-minute drive along U.S. 30 and add a pitstop on your way from Pittsburgh. Take a picture at the World’s Largest Teapot in Chester and be sure to take a piece of world-famous Fiesta dinnerware home with you from the Homer Laughlin China Company factory and retail store in Newell.
Best time to go: Early October
The Mid-Ohio Valley is full of amazing spots to experience West Virginia’s fall foliage. Only a two and a half-hour drive along the U.S. Route 33 from Columbus, follow U.S. 50 to Parkersburg for a taste of fall in the mountains.
From Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park to North Bend State Park both parks will leave you in awe of the regions scenic beauty. You can also hike, bike or horseback ride the North Bend Rail Trail, which stretches 72-miles through 13 tunnels, rural countryside and several historic sites – the perfect fall experience.
Plan a trip: Mid-October
Mountaineer Country is home to one of the state’s most iconic leaf peeping spots, Coopers Rock State Forest. At Coopers Rock State Forests main overlook, you can view fall color as far as the eye can see. Or hike the Ravens Rock trail for about 1.5 miles to another overlook with amazing views and where you can snap some vibrant panoramic photos.
Take the gorgeous forested back roads on U.S. 119 into Morgantown on your way to more peak color destinations. Prickett’s Fort State Park, Valley Falls State Park and Tygart Lake State Park are all great leaf peeping spots as well.
Prime time to see the leaves: Mid-October
Explore this region and visit beautiful Stonewall Resort. This resort is situated within Stonewall Resort State Park and is surrounded by rolling mountains and tranquil lake waters. Stroll the lakes shoreline or lounge on the lakeside patio and take in the beauty of the fall foliage around you.
Or take U.S. 19 down to WV-Route 4 and head to Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park to catch the brilliant colors. This beautiful park located on the rim of the Gauley River Canyon is the perfect backdrop to any photo, especially in the fall.
Find the perfect fall moment: Mid-October
Venture a further south on U.S. 19 and experience the beautiful New River – Greenbrier Valley region in the fall. Here you can surround yourself with beautiful leaves and visit iconic spots at every corner.
The New River Gorge Bridge is the perfect backdrop to any photo or head to Grandview, which always provides stunning views. Visit Hawks Nest State Park and ride the aerial tramway for a close-up of the leaves and go up to the parks scenic overlook for a bird’s eye view of the New River Gorge National River. Babcock State Park is one of the most iconic fall spots thanks to its changing leaves and the Glade Creek Grist Mill.
Hit the road: Mid-Late October
The leaves in this region tend to change around late October and the colors never disappoint. Take a quick walk along the Carriage Trail for stunning view of the riverside capital city of Charleston and its leaves or stop by Kanawha State Forest a serene area perfect for hikers, bikers and everyone else to get their leaf fix.
Hop onto U.S. Route 60 and visit Huntington’s charming Ritter Park where you can stroll through the leaves and Beech Fork State Park in Barboursville is a great place to let out your inner child and jump in a pile of brilliant colored leaves.
Top opportunity for fall color: Late October
Take U.S. 119 further south and explore the gorgeous golden Hatfield-McCoy Mountains in the fall. With beautiful craggy mountains stunning leaves are everywhere in this region. Head to Chief Logan State Park or Cabwaylingo State Forest for some leaf peeping. Or have a more unique leaf peeping experience by hitting the Hatfield-McCoy Trails by ATV, UTV or dirt bike and riding through the awe-inspiring leaves that surround you.
Go on a fall excursion: Late October
Just a short one hour and a half drive outside of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park is the perfect backdrop to autumn with its picturesque streets, exhibits, museums and hiking trails. Bask in the fall foliage along the Potomac River on the way to West Virginia’s oldest town of Shepherdstown.
From there, you can take WV-Route 45 and Route 9 to Berkeley Springs, known for its healing thermal waters and one-of-a-kind spas. Located at the heart of the town, Berkeley Springs State Park offers open spring pools and channel for toe dabbling 24/7, historic Roman Bath House and mineral spa. Explore all 6,000 acres of neighboring Cacapon Resort State Park, which has a cozy lodge perfect for taking in the scenery and sipping hot apple cider.
Follow the leaves: Late October