West Virginia continues to shine with the best fall color of the decade
Department of Tourism encourages visitors to share foliage videos to social media in exchange for exclusive merchandise
Charleston, W.Va. – Fall color continues to spread, bringing the most vibrant autumn shades of the decade into a number of travel regions across the Mountain State as the West Virginia Department of Tourism releases its fourth fall foliage update of the year. The Department of Tourism is asking West Virginians to share current foliage conditions to their social channels in an effort to help spread the word about the most incredible fall colors seen in years.
“The color we’re seeing across the state is truly incredible, and something we want to help show the world,” said West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “Our fall hiking promotion with AllTrails is off to an incredible start with more than 15,000 participants in just three weeks. We continue to see a growing number of folks planning their vacations – and now their hikes– based on what they see on social media. So, we are reaching out to all ask West Virginians for their help in sharing the beauty of our hiking trails draped in fall foliage by posting videos on their social media channels using #AlmostHeaven and #AllTrails. To kick things off, we are offering the first 500 people exclusive West Virginia tourism merchandise.”
Fall Foliage Update
These weekly updates, prepared in partnership with the West Virginia Division of Forestry, are released in an effort to help travelers plan the best hikes amongst peak color. This week, astonishing fall color has made its way into the New River-Greenbrier Valley region. The iconic Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park is a must-see as it shines with extra autumn splendor, peaking over the weekend and into the next. Raleigh and Mercer Counties are also currently displaying beautiful foliage, specifically at Grandview and Pipestem Resort State Park. Color in Fayette, Mercer and Raleigh Counties is estimated to be at 80% and will be nearing peak within the next week.
Marvelous pops of autumn hues can also be spotted in the Mountaineer Country region–– Marion, Monongalia, Taylor and Preston Counties have a kaleidoscope of colors splashed across the trees right now. For an up-close-and-personal look at this year’s exceptional foliage, visit Prickett’s Fort State Park, Coopers Rock State Forest and Tygart Lake State Park.
The Mountain Lakes region also offers great leaf peeping opportunities–– especially in Nicholas County, surrounding Summersville Lake, along with Braxton, Lewis and Clay Counties.
AllTrails Partnership + Video Request
AllTrails and the West Virginia Department of Tourism joined forces to offer adventure seekers a free, one-year AllTrails Pro membership to experience the Mountain State’s jaw-dropping fall colors, stunning vistas and uncrowded landscapes. The partnership has generated more than 15,000 participants in its first month alone. With AllTrails Pro, outdoor lovers will be able to take hiking to another level, with the ability to download offline maps, unlock more map details, bring trails to life with 3D maps, discover brand new trails and more. For more official information on the partnership, visit wvtourism.com/alltrails/.
As you hike throughout the Mountain State, be sure to post videos all of your favorite fall views using #AlmostHeaven and #AllTrails to be entered to win a West Virginia branded fanny pack–– the perfect accessory for all of your hikes. According to an Arrivia study, nearly one in three travelers look to social media when it comes to trip inspiration.
When you post current fall conditions for all to see, you’re encouraging travel to West Virginia and we want to reward the first 500 people who help lead this charge. Posts must come from public accounts to be considered for the giveaway.
How to win
- Be one of the first 500 people to post your video using #AlmostHeaven and #AllTrails.
- WV Tourism will send a direct message with a link to the form to enter.
- Participants fill out form.
- WV Tourism sends a fanny pack to your door!
To help guide travelers on their fall explorations, below is a list of trails where foliage is expected to reach peak color in the next week:
New River Greenbrier Valley
- Moderate | 0.7 mile out and back | Fayette County
- Located within Babcock State Park this is a short, yet rather step hike that features ladders to make catching fall views a bit easier. A rocky path along a cliff’s edge guides hikers to a gazebo, the perfect place to take a break immersed in autumn hues.
- Easy | 0.5 mile out and back | Summers County
- Sandstone Falls is a sight you won’t forget. Earning its title as the largest falls on the New River, these magnificent waters span 1500 ft. across the river and drop 10 to 25 ft. The Sandstone Falls boardwalk is a quarter-mile, wheelchair-accessible trail leading to observation decks with remarkable views of this landmark.
- Easy | 3.0 mile out and back | Raleigh County
- Located in the nation’s newest national park, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Grandview provides some of the park’s most dramatic scenery. Nestled into the rocky cliffs, the Main Overlook and Turkey Spur Overlook are located along the Grandview Rim Trail are the perfect locations to see the New River Gorge.
- Moderate | 3.7 mile loop | Mercer / Summers Counties
- This naturally beautiful trail gives hikers that best of both worlds with both woodland and lakeside views. You may even encounter wildlife like whitetail deer and turkeys.
- Easy | 3.9 mile out and back | Nicholas County
- This enjoyable walk begins with wooden terrain and shows peaks of Summersville Lake before reaching the gorgeous lookout at the end of the trail. Along with the trees dressed in fall color, guests will find Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel tunnels along the way.
- Moderate | 6.3 mile loop | Lewis County
- Considered to be a moderately challenging route, this serene trail on Stonewall Resort State Park’s property will take travelers through challenging landscapes with canopies of trees overhead.
- Easy | 5.0 mile out and back | Marion County
- Part of the Marion County Rail Trail system, this accessible path can be accessed at the parking lot of Prickett’s Fort State Park. The paved path and benches along the way make it effortless for families to get out and experience the natural beauty of the season.
- Easy | 19.4 mile point to point | Marion / Monongalia Counties
- Begin exploring this trail at Pricketts Fort State Park. With three miles of packed sand surface, this trail extends almost 15 miles into Monongalia County.
- Moderate | 2.5 mile out and back | Monongalia County
- Nestled within Coopers Rock State Forest, this is a favorite hike among residents and visitors alike. Be prepared for a rocky climb that pays off with reaching the iconic rock that stands 1,000 feet above the Cheat River below, especially remarkable in the fall.
- Easy | 2.0 mile out and back | Taylor County
- Visit Tygart Lake State Park for this stunning stroll along the lake. Popular for running, this path is well-maintained but still provides a remote and peaceful fall getaway.
To access high-res images of current fall foliage conditions and images from past years, click here. Photo credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism.
About the West Virginia Department of Tourism
The West Virginia Department of Tourism promotes West Virginia as a leading four-season travel destination and top state to live, work and retire. Known as the Mountain State, West Virginia is one of the most scenic states in the United States and home to thousands of acres of parks and public lands, including America’s newest national park and 45 state parks and forests. In addition to its majestic mountains and rolling hills, West Virginia is full of rich historic sites, enchanting art galleries, charming towns and an immense sense of belonging found only in its heaven-like landscapes.
Within the past year, West Virginia has received many prestigious recognitions from top-tier national publications for being a must-see destination:
- Frommer’s – Best Places to Go in the U.S. in 2022
- Condé Nast Traveler – Best Places to go in 2022
- USA Today – 10 Best Places to go with Kids in 2022
- Lonely Planet – Top Travel Region to Visit in 2022
- CNN – 22 of the USA’s most underrated destinations
This post was last updated on October 19, 2022