CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Tourism Office released its annual autumn forecast to help travelers plan trips around peak leaf season in the state.
According to a press release, the preview, which was prepared in partnership with the Division of Forestry, is the first in a series of weekly fall foliage updates from the Tourism Office. The release states that these weekly reports will share the percentage of color changes across West Virginia, as well as a featured country road trip that outlines tips for travelers and the best stops to experience fall activities and see the changing leaves.
“From late September through most of November, West Virginia’s mountains come alive with beautiful fall colors, and we want to help travelers enjoy every moment of the season,” West Virginia Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby said. “Thanks to our partners at the Division of Forestry, we are gearing up to serve as your weekly host for where to see the best fall colors and what to do along the way.”
Fall foliage updates will be released each week on Wednesday to allow ample time for travelers to plan their weekend road trip, according to the release. The release also stated that those interested in tracking the color change in real-time can do so by using a new tool provided by the Tourism Office.
The release states that residents and visitors can now post their own fall color photos with the hashtag #AlmostHeaven and have them added to the live leaf tracker map on the Tourism Office’s website. The map is updated daily and will provide an insider’s guide to fall color in West Virginia, according to the release.
“This year, we’re calling on all West Virginians to help us showcase our state’s beautiful fall colors,” Ruby said. “As the leaves change in your area, take a photo and post to social media using #AlmostHeaven. Your photos will help travelers from across the country see that West Virginia is the place to be in the fall.”
The release also states that people who are planning a fall color road trip are encouraged to request a Fall Pocket Passport from the Tourism Office as well. This guide has a checklist for all of the must-see and do activities this season, as well as a leaf identification guide and fall color forecast map provided by the Division of Forestry.
“Fall color first arrives at higher elevations in the state and works its way to lower elevations throughout the season,” said Division of Forestry Director Barry Cook. “Fall color comes and goes very quickly, which is why we’re expanding our partnership to offer travelers as much fall color information as we can, as quickly as we can.”
The fall color map, live leaf tracker tool and Fall Pocket Passport can be found on the Tourism Office’s website here.