Want to feel as if you are walking through a watercolor painting? Ready to ride your bike through a forest of orange and red? If so, it’s time to head to the New River Gorge.
While the region is packed with visitors all summer, as the seasons begin to turn the crowds of every-day tourists turn to a different breed of nature lovers. The fall brings in those who have been around long enough to know the beauty of October in the Gorge. It is for those who happily brave chilly mornings to be surrounded by the vibrant fall colors of the West Virginia mountains. It’s for those who are ready to fall in love with the New River Gorge.
Vibrant Fall Foliage
One of the highlights of fall in West Virginia is the explosion of colors that blankets the landscape. As the days grow shorter and temperatures drop, the leaves undergo a magical transformation, turning hues of crimson, gold, and orange. From the majestic sugar maples to the fiery dogwoods and the grandeur of oak trees, West Virginia’s forests burst with vibrant foliage, creating a mesmerizing display that beckons photographers, nature enthusiasts, and leaf-peepers from near and far. Popular destinations such as the Canaan Valley, Blackwater Falls State Park, and the Monongahela National Forest offer breathtaking vistas and trails that wind through a kaleidoscope of autumn hues.
Scenic Drives and Byways
West Virginia’s picturesque landscapes and winding roads provide the perfect canvas for scenic drives during the fall season. The state boasts an array of scenic byways, offering panoramic views of rolling hills, river valleys, and mountain peaks blanketed in fall colors. The Highland Scenic Highway, a designated National Scenic Byway, provides awe-inspiring vistas of the Allegheny Highlands, while the Midland Trail offers a journey through charming small towns and breathtaking river views. The iconic Route 50, known as the George Washington Highway, traverses the state from east to west, treating travelers to captivating vistas along the way. These scenic drives allow visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility and beauty of West Virginia’s autumn landscape, creating unforgettable memories.
West Virginia’s abundant waterfalls take on an added enchantment during the fall season. As the leaves change colors, cascading water blends with the vibrant foliage, creating a picturesque scene of natural beauty. Blackwater Falls, located in Blackwater Falls State Park, is a prime example. Its amber-colored waters tumble over rocks, framed by the surrounding forest adorned in hues of red and gold. Other captivating waterfalls, such as Cathedral Falls, Elakala Falls, and Sandstone Falls, offer similar scenes of autumnal splendor. The combination of rushing water and the vibrant backdrop of fall foliage provides a captivating sight that awakens the senses and showcases the wonders of West Virginia’s natural landscapes.
Harvest Festivals and Local Delights
Fall in West Virginia is also a time for celebration, as communities come together to embrace the harvest season and showcase local traditions. Numerous harvest festivals and events take place throughout the state, offering visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich culture and flavors of West Virginia. From apple and pumpkin festivals to corn mazes and hayrides, these gatherings provide a glimpse into the state’s agricultural heritage and offer a chance to indulge in local delicacies such as apple cider, pumpkin pie, and freshly harvested produce. The warmth of community spirit, coupled with the colors and scents of fall, creates a festive atmosphere that adds to the overall charm of the season.
As nature’s brush paints the landscape with vibrant hues, West Virginia becomes a canvas of autumnal beauty. The breathtaking fall foliage, scenic drives, enchanting waterfalls, and vibrant harvest celebrations make West Virginia a destination that captures the essence of this magical season. Whether you’re exploring the winding roads, hiking through forests ablaze with color, or savoring local delicacies at harvest festivals, West Virginia in the fall offers an unforgettable experience that connects you with nature, ignites your senses, and leaves you with memories that will last a lifetime. So, embrace the beauty of fall and immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry that unfolds in the heart of West Virginia.
Activities to Do in the Fall
Sometimes simplicity is just what you are looking for, and when it comes to taking in the fall colors of the New River Gorge, it’s hard to beat a traditional hike to one of the canyon’s stunning overlooks. For views of the New River Gorge Bridge set against the vibrant backdrop of fall colors, try the Long Point Trail. Not only do you get one of the best views in the region, but the nearly 3-mile hike through the woods gives you a chance to take in the colors up close as well. Alternatively, choose the Endless Wall Trail for stunning cliff-top views overlooking the colors of the Gorge.
After the summer heat wanes but before the winter rains set in is the perfect time to hit the Gorge’s mountain biking trails. You can race through the single-track routes lined by trees that shroud you in colors or choose steep climbs with scenic overlooks where you can take a break from the burning muscles and enjoy the burnt orange valley below.
You can raft the New River Gorge in any season, but there is nothing quite like rafting through the canyon when the normally lush green foliage transforms to an array of bright reds, oranges, and golds. While the whitewater is as exciting as ever, you also have time to drift through calm pools and enjoy your surroundings.
Fall is well known as the best season for climbing in the New River Gorge—and not just because of the fall colors. The cool, crisp air allows climbers to enjoy routes that would leave them sweatsoaked if they were attempted during the region’s humid summers. Plus, the world-renown climbing destinations are surrounded by vibrant colors, putting a colorful spin on iconic climbing photos you can’t get in any other season.
Known for our Country Roads and Almost Heaven landscape, Country Roads Cabins is located just 7 miles from the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. This deluxe cabin resort is an aww-inspiring escape in the Blue Ridge Mountains, taking full advantage of the West Virginia countryside and wildlife. At Country Roads Cabins, you can kick back and relax in your private hot tub, hike along numerous trails throughout the New River Gorge, explore the land on horseback, take in the New River Gorge National Park by whitewater rafting on one of the worlds oldest rivers, celebrate a romantic getaway or whatever your heart desires.
As for accommodations, you can choose from 17 luxurious log cabin homes, 2 romantic yurt getaways, 2 aww-inspiring treehouses or you can experience glamping in one of our 2 brand new safari-style tents. The tents are fully outfitted with a king size bed, fully equipped kitchenette, gas grill, private hot tub and fire pit. From late April through early November, you can be surrounded by nature while reveling in every kind of comfort, including cell service and Wi-Fi, if feel the need to “plug in.” Each tent is also carefully appointed with hardwood laminate floors, fine linens, air conditioning and heat, plus a private, en suite master bathroom.