West Virginia Experiencing Best Fall Colors of the Decade
Department of Tourism releases third fall foliage report and featured autumn hikes of 2022
Charleston, W.Va. – Colors are quickly changing throughout the Mountain State as the West Virginia Department of Tourism releases its third fall foliage update of the season. Both out-of-state visitors and West Virginia residents are encouraged to check out some of the nation’s best fall foliage before it’s too late.
“We are thrilled to be catching glimpses of peak color as Almost Heaven swiftly transforms before our eyes,” said West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “We’re in the midst of one of the most beautiful times of the year, and we are hearing from folks all over the state that this is the most beautiful color we’ve had in years. Make this the year that you get out and explore the Mountain State in fall!”
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.
A paradise of remarkable fall color spreads throughout Webster, Randolph and Upshur counties, all of which are expected to reach peak over the weekend and into next week. Visit the nearby Holly River State Park, Audra State Park and Kumbrabow State Forest to witness astonishing autumn woodland scenes on display. Color in Nicholas, Lewis, Clay and Braxton counties is estimated to currently be at 70% and will be nearing peak over the next week or two.
And it’s not too late for the higher elevations from last week’s report – Tucker and Pocahontas counties both still have stunning hues of reds, oranges and yellows.
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:
- Easy | 0.2 out and back | Randolph County
- This short and effortless stretch leads to the Bickle Knob Observation Tower, which can be climbed for unbeatable, panoramic fall views of the Monongahela National Forest. The drive to the trailhead includes dirt roads with breathtaking scenery on both sides.
- Moderate | 2.7 mile loop | Upshur County
- Famous to Audra State Park, this trail follows along the Middle Fork River and takes hikers beneath an impressive above-ground cave. Access to the river can be found off the trail, for those who desire to get closer to the water.
- Moderate | 4.8 mile out and back | Randolph County
- Part of the Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area, this secluded hike is the ideal way to escape the stress of everyday life and enjoy the great outdoors. The trail starts with a climb up to the junction with Shaver Mountain Trail before continuing down to Otter Creek.
- Moderate | 4.6 mile loop | Webster County
- Located in Holly River State Park, this trail crosses several small streams before arriving at the hidden gem of Tecumseh Falls. Best viewed after recent rainfall, these falls only require guests to hike a few steep inclines in order to reach a lovely rest.
- Moderate | 2.1 mile out and back | Randolph County
- This trek, within Kumbrabow State Forest, shows off an excellent view atop a rocky outcrop only half way up the trail. The path is specifically praised for being well maintained and well marked.
AllTrails and the West Virginia Department of Tourism have 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. 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/.
“It’s the perfect time to hit our trails amid a glowing autumn backdrop,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “As the third-most forested state, our forests and mountaintops are alive with hues of red, orange and yellow, creating beautiful views. We’re excited to be teaming up with AllTrails to help travelers discover and explore our incredible trails this fall.”
As you hike throughout the Mountain State, be sure to post all of your favorite fall views using #AlmostHeaven. The West Virginia Department of Tourism’s live leaf tracker will be updated daily, featuring 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.
To access high-res images and b-roll of fall foliage from the last week, 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.
This post was last updated on October 13, 2022