7 reasons why fall hikes at WV State Parks are the best

If you had to choose only one season to hike in, when would it be? We’re lacing our boots up for fall. Here are seven reasons why fall hikes are the best.

1. Mild Weather

One of the perks of fall hiking is mild weather. The temperature is just right. You might need a light jacket, but you won’t have to worry about sweating buckets or bundling up in a heavy overcoat. Typically, parks don’t get as much rain in the fall as spring and summer. Then there’s that unmistakable scent of autumn. Newly fallen, crisp leaves. That’s Almost Heaven.

2. Spectacular Color

When West Virginia’s mountains turn a brilliant mix of red, yellow and orange, it’s a sight to behold. Be sure to bring along a camera to capture some spectacular fall foliage. You’ll find some of the prettiest imagery around lakes, waterfalls, and at scenic overlooks. Plan ahead so that you know when peak color is arriving. The West Virginia Department of Tourism has collaborated with the West Virginia Division of Forestry to provide a fall foliage map and weekly updates here.

3. Wildlife

During the fall, many species of wildlife are preparing for winter. Birds begin their migration south. Squirrels gather nuts. Deer and elk are trying to attract a mate. With so much activity, you’re more likely to spot wildlife during fall hikes. (Take pictures, but remember to keep a safe distance.)

4. Fewer bugs

Those pesky gnats and mosquitoes that are always swarming you in the summer? They’re gone by fall. Finally, you can enjoy a bug-free hike without having to douse yourself in DEET.

5. Less crowding

Most families plan their vacations in the summer, which means you’ll be sharing the trails with other hikers. But those numbers drop off in the fall when school is in session. If your goal is a quiet, reflective hike, plan for a mid-week trip.

6. Educational opportunities

Do you need help identifying leaves? Maybe you’d like to know more about the different types of mushrooms lining the trail. Or perhaps you want to learn about wildlife activity in the fall. Consider joining a guided hike. These hikes are designed for all ages and are led by experienced naturalists. To learn more about guided hikes, check with the park’s nature center or view the events calendar.

7. Fall campfires

Nothing is more satisfying after a long hike than returning to a crackling fire at the campsite. Fall temperatures tend to be mild during the day and cool at night—just right for warming up by the campfire. Take advantage of the Halloween season and carve some pumpkins, then gather around the campfire and tell ghost stories!

Plan your fall hikes at West Virginia state parks today!

Make the most of your fall hikes and plan an overnight stay. Be sure to share and tag your photos #WVstateparks and #AlmostHeaven.

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