March 25, 2023

This text was revealed in partnership with West Virginia Tourism

With its sprawling pure wonders, limitless out of doors pursuits, wealthy Appalachian heritage, and charming mountain cities, it’s no surprise West Virginia is called Virtually Heaven. This dynamic vacation spot lures guests from all walks of life all year long. However as autumn begins making its strategy, the majestic Mountain State actually kicks issues into excessive gear.

There’s no denying the magic of the season as soon as the annual fall foliage commences in September. Towering pink oaks, sugar maples, and sycamore bushes paint West Virginia’s huge landscapes each autumnal shade beneath the solar. In spite of everything, it’s the third-most forested state within the nation. Limitless mountain climbing, biking, and ATV trails burst to life in explosions of coloration as celebratory fall festivals start cropping up in each nook of the state. And guests from close to and much can’t resist the nice and cozy hospitality of West Virginia’s cozy cabins and historic inns.

It doesn’t matter what kind of autumnal getaway you’re craving, West Virginia delivers. There’s really one thing for each kind of traveler to expertise in Virtually Heaven. That will help you plan an unforgettable escape, we’ve compiled some itinerary inspiration throughout the state based mostly on varied pursuits. Learn on to find what your superb go to may appear like. For much more concepts, obtain West Virginia’s free digital trip information or get a complimentary copy shipped to your door.

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For the Household Man

Plan a Highway Journey

West Virginia turns into a foliage fanatic’s paradise within the fall, match for the entire household. The crisp autumn air ushers in a hypnotic show with waves of crimson, copper, and burnt umber washing over West Virginia’s dramatic topography. And contemplating it’s situated inside someday’s drive from two thirds of the nation, it’s the proper fall household highway journey vacation spot. Don’t miss your likelihood to witness the Mountain State in all its glory. There’s no scarcity of epic drives to select from—however timing will decide which route will placed on one of the best present.

Late September to Early October: Head to the Potomac Highlands alongside U.S. Route 48. Cruise via the regal Allegheny Mountains on winding, timber-flanked roads. The little ones will love the comfortable mountain cities scattered alongside U.S. Route 219. Some noteworthy pit stops boasting picture-perfect surroundings embrace Canaan Valley Resort State Park, Blackwater Falls State Park, and the Monongahela Nationwide Forest.

Mid-October: Make your method to Mountaineer Nation for a mesmerizing present. Spend a while exploring Coopers Rock State Forest, which blazes brightly all through mid-October. Professional tip: The principle overlook options a few of the finest leaf peeping within the state and makes for a once-in-a-lifetime household photograph op. Then, comply with the forested backroads of U.S. Route 119 to in style locations like Prickett’s Fort State Park, Valley Falls State Park, and Tygart Lake State Park for much more jaw-dropping views.

Late October: As October involves a detailed, cruise alongside West Virginia Route 45 and West Virginia Route 9. These picturesque drives are simply accessible from hubs like Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Soak within the fall foliage at iconic stops like Harpers Ferry Nationwide Historic Park and Shepherdstown, the oldest city within the state.


Couple strolling via historic Harpers Ferry.
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Take a Scenic Practice Journey

It appears the practice journey pattern is full steam forward, and West Virginia boasts a formidable vary of rail routes the entire household will admire. Climb aboard the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad to snake via imposing canyons, bordered by sepia-toned forests and craggy bluffs. Maintain your eyes peeled—American bald eagle sightings are virtually assured. At Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, passengers can take a 4.5-hour round-trip tour up Cheat Mountain from the consolation of an vintage Shay locomotive. The overlook sits at a staggering 4,842 toes above sea degree, serving up unobstructed panoramas of the altering leaves. And the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad gives a number of routes for vacationers to select from, together with dinner trains and themed rides all year long. Attempt reserving a rail journey on the classic New Tygart Flyer. The 46-mile route kicks off in Elkins (usually ranked one among America’s finest small artwork cities) and winds its means via rugged highlands, mountain grades, and the dashing waters of Shavers Fork river.

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West Virginia Pumpkin Festival

Gritt’s Enjoyable Farm is a should this time of 12 months.
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Discover a Fall Pageant

Autumn marks the beginning of numerous fall festivals and celebratory occasions all through the Mountain State. Enterprise to Putnam County to expertise Gritt’s Enjoyable Farm. From September 17 to October 30, youngsters can hit the pumpkin patch, get pleasure from hayrides, and navigate the farm’s corn maze. One other household favourite is the West Virginia Pumpkin Pageant, held October 6 via October 9 in Milton. The fairgrounds remodel into an autumnal utopia, full with larger-than-life pumpkins, dwell music, and seasonal treats. For one thing extra excessive, don’t miss Nationwide Trailfest from October 6 to October 10. ATV and dust bike fans flock to the city of Gilbert to tear it up on the legendary Hatfield-McCoy Path System. The occasion is chock-full of festive tomfoolery, together with races, mud pits, on line casino nights, and grand prizes simply ready to be claimed.

Father playing Connect Four game with daughter in cabin
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The place to Keep: By way of lodging, West Virginia is teeming with choices to suit any household’s model and price range. Dad and mom and children alike will fall for Snowshoe Mountain Resort. The property boasts jaw-dropping overlooks of the Allegheny Mountains and encompasses a spread of enjoyable lodging, together with inns, lodges, inns, trip leases, lodging and extra. Households searching for a comfortable cabin escape are additionally in luck. There are tons of choices hidden all around the state. Select from luxurious outposts, like Nation Roads Cabins, to extra rustic sanctuaries, just like the secluded Germany Valley Overlook Cabins in Seneca Rocks. And what little one wouldn’t bounce on the likelihood to sleep in a treehouse? The custom-built Holly Rock Treehouse measures 24 toes in diameter and incorporates a cover bridge and wraparound commentary deck that’s good for stargazing.


Elevated cabin in the woods
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For the Outside Explorer

Do Go Chasing Waterfalls

Search out the state’s assortment of over 200 cascading waterfalls. In truth, the newly minted West Virginia Waterfall Path is a simple method to get began. Guests can signal as much as obtain this free digital passport on to their smartphones, which options greater than two dozen waterfalls dispersed all through the state. Verify in on the designated websites to win prizes alongside the best way—the extra you go to, the cooler the reward. Stops on the path embrace Blackwater Falls State Park in Davis, Kanawha Falls on the junction of the New and Gauley Rivers, and the postcard-perfect autumnal setting of Glade Creek Grist Mill Falls.

Hunt Your Coronary heart Out

Wild and great, West Virginia has lengthy drawn expert huntsmen. The mixture of untamed wilderness and difficult recreation has made searching a revered pastime within the area. Whitetail deer, pink stag, wild boar, turkey, rabbit, waterfowl, and different small recreation could be hunted all through the state. Discover greater than 31,000 acres of public land, situated primarily within the west-central area of the state. Whereas searching in state parks is off-limits, state forests like Cabwaylingo State Forest, Coopers Rock State Forest, and Panther State Forest are truthful recreation. Different in style spots embrace privately owned Mountain Meadow Searching Protect in Greenville, Land Baron Outfitters in Palestine, and Wilderness Ridge Farm situated in Southside. Simply be sure that to brush up on present searching dates, rules, and licensing necessities earlier than planning your retreat. And if fishing is extra your model, you’ll find greater than 20,000 miles of glowing mountain streams and over 100 tranquil lakes to forged a line and reel within the recollections.

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Fly-fishing in river
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Discover New River Gorge Nationwide Park and Protect

Journey is ingrained in West Virginia’s DNA. Your subsequent out of doors pursuit is all the time on the horizon, because of the state’s 1.5 million acres of parks and public lands. However essentially the most buzzworthy is the New River Gorge Nationwide Park and Protect. Really breathtaking within the fall, the nation’s latest nationwide park is an adventurer’s dream vacation spot. Mountaineering, biking, mountain climbing, kayaking, whitewater rafting—there are numerous methods to get your blood pumping.

Don’t miss West Virginia’s famed Gauley Season, which kicks off the Friday after Labor Day and lasts till the third week of October. The scheduled water launch of the Summersville Dam brings the Gauley River roaring to life, creating greater than 26 miles of top-notch whitewater rafting, with rapids starting from class III to V. Bridge Day is one other time-honored custom that may’t be missed. Held on the third Saturday of October, the long-lasting New River Gorge Bridge turns into a magnet, luring BASE jumpers from all around the world. The annual occasion attracts 1000’s of onlookers as these daredevils bounce from the bridge, plummeting 876 toes into the expansive canyon under. And if spectator sports activities aren’t your factor, there are lots extra beautiful state parks with limitless out of doors recreation actions.

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
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The place to Keep: ACE Journey Resort is a playground for thrill-seekers of any age. Only a stone’s throw from New River Gorge Nationwide Park, the retreat is surrounded by 1,500 forested acres. Right here, visitors can spend their days ziplining, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, biking, mountain climbing, mountain climbing, and extra. Intrepid vacationers additionally flock to the neighboring Adventures on the Gorge Resort. Perched above the nationwide park with spectacular views of the New River Gorge Bridge, this 350-acre basecamp gives world-class whitewater rafting experiences, plus much more land, water, and aerial adventures like wild cave excursions, rappelling, kayaking, and zooming alongside one among America’s longest ziplines. Arrowhead Bike Farm is one other close by gem with well-kept campsites, a full-service bike store, and a fleet of Trek and Pivot mountain bikes accessible to lease. Reap the benefits of their close by trails and biergarten stocked with craft brews. Hoping for a extra rustic getaway? E-book one of many Tentrr campsites, tucked away within the coronary heart of West Virginia’s best wilderness areas, like Hawks Nest State Park. Every website comes with considerate facilities, like reminiscence foam mattresses, propane heaters, and fireplace pits begging for some s’mores motion.

For the Historical past Buff

Tour a Historic City

Virtually Heaven is jam-packed with historic hidden gems and enchanting cities dedicated to preserving the previous. Get a glimpse into bygone eras by visiting downright charming corners of the state, like Harpers Ferry. This small Nineteenth-century city is acknowledged as a Nationwide Historic District and its quaint structure alludes to its previous as an vital transportation hub within the 1800s. Be taught extra by visiting the city’s museums or becoming a member of a guided tour. At one time, the unique city of Bramwell was dwelling to essentially the most millionaires per capita within the nation. Nestled on a peninsula of the Bluestone Nationwide Scenic River, Bramwell was a former scorching spot for coal barons and different members of society’s higher crust. Marvel on the preserved Victorian- and Tudor-style mansions throughout a strolling tour whereas listening to tales in regards to the as soon as bustling coal trade. You’ll be able to even drop by the Bramwell depot, a duplicate of the unique railroad station that served the area. Parkersburg is one other historic pocket price trying out. Its wealthy heritage is on show in Julia-Anne Sq. and at a number of space museums. Then hop on a Nineteenth century-style sternwheeler to Blennerhassett Island Historic State Park the place you’ll be able to discover a Palladian mansion and museum.

Comply with the Coal Heritage Path

Guests can find out about fascinating legacy of the world via the Coal Heritage Path. This distinctive driving path winds via the formidable Appalachian Mountains, overlaying 187 miles throughout 13 counties. Alongside the best way, you’ll comply with dashing rivers, traverse immense valleys, and uncover the charming mountain cities that outlined the area. The path begins on U.S. Route 52 in Bluefield and takes roughly 5 hours to finish—however construct in further time to tug over and uncover points of interest just like the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.

Discover Historic Landmarks

There are tons of of historic landmarks sprinkled all through West Virginia, every commemorating a distinct facet of the area’s deep-rooted previous. For instance, do you know West Virginia was the one state to be born out of the Civil Struggle? Initially a part of Virginia’s Previous Dominion, it was granted statehood after seceding from the Confederacy. The Wheeling Nationwide Heritage Space is dwelling West Virginia Independence Corridor, thought of the birthplace of the state. Drop in to get a free tour of this remarkably restored Nationwide Historic Landmark. The 16-acre West Virginia State Capitol Complicated in Charleston is one other charming focal point. The 14-karat-gold-leaf-gilded dome of the West Virginia Capitol constructing soars 292 toes (almost 4 and a half toes taller than the U.S. Capitol constructing). Then, peruse the close by West Virginia State Museum, a 24,000-square-foot heart combining historical past, tradition, artwork, paleontology, geology, and extra. You may also spend a couple of days tracing the Civil Struggle Trails, a nationwide community encompassing greater than 300 vital websites.

The Greenbrier.

The Greenbrier: equals elements historic and majestic.
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The place to Keep: The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs is arguably one of many nation’s most legendary inns. Referred to as “America’s Resort,” the grandiose property has welcomed presidents, royals, and numerous celebrities since opening its doorways in 1778. However one quirky amenity that historical past buffs will admire is the key bunker. This supersized subterranean fallout shelter was constructed throughout the Chilly Struggle; it’s large sufficient to accommodate all 535 members of Congress within the Eisenhower period. Need to keep on George Washington’s outdated stomping grounds? E-book a room on the Hillbrook Inn and Spa, situated in historic Charles City. The inn was constructed within the Twenties on Washington’s first land buy. You’ll be able to even take a dip in his bathtub, tucked away in Berkeley Springs State Park. If a go to to Harpers Ferry is in your checklist, plan to remain on the historic Gentle Horse Inn. Constructed within the 1770s, this former non-public dwelling now gives seven spacious suites that mix epic mountain views with good old style Americana attraction.

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