West Virginia Department of Tourism Releases Second Fall Foliage Update of the Year

Cooler temperatures welcome additional fall color

Charleston, W.Va. – The second week of October brings cooler temperatures and new fall color spreading into additional regions of the Mountain State as the West Virginia Department of Tourism releases its second fall foliage report of 2023. The higher elevations of the state are at peak conditions while rich hues have made their way into new areas of the state. 

We are excited to finally see autumn weather making its way into West Virginia, making it the ideal time to get out and chase fall foliage,” said West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “This truly is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Almost Heaven, so be sure to take advantage of the amazing views and unique activities while you can.”

Fall Foliage Update 

“We are seeing peak to past peak conditions along our higher elevations,” said Division of Forestry Director Jeremy Jones. “Folks should now be able to see nice colors along the Scenic Highway Route 250 over Cheat Mountain. The recent cooler weather should really kick things in gear throughout our lower elevations as well.” 

Featured Destinations & Activities 

Explore the Potomac Highlands region to catch fall color shining in all its splendor. Travel Corridor H US Route 48 to be tunneled by changing maples and gums. Visit Lost River State Park and take the two mile hike up the mountain to reach Cranny Crow Overlook, home to one of the newest Almost Heaven swings. Be rewarded with autumn views at nearly 3,000 feet above sea level, gazing upon the five counties below. 

Breathe in the fresh, crip air while strolling the charming mountain towns of Elkins and Buckhannon, lined with tasty restaurants and quaint, local shops. For a unique hike, stop by Audra State Park and trek Alum Creek and Cave Trail. This path leads guests under the impressive cliffside boardwalk along the Middle Fork River and is abundant with leaf-peeping vantage points along the way. Itching to take on a higher climb? Trek up to the Bickle Knob Observation tower to see the flaming fall color covering Randolph County from the treetops, peaking now at highest elevations. 

Shades of gold and copper can now be seen dotting Mountaineer Country, with more vibrant color soon to come. Adrenaline enthusiasts should check out the sandstone cliffs at Coopers Rock State Forest, perfect for climbing and bouldering amongst autumn sights. Those desiring a slower-paced adventure should pedal the Mon River Rail Trail, a serene route that extends 29 miles from Monogahela to Marion County.

Surround yourself with autumn solitude by casting a line in the tranquil waters of Valley Falls, predicted to be at 80% peak color. This series of four picturesque falls flow into the Tygart Valley River, making a fishing paradise for anglers of all kinds. Another stop on the West Virginia Waterfall Trail, a check-in here could earn you an exclusive prize.

AllTrails Partnership
The Department of Tourism has once again partnered with AllTrails, the most trusted and used outdoor platform in the world, to give away free six month memberships to AllTrails+ for dedicated fans of Almost Heaven. Sign up at wvtourism.com/alltrails-2023.

AllTrails is home to the most extensive collection of digital trail guides, with over 400,000 hiking, running, and mountain biking trails worldwide. The platform helps users find and explore new trails and connect them to routes best suited for their unique needs.

About the West Virginia Department of Tourism

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, 36 state parks, nine state forests and 3 rail trails. 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. 

Fall in West Virginia has already received national recognition this season, with mentions in top-tier publications such as National Geographic, Lonely Planet, Forbes, Reader’s Digest and more.

The West Virginia Department of Tourism’s live leaf tracker will be updated in real time, featuring user-generated photos from social media. To access the live leaf map, along with the latest updates, happenings and insider tips around fall in Almost Heaven, visit WVtourism.com/fall. For more information about West Virginia, visit WVtourism.com and start planning your trip today. 

To access high-res images, click here. Photo credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism. 


This post was last updated on October 11, 2023