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10 Places to Visit in West Virginia this Fall


Weather is starting to cool down, leaves are beginning to fall and pumpkin spice has made its annual comeback — fall is officially among us!

West Virginia Fall Foliage

Photo by SeanPavone

Fall is favored by lots of folks who live in West Virginia. Why? Because all the orange, red and green somehow make our Mountain State even more beautiful — and we just so happen to be full of spots that highlight that autumn beauty.

Check out these 10 sights to visit if you’re planning on being anywhere near WV this fall:

1: Dolly Sods Wilderness

Dolly Sods Water Fall

The Dolly Sods Wilderness, aka Dolly Sods, is a unique destination located in the Monongahela National Forest spanning 17,271 acres.

Not only is Dolly Sods a great scenic location, but it’s also popular amongst hikers and runners for its many trails.

Estimated Peak Foliage: late Sept. to early Oct.

2: Sutton, WV

Sutton West Virginia Bridge

Photo By: @twelve6adventures

The town of Sutton is home to the Sutton Lake Marina. The lake is surrounded by the Elk River and is located upstream of Sutton.

At Sutton Lake, you can set sail and watch the autumn leaves fall or you can lay back and relax on Sutton Lake Beach.

Also, for lovers of folklore and fall spookiness, this town is home of the Flatwoods monster. The Flatwoods Monster Museum is located on Main Street in downtown Sutton.

Estimated Peak Foliage: early to mid Oct.

3: New River Gorge

New River Gorge Bridge with Fall Foliage

Photo by SeanPavone

The New River Gorge is one of West Virginia’s most popular tourist destinations — and deservedly so.

The New River Gorge is known not only for its beauty but its wide range of activities, which include ziplining, white water rafting, biking or hiking its many trails. It is located in Lansing and spans 70,000 acres.

Bridge Day also just so happens to be in October, where the New River Gorge Bridge is closed to traffic and open to the public for all kinds of fun, exciting activities.

If you’re a WVU student interested in visiting the New River Gorge, Adventure WV will be visiting the location for a hike on Oct. 22nd. 

Register Now

Estimated Peak Foliage: Late Oct.

4: Hawks Nest State Park

Hawks Nest State Forest Bridge Aerial View

Photo by hokietim

Speaking of the New River Gorge, a small part of that large destination is Hawks Nest State Park, located in Ansted.

It is best known for its scenic overlook of New River Gorge and also houses Hawks Nest Lake. 

While visiting Hawks Nest, you can also stop at the optical illusion room and gift shop, the Mystery Hole. This hole-in-the-wall is a great destination for those looking for something different to do in WV.

Estimated Peak Foliage: Late Oct.

5: Babcock State Park

Babcock State Park Water Mill House

Photo by SeanPavone

Located in Clifftop, Babcock State Park is a popular scenic destination and campground. At Babcock, you can bring your own camper or rent one of the park's vacation cabins.

The park houses multiple hiking trails and scenic overlooks, and it is home to Boley Lake, — a great spot to swim, boat and fish. According to WV Tourism, it is one of the state's most photographed locations.

Estimated Peak Foliage: Late Oct.

6: Blackwater Falls State Park

Black Water Falls State Park WaterFall

Blackwater Falls State Park is most popular for its main attraction, Blackwater Falls, a large cascading waterfall.

It is located in Davis, within the Allegheny Mountains.

The park also offers hiking trails, overlooks and the smaller but oh-so-lovely waterfall, Elakala Falls.

Estimated Peak Foliage: Late Sept. to early Oct.

7: Coopers Rock State Forest

Cooper Rock Overview with River Below

Also referred to simply as Coopers Rock, the forest is located in Monongalia County, less than 15 miles from Morgantown.

Coopers Rock offers two large campground sites and an overlook of the Cheat River Gorge. You can also go fishing, hiking, biking or just bring your favorite snacks for a relaxing picnic.

Estimated Peak Foliage: Early Oct.

8: Seneca Rocks

Seneca Rocks Park in West Virginia

Photos by Dominic Ayers

Seneca Rocks is a well-known destination popular for rock climbing. It is located in Pendleton County.

The rocks are above the North Fork River and contain many different unique rock types. Experienced hikers can also take on hike the long and slightly challenging Seneca Rocks Trail.

Estimated Peak Foliage: Early Oct.

9: Summersville Lake

SummersVille Lake with Trees surrounding

Photo By: @wvhiker92

Summersville Lake is a massively popular tourist destination in Summersville, W.Va. At the lake, you can swim, boat, kayak or relax on the shore all while pondering the gorgeous mountainous views of Summersville.

Along with its many aquatic activities, the lake offers scuba classes or rentals for a large range of equipment.

Estimated Peak Foliage: Mid to Late Oct.

10: Spruce Knob

Spruce Knob with Fall colors and evergreen trees

Photo By: @twelve6adventures

Closing out our list is the highest elevation point in WV — Spruce Knob.

Located near Seneca Rocks on Spruce Mountain, Spruce Knob is a great place for hiking trails, scenic views and camping. It offers camping at one of its two large campgrounds, sightseeing from the Spruce Knob Tower and relaxing by Spruce Knob Lake.

Estimated Peak Foliage: Early Oct.

Of course, there are countless other beautiful spots in West Virginia to see this fall!

Planning to hit the road (or trail)? Check out WV Tourism’s fall foliage map for information on when and where to see the best fall colors the Mountain State has to offer.

West Virginia 2023 Fall Foliage Map

About the Author

Megan Bevins is a staff writer for the WVUGo marketing and communications team. She is currently a junior at West Virginia University obtaining a B.S. in Journalism. She hopes to work as a News Reporter after graduation.

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