Where To See Fall Foliage in WVOctober 16, 2013
The trees are alight with fiery color all across Southern WV! These rolling mountains are covered in
canopy, and it’s burning with reds, oranges and yellows for fall.
All of this area is drenched in fall beauty, but here are some of the top ways to travel and see the leaves.
Midland Trail Scenic Highway
Midland Trail, or US Route 60, runs 180 miles from Kenova (just outside of Huntington) to White Sulphur Springs, winding through the mountains. The road is dotted with scenic stops and overlooks, so you can see the foliage from several different places. There’s a vista near the New River Gorge (the Grand Canyon of the East) in Hawk’s Nest State Park, right outside of Ansted, that is one of the prettiest views in the whole state. All sorts of waterfalls tumble down the tree-lined cliffisides, from the tall tumble of Cathedral Falls, or the wide flow of Kanawha Falls.
New River Gorge Bridge
One of the top stops along the Midland Trail will let you get an overview of the New River that cuts through the mountains of the New River Gorge, with the lush trees rising from its banks. The New River Gorge Bridge, a state icon and architectural marvel, is open for BridgeWalk tours, where guests can scale the catwalk underneath to get an aerial look at the Gorge.
One day a year (the third Saturday in October), the top of the bridge is open to pedestrians, and an extra spot of color gets added to the scene: the rainbow of parachutes from BASE jumpers leaping from the top for Bridge Day. This annual event brings jumpers and spectators from around the world.
Blur those burning hues together as you sweep through them! Take a zipline tour through the treetops. Burning Rock Outdoor Adventure Park has a zipline course with side-by-side lines, so you can race a partner. ACE Adventure Resort also has a multi-line course with beautiful treescapes. Take a nature tour with zips and sky bridges on Treetops Canopy Tours, or get an overview of the mountainsides from the East Coast’s longest Zipline, the Adrenaline, on a Gravity Zipline Tour.
New River Train Excursions
You can see the beauty of the Gorge, but also get a glimpse of another charming part of the state. All aboard the rail cars to chug down the tracks. The New River Train Excursions leave from Huntington, WV, and snake along the old main line of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad through the New River Gorge to Hinton, WV, an old-fashioned rail town.
Not only will you get beautiful scenes of the Gorge in the peak of its fall blaze, you will also get to explore Hinton’s Railroad Days festival, where you can learn about the rail history and browse local crafters’ booths. This train trips book in advance but according to the website there are a few seats left on select days.
Paint Creek Scenic Trail (Drive)
Another beautiful scenic drive, with several stops along Paint Creek Scenic Trail’s 44 miles that help tell the story of the area’s history. Love the natural beauty of the leaves? Try contrasting them against the man-made beauty of WV, from ornate architecture of the 1800’s to the deteriorating remains of early coal camps.
The Sweenysburg Trestle towers above, cutting through the fall leaves. The Mahan Superintendent’s House, built as coal official’s home, sits as a lavish example of the inequality of coal workers amongst its forested backdrop. There are also waterfalls and unique natural formations to stop and enjoy.
Climb aboard an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle, or “4-wheeler”) and rip through the trails. Grab a steed and trot the paths. Pedal your mountain bike through the forests. The Hatfield-McCoy Trails have many uses, and they’ll all give you a great chance to explore under the burning treetops above.
The Castle Rock trail head, part of the Pinnacle Creek Trail, will set you off on one of the most scenic trails of the entire system.
Appalachian Trail & Allegheny Trail
There are so many other ways to enjoy Southern West Virginia’s fall foliage. Contact us to learn more about fall trips and points in the area.
What do you think is the best way, or spot, to see the fall scenery?