West Virginia Fall Foliage

Autumn Colors: Best Places to See Fall Foliage in West Virginia

As summer ends, West Virginia becomes a stunning showcase of fall foliage. The Appalachian mountains dazzle with crimson, amber, and gold. It’s the perfect time to plan your visit to the Mountain State and enjoy the leaf peeping.

This year, West Virginia’s forests are set to amaze visitors. The Monongahela National Forest’s colors peak within a six-week period. This starts in late September at high altitudes and ends early November. It’s the ideal time to see West Virginia‘s beauty.

Wondering where to find the best fall foliage in West Virginia? The state’s scenic drives and state parks provide perfect viewing spots. Are you ready to explore the treasures that turn West Virginia into a leaf peeping paradise?

Key Takeaways

  • Experience the vibrant West Virginia fall foliage on scenic drives through the Appalachian mountains
  • West Virginia’s forests are expected to provide a stunning display of autumn colors this year
  • West Virginia State Parks are the perfect locations to see some of the best fall foliage colors
  • The current season is one of the best times to visit West Virginia to witness the gorgeous color change
  • Discover the hidden gems that make West Virginia a leaf peeping paradise

Introduction to West Virginia Fall Foliage

As summer turns to fall, West Virginia’s state parks light up with the colors of autumn. From late September to early October, the state’s peaks and valleys are painted in bright crimson, amber, and gold. This is the peak leaf peeping time, when the leaves show off their finest colors.

Timing and Duration of Fall Colors

The fall foliage season in West Virginia runs for about six weeks, starting at the high elevations in late September. The show ends near the first week of November. This period is when the state is at its most beautiful. It’s a great time to see West Virginia and its natural wonders.

Importance of Elevation on Leaf Color Change

Elevation plays a big role in West Virginia’s leaf color change. Higher regions start turning earlier than lower places. This makes places like the Davis-Thomas area very attractive. Here, you’ll find Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley Resort State Park, both known for their stunning autumn views.

Blackwater Falls, a favorite spot for photos, looks even more stunning in the fall. Canaan Valley, with its special ecosystem and height, is another top choice for leaf viewing.

Looking for the best views? Head to Dolly Sods and Spruce Knob. Spruce Knob, at 4,863 feet, is the highest point in West Virginia. These spots offer some of the best views of the fall foliage in the state.

Top Destinations for Viewing West Virginia Fall Foliage

West Virginia fall foliage destinations

Blackwater Falls State Park is a must-see for its early color change. It’s high up, showing off colorful leaves first. You can see the beautiful Tucker County mountains, waterfalls, and scenic spots here. It might be the most photographed place in West Virginia.

Blackwater Falls is stunning any time of year. But when fall hits, it’s extra special. Trails let you explore the area. Don’t miss Elakala Falls, Pendleton Point Overlook, and Lindy Point.

The best time to visit is late September to early October. Stay at the Blackwater Lodge for a great view. It’s on the south rim of Blackwater Canyon.

Places with high elevation, like the Davis-Thomas area, show fall colors first. This area is home to Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley Resort State Park. These are some of West Virginia’s most beautiful and popular parks.

Canaan Valley has lots of plant and animal life. This includes blueberries, beavers, and even American Bald Eagles. It was named a National Natural Landmark in 1974. Visitors love the unique environment, wildlife refuge, and many hiking trails.

The area’s blueberry bushes turn a stunning red. Dolly Sods is over 4,000 feet up. It’s great for seeing fall colors because of its bogs and open spaces. Many trails offer views of Canaan Valley’s warm wilderness.

Not making it to Blackwater Falls? Try Cass Scenic Railroad Historical State Park for early fall views. The leaves change late September to early October there. Take the train to Bald Knob for a view at 4,700 feet above sea level.

The best time to visit Cass for fall colors is the first two weeks of October. The train to Bald Knob offers a unique view. It’s a great experience for those who love trains and autumn sights.

Get on a Shay locomotive at Cass. You’ll go on a 4.5-hour trip to Bald Knob. The train runs Wednesday to Sunday from mid-September to late October.

West Virginia’s high parks are first, but the show continues in late October elsewhere. Babcock State Park is a top pick. Its grist mill with fall colors in the background is iconic. Photographers love it.

Babcock State Park is a top spot for photos. Its fall colors peak in mid-October. The park even has a webcam to watch the leaves change.

Just a 30-minute drive from Babcock is Hawks Nest State Park. Its overlook offers views of the New River Gorge. It’s a great spot for more fall foliage.

A 30-minute drive from Babcock, visit Hawks Nest for more fall views. The overlook there allows guests to see the New River Gorge. It’s a week later to peak than Babcock.

Visit Pipestem Resort State Park in early October. It offers great fall scenery, including the Bluestone River. Stay at McKeever Lodge on its east rim for beautiful views.

West Virginia Fall Foliage Train Tours

West Virginia fall foliage train tours

Consider a West Virginia fall foliage train tour for a memorable experience this autumn. The Cass Scenic Railroad and the Potomac Eagle are top picks.

Cass Scenic Railroad

Can’t make it to Blackwater Falls but want to see autumn early? Visit Cass Scenic Railroad Historical State Park. Trees here start turning late September or early October. To see amazing views, take the 4.5 hour journey to Bald Knob lookout. At 4,700 feet, this spot offers stunning vistas. The first two weeks of October are peak times. It’s a unique way to see fall foliage at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. Leaf-watchers and train fans will love it.

Join the adventure with a Shay locomotive at the Cass Scenic Railroad. This 4.5-hour journey to Bald Knob leaves from Cass Depot in Cass, WV. It runs Wednesday to Sunday from September to late October.

Potomac Eagle

Visit Wappocomo Station to start your Potomac Eagle journey. The trip takes you to beautiful parts of West Virginia. The Trough Trip winds through picturesque spots to Sycamore Bridge and back. It runs until early November. This excursion, especially loved by families, offers a 4-mile round trip. A stop at Whittaker Station lets everyone explore and stretch their legs.


The fall season turns West Virginia into a colorful paradise. It’s the best time for a leaf-peeping trip. You can see beautiful fall foliage in West Virginia at places like Blackwater Falls State Park.

Catch the unique train rides at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. Or enjoy the autumn scenery from Canaan Valley Resort State Park. These spots and more make West Virginia perfect for autumn adventures.

For an unforgettable stay, think about booking a luxury cabin at Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins. You’ll view West Virginia leaf peeping from your cozy cabin. Imagine watching the fall colors from your own hot tub beside the North Fork River in Hopeville Canyon.

Whether you’re exploring the state’s stunning parks or relaxing in a cabin, you’ll love West Virginia’s fall charm. The vivid colors and outdoor fun make it an amazing place to visit.

Remember to check out the West Virginia State Parks’ official website. It’s loaded with activities and events for your autumn break. This season is perfect for making cherished memories with your loved ones, surrounded by the Mountain State’s beauty.


What is the best time to see fall foliage in West Virginia?

The best time to view fall foliage in West Virginia is from late September to early November. This period shows the most colorful scenes. Leaf colors start changing earlier in high places. But they may peak later in lower areas.

Which West Virginia state parks are known for their stunning fall foliage displays?

There are several state parks in West Virginia known for their fall beauty. This includes Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley, and Cass Scenic Railroad parks. Babcock State Park, Hawks Nest, and Pipestem Resort State Parks are also great choices.

What makes West Virginia’s fall foliage so special?

West Virginia’s location in the Appalachian Mountains makes its fall colors very special. Its high elevations and various forests offer a vibrant display each autumn. At this time, you can see bright reds, oranges, yellows, and golds again the wild mountain scenery.

Are there any unique ways to experience the fall foliage in West Virginia?

Yes, West Virginia has some special ways to enjoy fall foliage. For example, the Cass Scenic Railroad offers a unique trip. It takes you through beautiful views to Bald Knob, the third highest point in the state. Also, the Potomac Eagle train tour showcases stunning fall scenes.

What other activities can visitors enjoy during a West Virginia fall foliage trip?

Aside from observing leaves, West Virginia’s state parks have a lot to offer. You can venture on hikes, camp, watch wildlife, or visit historic places. Travelers can also enjoy quaint towns, taste local food, and find comfort in cabins or lodges.

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