These fall events are a little… out of the ordinary
Looking for some out-of-the-ordinary fun this fall?
Check out these 7 wild and weird fall events in the Mountain State:
1. Send a pumpkin on a 120ft+ plunge
Ever have the urge to chuck a pumpkin off an 11-story building? Yeah, apparently so do A LOT of other people.
Each year, hundreds of folks gather on WVU’s campus to send their pumpkins over the edge of the university’s Engineering Sciences Building.
So… what’s the catch? This isn’t all fun, games and flying pumpkins, after all. The objective is to design something to protect the pumpkin and make its landing a little less gory. Winners are judged by design and landing proximity to the target.
2. Treat your tastebuds to some roadkill
Thousands of foodies stop into the sleepy town of Marlinton for the Roadkill Cook-off. Even the Food Network, the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel have curved down the winding Pocahontas County roads to get a taste of this offbeat event.
Don’t worry, it’s not real roadkill, just wild game. Official cookoff rules state all entries must have, as their featured ingredient, an animal commonly found dead on the side of the road— think groundhog, opossum, deer, rabbit, bear, crow, squirrel, snake, etc.
In the past, this curious culinary competition has featured squirrel gravy, teriyaki-marinated bear and deer sausage. And you can sample all the entries yourself!
3. Fly over an 8-acre corn maze
Each fall, Cooper Family Farms in Milton cuts their 8-acre corn field into a themed maze.
Spend a beautiful fall day answering trivia questions to make your way through hundreds of stalks of corn. As Halloween nears, the maze turns into a heart-pounding haunt after dark. Barbaric beasts await you around every twist and turn.
You can grab a bird’s eye view of the maze (and maybe even map an escape route for the haunted trail) on a zipline course, which spans more than 1,500 feet!
4. Watch some of the world’s greatest daredevils
Every 3rd Saturday in October in Fayetteville, hundreds of people voluntarily jump from a nearly 900-foot-high bridge.
Don’t worry— only the most experienced BASE jumpers (you have to have at least 100 skydives first) have the opportunity to walk off a wooden platform balancing atop the 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge.
Onlookers during Bridge Day crowd around the rails watching jumpers and their bright parachutes turn to tiny dots as they glide towards the river below. For a more unique view, take a guided whitewater rafting trip, where you can watch a new jumper approach the ground about every 30 seconds.
5. Smash squash or swim in corn at Gritt’s Farm
Every fall, Gritt’s Farm in Buffalo turns into one giant playground. Pick your own pumpkin, wallow in a corn kernel pit, get lost in a maze or send apples soaring for the mountaintops in a slingshot or cannon.
When the fall fun is over, Gritt’s invites you to help them wrap up the season at their annual Pumpkin Destruction Day— where you can visit their pumpkin patch and smash, split, kick and bust as you please.
6. Brave one of the state’s spookiest locations
There’s no pretending here— Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is real-life creepy.
The abandoned psychiatric hospital goes all out for Halloween, including a family-friendly fall festival featuring food and craft vendors, karaoke competitions, games and a costume contest. You can even fight a zombie infestation in the farm’s graveyard! Show off your costume at The Asylum Ball to compete for prizes.
Looking for a spookier time? There are plenty of opportunities to venture into the asylum, including paranormal tours, flashlight tours and a haunted house, “Malice,” where “the veil between life and death is lifted.”
7. See a house covered in pumpkins
In the 1970s, Ric Griffith placed 5 pumpkins on his porch and called it a day. Since then, the number of pumpkins that adorn his Kenova home has grown to more than 3,000— and nope, we didn’t accidentally type an extra zero!
Every year, he and a cast of dedicated carvers turn pumpkins into festive jack-o-lanterns featuring zoo animals, popular sports’ teams, Presidents’ faces, kitchen utensils… you name it, and you can probably find it sitting on the window ledges, front steps or eaves of his Victorian-style home.
Grab a hot chocolate at one of the vendors parked in front of the Pumpkin House for C-K AutumnFest, and check out the hundreds of hand-carved masterpieces. You may even catch a glimpse of him still carving away!
This post was last updated on March 16, 2022