Fall Foliage Road Trip: Midland Trail & Country Route 11

Iconic Views & Breathtaking Overlooks

This week in Almost Heaven, we are beginning to see vibrant color spread across the state. Lining our country roads, lush treelines are transforming into golden masterpieces. Brew up a cozy cup of hot cocoa and get ready to hit the road—starting on Midland Trail/U.S. Route 60, and heading to Country Route 11.

Begin your road trip in Ansted, heading straight to the well-loved Hawks Nest State Park along the Midland Trail/U.S. Route 60. As you make your way along the winding country road to the tip of the mountain, take a moment to soak up your surroundings. You are sure to catch a vibrant gradient of fall color as you reach higher and higher points of elevation.

Arrive at Hawks Nest State Park and take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air. Start your day on a high note by heading to the Hawks Nest Overlook, which can be found at the end of a short accessible paved pathway. From this vantage point, you will get a panoramic view of the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve as it carves its way through the surrounding gorge. After you enjoy this iconic view, spend some time exploring the 8 miles of trails that call this park home.

Don’t leave the New River area without heading down to Fayetteville for a stroll along the streets of this charming mountain town. Spend some time perusing the antique wonderland that is the Hobbit Hole or stop by Water Stone Outdoors to grab some adventuring gear. After a bit of shopping, stop by the magnificent Cathedral Cafe to snag a bite to eat or a cozy cup of joe. Fayetteville is the perfect spot to go leaf peeping as Reader’s Digest ranked this town as one of the 25 best places to spot fall foliage in America.

After an afternoon spent exploring historic Fayetteville, make the short 4-minute drive to Arrowhead Bike Farm. Here you can rent a mountain bike and take on their system of over 12 on-site trails or try your hand at the wider trail offerings in the local area. No matter your experience or skill level, finding the right path is always within reach. As the end of your exhilarating adventure draws near, head for a quick lunch at The Handle Bar + Kitchen, where you can find a variety of local craft brews and unique menu items to enjoy with a view.

Cap off your evening of adventure with a scenic drive along Country Route 11, heading towards Babcock State Park. At this lunch park, you can experience over 4,127 acres of breathtaking scenery—including the fall favorite Glade Creek Grist Mill. A fully functional replica of the original Cooper’s Mill which once stood in the same spot, the Glade Creek Grist Mill is one of the most photographed shoots in the state, and for very good reason.

After snapping your fall photos, head back onto Midland Trail/U.S. Route 60 towards Hico. Here you can rest your head in a cozy cabin, treehouse or yurt with Country Road Cabins. With a variety of lodging options, you are sure to find your perfect stay—so long as you book before they all fill up for the season!

Ready for even more fall color after this iconic route? Be sure to catch next week’s update by signing up to receive our Weekly Foliage Reports.

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This post was last updated on January 24, 2024