Wild, Wonderful West Virginia
CHARLESTON – Most of the state’s highest elevations are now past peak, but colors are becoming very good at mid-elevation and in some of the upper river valleys, according to the West Virginia Division of Forestry.
Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Randolph and Webster counties should have some good viewing opportunities for the weekend, especially at the mid to lower portions of the mountain ranges. The Upper Elk River, Upper Tygart Valley River and Upper Gauley River should be at peak this weekend, so now would be a great time to take that Gauley rafting trip if you want to see some vivid colors. Maples, gums, hickories and some oaks are becoming colorful at these locations.
West Virginia counties and regions showing vivid color
n Berkeley (55 percent) – Hickories, maples and poplar are turning yellow, while red maple is now showing brilliant red. Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area off Hampshire Grade Road has good color.
n Brooke and Hancock (50 percent) – Lots of color is beginning to show along W.Va. Route 2 by the Ohio River.
n Hardy (70 percent) – Old State Route 55 from Moorefield to Wardensville has good color just in time for the Wardensville Fall Festival this weekend.
n Monongalia County (65 percent) – Coopers Rock State Forest on the Preston-Monongalia border should be peak color this weekend. W.Va. Route 7 from Masontown to Sabraton is another recommended drive.
n Morgan (60 percent) – Most areas of the county are approaching peak color. The three-state view from the panorama off W.Va. Route 9 and Detour Road are scenic now.
n Ohio (50 percent)-W.Va. Route 88 through Oglebay Resort is showing brilliant oranges, reds and yellows.
n Raleigh (65 percent)-The eastern portion of the county will be at peak this weekend, especially in the headwaters of Glade Creek and Pinch Creek. I-64 from Beckley to Sandstone is showing some good color.
n Taylor (65 percent) – Color is expected to peak at Tygart Lake State Park this weekend.
Higher elevations in Webster County are at peak, and the lower elevations are also quickly changing, with the oaks showing some bright colors. For the best views, drive Elk River road from Webster Springs to Whitaker Falls or Gauley River Road from Bolair to the end. Events in the area this weekend include Apple Fest at Ott’s Orchard, with live music, outdoor games, apple cider and apple butter making. Nearby attractions include Holly River State Park, which has dozens of miles of hiking trails as well as picnic shelters, cabin lodging and camping.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to continue sharing their favorite fall photos, moments and memories using #AlmostHeaven.
The crispness in the air, the hot chocolate and cider warming cold hands at football games, the kids grabbing candy at homecoming parades and the vibrant flush of fall foliage as nature gives one last hurrah before winter hits – all those things and more signify fall for the Tri-State.
We’d like to see your fall photos. From the fun of decorative gourd season to the cute kids in new sweaters, trips back to high school for alumni to the changing of leaves on the tree in your front yard, if you’re out and about and enjoying the season, we’d like to share that with your fellow readers.
Be sure to clearly identify each person in your photos by first and last name and give us a sentence or two to tell us what’s happening in the picture.
Then look for your photos in our online galleries and in future print editions of The Herald-Dispatch.