Fall Foliage Road Trip: W.Va. Routes 15 East and 20 North

Waterfalls Views & Serene Waterways

This week in Almost Heaven, more and more color is creeping across the state. While some spots with a higher elevation are past peak, finding color is easy in areas of the state with lower elevations. Grab your coat and mittens, because cool fall temperatures have finally arrived, and get ready to hit the road—exploring W.Va. Routes 15 East and 20 North.

Begin your road trip in Sutton, where you can stop to catch a glimpse of the sprawling Sutton Lake, which will begin approaching peak color in the coming days. Any anglers hitting the road should be sure to bring their fishing gear, as fall trout stockings are planned for the tailwaters of Sutton Lake. After getting your fill of lakeside views and fishing fun, stick around in Sutton long enough to learn the tale of a spooky (yet beloved) creature, as we approach the end of October.

Home to the storied Flatwoods Monster, this Braxton County town has preserved the folklore of this one-of-a-kind creature with great fanfare. Stop by the Flatwoods Monster Museum to learn more about the history of this red-faced monster and to grab a souvenir for the road. If you are enchanted by the lore of the Flatwoods monster, be sure to make a quick stop up the road in Flatwoods, where giant Monster-themed chairs await—the perfect photo op.

After you have had your fill of spooky folklore, head East on W.Va. Route 15 to connect to W.Va. Route 20 North, which will lead you to lush views at Holly River State Park. Along your scenic drive, don’t forget to take in the shifting color lining your country roads route.

Arrive at Holly River State Park, nestled within over 8,000 acres of dense forest. The second-largest state park, this forest scape is a peaceful retreat within the Mountian Lakes region of the state. If you have waterfall views on your mind, spend some time on the Reverie Trail which passes under Tecumseh Falls. Or try out Tramontane Trail which will take you alongside an old homestead and to high overlooks before meeting the hidden Mystic Falls.

There is no better way to enjoy the lush forest of Holly River State Park than with a cabin stay. Choose from the legacy cabins, each made from original stone and featuring a wood-burning fireplace. Or opt for a vacation cabin where you can find more of the luxuries of home.

After snapping your fall photos or enjoying a cozy stay, head to the unique town of Helvetia. Founded by Swiss and German immigrants in 1869, the community of Helvetia has preserved its traditional dance, food and holidays, making it a one-of-a-kind destination. Stop for a bite to eat at The Hütte Restaurant to get a taste of true Swiss-American foods or grab a block of Swiss cheese at the Swiss Roots country store.

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 October 20, 2021