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Fall Foliage in West Virginia

Houston, Texas
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Fall Foliage in West Virginia

Hi,

My husband and I are planning a fall foliage trip to WV this October. We are currently planning the 2nd week of October and flying into Pittsburgh (most inexpensive major airport from Houston). Being from Texas, we are quite unfamiliar with the area but it has always been of interest to us. Given the timeframe of our travel, I am hoping for some recommended scenic roads that take us south from Pittsburgh into WV. We are quite open about where in the state we travel, lodge, etc. and looking for areas that will provide beautiful color and natural beauty. We are a bit older and are not hikers, but we enjoy a nice nature trail or two. Any insight would be appreicated. Thanks.

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Fall Foliage in West Virginia

See if you can work a trip on the Potomac Eagle into your itinerary.

It is a great way to see the fall leaves and not put a lot of effort into a hike.

http://www.potomaceagle.info/

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: Fall Foliage in West Virginia

Thanks for your post and the website looks like it would be perfect for us. Is our timing about right for the fall foliage? We are flexible on our dates and will be there for 6 days/5 nights, so lots of time to drive and take in local sites and culture. Again thanks for the tip!

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Fall Foliage in West Virginia

Your timing should be good. Leaves are as much about elevation as location. The higher up, the earlier they turn.

Also the amount of rainfall leading up to the autumn can effect it as well.

If you are really interested in doing Potomac Eagle, book the tickets as soon as you are sure. They fill up fast especially in the fall.

Any Beach
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for Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, West Virginia
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4. Re: Fall Foliage in West Virginia

Its a little hard to predict high peak color changes here. But...your time frame should be pretty good. Leaves turn first in north eastern WV..then

a bit later in southern WV. Usually.

If you can....try to plan to be here the 3rd Saturday in October. Bridge Day.

http://www.bridgeday.info/

BASE jumpers jump off the New RIver Gorge Bridge...all day. Huge event!

Lots of fun!

Wv
Destination Expert
for West Virginia
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5. Re: Fall Foliage in West Virginia

How much time will you have? I think four of the prettiest views are: (in no particular order)

1) Cooper's Rock State Forest--Cheat River overlook.

…wikipedia.org/wiki/Coopers_Rock_State_Forest

2) Blackwater Falls (my photo)

http://trailjournals.com/photos.cfm?id=471259

3) Bear Rocks at Dolly Sods (my photo)

http://trailjournals.com/photos.cfm?id=474922

4) Lindy Point overlook at Blackwater Falls State Park

wvbike.org/images/lindy_point_west-2.jpg (This one requires a short walk, but less than 1/2 mile.) Pendleton Point overlook is also in this area and a VERY short walk.

wallpaper-s.org/42__Blackwater_River_from_Pe…

Have a wonderful visit! I have been to Texas once and wanted to see bluebonnets. We drove out in the country hoping to find some, but didn't. Then as we were coming back into Austin we stopped for a light and right there by the edge of the road we found a big spread of them growing. Ha! After that we saw them fairly often along the roads....along with dead armadillos! :)

Edited: 03 September 2010, 13:11
Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Fall Foliage in West Virginia

Thank you so much for the great ideas and links; I we are definitely interested. We will be traveling for 6 days/5 nights and usually stay in 2 cites/towns from which we do day trips. I am just now looking into where we will stay, but the drives don't seem to be too long by Texas standards :) and we usually set a leisurely pace. For me, planning the trip is half the fun.

Glad you had a chance to see some of our wildflowers but, like fall leaves, they are very dependent on rainfall and cold snaps so not every year is great. Down here, the fall is a time for alot of festivals and I am wondering if your state is the same? My husband and I both enjoy local culture, food and entertainment when we travel, so any tips y'all have are very welcome.

Again, thanks.

Wheeling, WV
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7. Re: Fall Foliage in West Virginia

All good ideas from other posters. Second to third week of Oct. should be best for fall leaves, but only if we don't get a load of rain which knocks leaves off in short order.

I am partial to Bridge Day, if weather holds up, the trees are spectacular.

rafting.co.uk/images/clip_image002_000.jpg

If you are more interested in festivals, an earlier date in the fall might be better:

Forest Festival in Elkins: http://www.forestfestival.com/index.cfm

Leaf Peepers in Davis: http://canaanvalley.org/index.html

Oglebay Fest in Wheeling. Close to Pitt: http://www.oglebay-resort.com/fest.htm

Autumn Glory in Garrett County, MD close to the WV boarder and 3 hrs from Pittsburgh: http://www.autumngloryfestival.com/

Wv
Destination Expert
for West Virginia
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8. Re: Fall Foliage in West Virginia

Bridge Day is Oct. 15 or 16 and a HUGE draw, lots and lots of locals and tourists swell the area to the size of a small city!

http://www.officialbridgeday.com/

The Mountaineer Balloon Festival is Oct 15-17 and is absolutely beautiful at night if you are arriving or leaving Pittsburg near that time. Can't find a current link.

http://www.mountaineerballoonfestival.com/

Many of our fairs & festivals are in summertime & August.

The Forest Festival is a good-sized event as well.

http://www.forestfestival.com/

Cabins, West...
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9. Re: Fall Foliage in West Virginia

Recommend staying in the Seneca Rocks area near Spruce Knob, Dolly Sods or Canaan Valley area. Log cabins in Seneca Rocks area Harman's North Fork Cottages, Smoke Hole Caverns. B&B North Fork Mountain Inn, Wilderness Inn. These are all near Seneca Rocks/Spruce Knob. I do not know the lodging in Cannan Valley as well.

WV
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10. Re: Fall Foliage in West Virginia

Last fall we rented a house in the Timberline area of Canaan Valley. Rentals were reasonable in the fall and we were in woods on the side of a mountain! We went the 2nd week in October and it was absolutely beautiful, but the next weekend they had snow. You can also visit Black water falls close by.