WVSP fall adventures you don’t want to miss in October

Enjoy outdoor thrills and autumn’s beauty at West Virginia State Parks.

That chill in the air and the touch of fiery reds and sunny orange on the leaves can only mean one thing: Autumn is officially here! The start of fall is an exciting time of year and gives you and your family new opportunities to enjoy your favorite state park or forest.

From scenic drives to autumn festivals, West Virginia’s state parks and forests are some of the most popular leaf peeping destinations in the eastern United States. But if you’re looking to enjoy the fall color by doing something a little more adventurous, here’s a few activities that will inspire you and your family and have your friends begging to join you next year. But you’ll want to plan a trip now. Fall color only lasts a few weeks.

Zipline and tram rides

Scenic overlooks make for inspiring fall views, but nothing tops the feeling of awe you get when you soar over colorful mountains as you ride the Pipestem Peaks Zipline. One of the most extensive zipline systems in the east, you’ll fly 300 feet over the Bluestone River Gorge at speeds up to 50 mph. If you’re an adventure seeker, this is how you leaf peep!

If you prefer a slower ride where you can relax and enjoy a unique view of West Virginia’s iconic fall color, take a trip on the aerial tram at Pipestem or Hawks Nest State Park, which whisk you down thousands of feet into the Bluestone and New River gorges. For a truly special fall color experience, plan on riding both the zipline and aerial tram.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is one of the most popular outdoor activities and West Virginia’s state parks and forests have hundreds of miles of trails you can ride on your fall adventure. Canaan Valley Resort and Blackwater Falls state parks are two of the top mountain biking destinations in the state and have many multi-use and biking trails perfect for a fall adventure. Bike out to iconic spots like Lindy Point at Blackwater Falls and enjoy stunning fall color views. Or take a ride on the new trail at Canaan.

If you’re looking for a long, leisurely ride, you’ll want to take your bike further south to the 72-mile North Bend Rail Trail or the 78-mile Greenbrier River Trail. These former rail lines turned multi-use trails are used for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. Each trail features a gentle grade, making them ideal for beginners and families with younger children.

leaf peeping

Hiking

The best way to enjoy autumn color on your fall adventure might be hiking through the woods. Explore heavily wooded forests as you follow mountain streams and chase the sound of waterfalls at Holly River and Valley Falls state parks. Hike out to breathtaking overlooks at Coopers Rock State Forest. Or take a trip to Babcock State Park, home to the famous Glade Creek Grist Mill, and see one of the most photographed locations in West Virginia lit up with brilliant red, orange and yellow fall color.

Craving fall adventure? Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Plan a trip

    Find a park or forest and choose an activity for you and your family to enjoy.

  2. Book your stay

    Extend your trip by spending the night in a cozy cabin or lodge room.

  3. Make memories that last a lifetime

    The fall season comes and goes, but memories with your loved ones last forever.

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