5 Reasons to Plan a Late Fall Hiking Trip at West Virginia State Parks

Holly River Hiking

Cool weather, peaceful scenery and quiet trails. Fall is one of the best times of year to get outside and enjoy a hike at a West Virginia state park for forest.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend or in need of an outdoor adventure, here are five reasons why you should plan a fall hiking trip.

1. Cooler temperatures

Some people get hot when they walk, run or hike. If that’s you, fall is a great time to hit the trails. The weather is not too hot or cold, which means you can enjoy a day in the woods without overheating. Plan an overnighter at Beech Fork so you’ll have more time to explore the trails.

2. Abundant wildlife

If you enjoy looking for wildlife, fall is a great time to see animals in the woods preparing for winter. Birds set out on their migration paths, squirrels gather and store acorns and deer are out searching for mates. This is a good time to plan a weekend trip to Chief Logan State Park, where you might spy a majestic elk or hear its distinct bugle call..

3. Less crowding

This time of year, parks are less crowded, which means you can enjoy a quiet hike in the woods all by yourself. Get away from the city at Kanawha State Forest or check out a park lake in the off season.

4. Rushing waterfalls

Camp Creek State Park

Fall tends to be a wetter season than summer. Those waterfalls that had nearly dried up in July might be running strong and clear in November. Many parks have waterfalls, but we recommend checking out the falls at Twin Falls and Camp Creek.

5. Better views

Even after the last leaf has fallen, you can enjoy breathtaking views at West Virginia’s state parks. Now is a great time to hike to an overlooks at Pipestem Resort and Lost River State Park.

Tips for a happy hike

Our state parks have hundreds of miles of trails ranging from easy loops to challenging climbs. Before you head out, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Dress accordingly. Bring a light jacket or dress in layers. And don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Bring along water and snacks. Bring a camera or use your smartphone to take photos along the trail. And don’t forget to pick up a trail map at the park office.

Extend your hiking trip into a multi-day getaway with a stay in a lodge room or cabin and discover why autumn in West Virginia is Almost Heaven!

As you travel this fall, please remember to observe CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks in close proximity to others. For updates on COVID-19 in West Virginia, click here. For West Virginia State Parks travel alerts, click here.

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