Fall in Southern WVSeptember 21, 2011
Fall in Southern WV is one of our favorite times of the year. Lots of good things are happening, from a change of scenery to a change in whitewater. Here are some of the highlights:
Fall has, by far, the best weather for visiting southern West Virginia. Don’t get us wrong; we love our hot summer days and awesome ski weather. But temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s during the day
are just delightful. Cooler weather also means open cabin windows, cool breezes, and crackling campfires.
Much of WV is covered by deciduous hardwood forest. Hundreds of species of trees that, as temperatures begin to cool, start preparing for a winter hibernation by pulling the chlorophyll out of their leaves and into their roots.
In layman’s terms, this is what happens when leaves change colors. Because of West Virginia’s vast number of tree species, the colors of the forests are remarkable. From bright yellows to deep dark crimsons, a fall West Virginia forest is a beautiful sight.
And southern West Virginia has plenty of areas to take in these colors. State parks like Pipestem, Hawks Nest, Babcock and Bluestone offer hiking trails and scenic views that are only more special thanks to the fall color display.
Southern West Virginia towns take advantage of the great weather and great views to stage some wonderful fall festivals. From Bramwell’s Oktoberfest to Railroad Days in Hinton, this area is celebrating the fall season somewhere almost every weekend in October. We’ve got a complete list of all the festival opportunities southern West Virginia has to offer.
Raft guides from all over the world get excited for fall in WV because it means that Gauley season is here. If you’ve ever rafted in this area (or anywhere on the east coast, for that matter) no doubt you’ve heard of the Gauley River.
For 6 weekends in September and October, the Army Corps of Engineers draining of Summersville Lake creates one of the best whitewater runs in the world. It features 27 miles of whitewater. The first 9 miles drop over 70 feet per mile and contain five class V rapids. It’s no wonder that over 60,000 people come here over the 22-day Gauley Season to get their whitewater adrenaline rush.
What’s your favorite part of fall in West Virginia?