Vibrant foliage now starting to appear in the state’s higher elevations
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Fall color continues to spread into additional regions of the Mountain State and is reaching peak in highest elevations of the state as The West Virginia Department of Tourism releases its second fall foliage update of 2022. Although slightly behind the timeline initially projected, autumn has officially made its way into the rolling hills of West Virginia. West Virginians – and all those visiting the state — are encouraged to get out and explore the state’s country roads and world-renowned hikes this week to catch a glimpse of stunning fall colors.
“October has finally arrived which means that over the next couple of weeks, autumn color can now be found in a number of locations throughout Almost Heaven,” said West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “These featured hikes are the perfect way to spend time with family and friends while taking advantage of the stellar sights that come along with this seasonal transition.”
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, warm hues of yellow, orange and red are covering the higher elevations of Pocahontas County, while Tucker County foliage is at 80%. Both counties are expected to peak over the weekend and into next week. Be sure to keep an eye out for crimson dogwoods, bright yellow hickories and multi-colored maples. Reds and oranges in maples are beginning to dot the forests in the upper elevations of Webster and Randolph counties.
“The rain and winds we received last weekend due to Hurricane Ian has affected the fall foliage we’re now seeing,” said Division of Forestry Director, Tom Cover. “In some areas of the state, the rain did knock some of the leaves off the trees, but luckily in most of the state, it was a positive factor. We’re seeing very vibrant foliage in the eastern part of the state right now.”
- Moderate | 5.2 mile out and back | Tucker County
- This trail, positioned in Canaan Valley Resort State Park is considered to be a moderately challenging route. Oftentimes, hikers will take a shortcut and ride the scenic chairlift, then continue north to Bald Knob.
- Easy | 3.1 mile out and back | Pocahontas County
- Hike this easy, 3.1 mile out and back trail for a spectacular fall view at the end. Many consider this to be the area’s most visited spot for a good reason–– the views from the lookout point are unrivaled.
- Accessible | 0.6 mile loop | Pocahontas County
- Found in the Monongahela National Forest, the Cranberry Glades are unlike your typical Mountain State landscape. Here you’ll find a level boardwalk that takes you right through it all. This half-mile loop is an easy, yet beautiful walk that will take you through some of the most unique plant life in the state.
- Hard | 7.3 out and back | Tucker County
- An ideal trail for backpackers, this out and back trail is considered to be a challenging route. Traverse over boulders, through a river and you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the Lion’s Head rock formation and rolling hills as far as the eye can see.
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/.
“We welcome all travelers to visit West Virginia this fall season to experience the incredible hiking, leaf peeping opportunities and more,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “As the third-most forested state, our forests and mountaintops come alive with hues of red, orange and yellow, creating beautiful views. We’re excited to team up with AllTrails to help travelers discover and explore the incredible fall hiking trails we have.”
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 of fall foliage in these areas 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.