6 pro tips for seeing fall color at WV state parks

Fall has arrived and there’s no better time to visit West Virginia State Parks. Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your trip.

1. Visit during peak color

Color begins to peak in the eastern mountain range in early October. So, if you’re planning to visit Kumbrabow State Forest or Watoga State Park, you’ll want to get there soon. Mid-October is the best time to visit North Bend State Park and other parks in the North-Central region. And mid-to-late October is peak color in Southern West Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle, so that’s when you’ll want to visit Pipestem Resort or Cacapon Resort state parks.

Visit West Virginia Tourism to view a fall color map and sign up for weekly fall foliage updates!

2. Take lots of photos

For the prettiest fall images, seek out waterfalls and rivers like the ones at Blackwater Falls and Camp Creek State Park and Forest, scenic overlooks at Coopers Rock State Forest and Pipestem Resort State Park, or historic structures like the mill at Babcock State Park. Plan for an overcast day so you don’t have to contend with shadows or sunlight coming in at the wrong angle. And be sure to share your photos on social media using #WVStateParks and #AlmostHeaven for chances to be featured on our social media pages.

3. Be an early riser

Fall colors are often at their loveliest just after dawn, when the sun has just risen and there is still a trace of fog in the air and dew on the grass, like on the golf course at Canaan Valley Resort State Park. There’s also the added bonus of spotting some wildlife which tend to be more active at dusk and dawn.

4. Join a guided hike

There’s plenty of beauty you can experience on your own, but if you’d like to learn more about local flora and fauna—and perhaps identify leaves by their color and shapes—join a guided hike led by the park naturalist. Check the events calendar to find upcoming hikes or stop in at the park’s nature center for more information.

5. Soak in your surroundings

You don’t have to undertake a challenging hike to view fall colors. There’s plenty of beauty to see just from taking a leisurely drive through the parks. Stop at the scenic overlook at Hawks Nest State Park or bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at Valley Falls State Park or beneath the towering rock formation at Pinnacle Rock State Park. Or, perhaps you’d rather sit back and cast a line for fish at Bluestone or Tygart Lake state parks.

6. Book lodging in advance

Lastly, to assure you’ll have a cabin or lodge room waiting for you, make your reservation early. You can book your Almost Heaven getaway online:

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