Our 2023 Almost Heaven Fall Bucket List
As the summer months come to a close, fall opens up some of the best weather in Almost Heaven. One day spent outside in a fall West Virginia day will make you wish that the mountainous foliage, crisp air and pumpkin spice lattes were all not in such a hurry to leave. Catch it all while you’re in the Mountain State with the help of our 2023 fall bucket list.
Crunch Some Leaves
Coopers Rock State Forest
Bruceton Mills, WV
For a multitude of activities, including hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing, camping and more, Coopers Rock State Forest
will certainly deliver. Fall is the perfect time of the year to take a picture of the oranges, reds and yellows that paint the mountains. Access to the forest is easy as it’s located just outside of downtown Morgantown
and within Mountaineer Country
Dolly Sods Wilderness
With more than 17,300 acres, Dolly Sods Wilderness
provides a stunning scenery with elevation changes of more than 2,000 feet. This region is located within the Monongahela National Forest
and is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Dolly Sods can get chilly with elevations surpassing 4,700 feet in some spots, so be sure to pack a jacket.
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
Come explore more than 70,000 acres at the nation’s 63rd national park
. The New River Gorge
area has many hiking trails suited for amateur and experienced hikers alike, such as the Long Point Trail,
which reveals a breathtaking view of the 876-foot-tall New River Gorge Bridge
. You can also hop on the New River for world-class whitewater rafting and even do a catwalk Bridge Walk
across the bridge. Come to Fayetteville’s
very own Bridge Day
on October 21 as the New River Gorge Bridge is closed down for local vendors, and there are even professional jumpers who leap off the bridge and try to land on a target below. Come see for yourself why major publications like AFAR
and Southern Living
recognized the New River Gorge as a great destination to visit this fall.
All Railroads Lead Home
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Travel back in time with a classic train excursion at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
. Cass is a small town that has unparalleled views of a vast wilderness area and arranges train rides that continue through October. Stay overnight at a company house, and check out the company store and Cass Historical Museum
to see how untouched this charming town has remained since its early days.
Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad
Book a full or half-day trip at the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad for a train excursion that showcases some of West Virginia’s most beautiful vistas. Your journey starts at Wappocomo Station, next to a charming homestead near grand mountain landscapes. You will see historical farms, American bald eagles and the famous “Trough” area on your train ride. You can even opt for a premium meal during your journey through Hampshire County.
Flavors of Fall
isn’t your typical coffee shop. On top of the expected fall-themed drinks, you can enjoy farm-fresh salads, wraps, gourmet soups and many other specialty items. You can even stop by on Taco Tuesdays or come during Happy Hour for discounted drafts. The Joe is another reason for you to explore Fairmont
An Appalachian staple in Kanawha County, 1010 Bridge Restaurant & Catering
has a menu that’s inspired by locally sourced ingredients. You can expect dishes that capture Charleston
‘s best seasonal flavors, such as the favorite cast-iron seared “1010 cut,” and a wide variety of gourmet seafood and chicken. Don’t forget to leave some room for their seasonal cheesecake and homemade ice cream.
When you step inside this old cathedral, you will find a kitchen with dining tables and chairs instead of a sanctuary with pews and a pulpit. Experience a one-of-a-kind meal at Cathedral Cafe
in Fayetteville. This artsy hangout spot is famous for its homemade breakfast, soups, wraps and desserts. Tag your friends along, find a table and enjoy everything that Cathedral Cafe has to offer.
Putting the “Fall” in Waterfalls
Gauley Bridge, WV
Imagine one of the tallest, most scenic waterfalls in Almost Heaven surrounded by fall colors. At about 60 feet tall, Cathedral Falls makes a splash with its multi-tiered cascades. Access is easy as you can pull off Route 60 into a parking area in the small town of Gauley Bridge
. Get up close and dip your toes into the cool fall waters. Find this and more great falls on the West Virginia Waterfall Trail
Looking to kick up some dirt and leaves? Take on more than 1,000 miles broken up by ten systems of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails
spanning southern West Virginia. There are trails for beginners and experienced off-roaders alike. This ATV playground is famous for its adventures, and you can experience it for yourself the moment you unload your trailer.
ACE Adventure Resort
Oak Hill, WV
Nestled into 1,500 wooded acres within proximity to the New River Gorge National Park, ACE Adventure Resort
makes fall rafting easy. If you’re a seasoned whitewater rafter looking for a challenge, plan a trip to the Gauley River between Sept. 8 and Oct. 22 for Gauley Season. Bring all your friends and hop on a raft for the experience of a lifetime.
Grand Vue Zipline
In the charming town of Moundsville
, the epic zipline at Grand Vue
is a fan favorite. The zip will guide you 2,500 feet down the line at 60 mph with a 300-foot drop in the process. You will be amazed by the bird’s-eye view of the fall foliage.
With a rich history in hospitality and golf, Oglebay
is a staple in the Northern Panhandle
of Almost Heaven. In addition to the 258 lodging rooms and 54 cottages, you can enjoy more than 2,000 acres of this public park’s beautiful landscape. The annual Oglebayfest fall celebration from oct. 6 to Oct. 8 features regional foods and a wide display of handcrafted items for purchase.
Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins
Choose from one of 20 riverside cabin rentals near the Seneca Rocks-Spruce Knob National Recreation Area. Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins
in Grant County
is an ideal base camp for finding the perfect cabin to relax at after a day full of adventures. They have an equipped kitchen, TV/DVD with Dish satellite, telephone, Wi-Fi, a deck, outdoor hot tub, central air and heat, gas fireplace and much more.
WV State Parks
Finding a replenishing retreat in Almost Heaven is made easy – thanks to 36 West Virginia State Parks
. There is no shortage of heated old-school log cabins, refurbished park lodges, tent sites, RV lots or luxurious glamping locations. You may find that perfect spot outside to gaze at the dark skies.
North Fork Mountain Inn
The North Fork Mountain inn is a log cabin inn that features 10 rooms equipped with king or queen size beds, private bathrooms and even fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs for some. Get your feet moving on the hiking trails in the Monongehala National Forest. You can also enjoy forkfuls of flavor from the inn’s organic, farm-to-table foods – made by the site’s award-winning chef.
Find more fall inspiration with the help of our free West Virginia Vacation Guide.
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This post was last updated on September 26, 2023