CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – The West Virginia Department of Tourism (WV Tourism) released its weekly fall foliage update on Oct. 19, which includes the trails hikers should take to see the best fall foliage colors in West Virginia.
Last week, peak fall colors were in counties adjacent to the state’s higher elevation, such as Randolph, Webster and Upshur counties. This week, the colors have spread to Mountaineer Country, according to WV Tourism, including Marion, Monongalia, Taylor and Preston counties.
The Mountain Lakes region, including Nicholas, Braxton, Lewis and Clay counties, also has beautiful fall colors this week and weekend.
Here are the featured hikes for this week according to WV Tourism:
- Easy | 5.0 mile out and back | Marion County
- “Part of the Marion County Rail Trail system, this accessible path can be accessed at the parking lot of Prickett’s Fort State Park. The paved path and benches along the way make it effortless for families to get out and experience the natural beauty of the season.”
- Easy | 19.4 mile point to point | Marion / Monongalia Counties
- “Begin exploring this trail at Pricketts Fort State Park. With three miles of packed sand surface, this trail extends almost 15 miles into Monongalia County.”
- Moderate | 2.5 mile out and back | Monongalia County
- “Nestled within Coopers Rock State Forest, this is a favorite hike among residents and visitors alike. Be prepared for a rocky climb that pays off with reaching the iconic rock that stands 1,000 feet above the Cheat River below, especially remarkable in the fall.”
- Easy | 2.0 mile out and back | Taylor County
- “Visit Tygart Lake State Park for this stunning stroll along the lake. Popular for running, this path is well-maintained but still provides a remote and peaceful fall getaway.”
New River-Greenbrier Valley
- Moderate | 0.7 mile out and back | Fayette County
- “Located within Babcock State Park this is a short, yet rather step hike that features ladders to make catching fall views a bit easier. A rocky path along a cliff’s edge guides hikers to a gazebo, the perfect place to take a break immersed in autumn hues.”
- Easy | 0.5 mile out and back | Summers County
- “Sandstone Falls is a sight you won’t forget. Earning its title as the largest falls on the New River, these magnificent waters span 1500 ft. across the river and drop 10 to 25 ft. The Sandstone Falls boardwalk is a quarter-mile, wheelchair-accessible trail leading to observation decks with remarkable views of this landmark.”
- Easy | 3.0 mile out and back | Raleigh County
- “Located in the nation’s newest national park, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Grandview provides some of the park’s most dramatic scenery. Nestled into the rocky cliffs, the Main Overlook and Turkey Spur Overlook are located along the Grandview Rim Trail are the perfect locations to see the New River Gorge.”
- Moderate | 3.7 mile loop | Mercer / Summers Counties
- “This naturally beautiful trail gives hikers that best of both worlds with both woodland and lakeside views. You may even encounter wildlife like whitetail deer and turkeys.”
- Easy | 3.9 mile out and back | Nicholas County
- “This enjoyable walk begins with wooden terrain and shows peaks of Summersville Lake before reaching the gorgeous lookout at the end of the trail. Along with the trees dressed in fall color, guests will find Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel tunnels along the way.”
- Moderate | 6.3 mile loop | Lewis County
- “Considered to be a moderately challenging route, this serene trail on Stonewall Resort State Park’s property will take travelers through challenging landscapes with canopies of trees overhead.”
Hikers who take a trip in West Virginia and document it with a video posted to social media using #AllTrails and #AlmostHeaven will also have a chance to win a free West Virginia fanny pack.