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First Fall Foliage Map Released

SpruceKnobArea-sjs-12.jpg
Steve Shaluta
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Fall leaves at their peak at Spruce Knob, during last year's fall foliage season.

To access the live leaf map, along with the latest updates, happenings and insider tips around fall in Almost Heaven, visit WVtourism.com/fall.

The first signs of leaves changing colors are a little behind schedule but starting to show in higher elevations, according to the first fall foliage tracker of the season produced by the West Virginia Division of Forestry.

The mountains of Pocahontas and Tucker counties, along with Spruce Knob are dotted with splashes of red, orange and yellow and should reach peak color the first weekend of October.

Species of maples are beginning to turn, including red and sugar. Oak and Hickory trees will follow soon behind.

“Due to the warmer weather West Virginia has experienced this month, fall color is a bit slower moving into the mountains this season,” said Division of Forestry Director Tom Cover. “However, fall color is, in fact, beginning to make an appearance in the highest elevations around the state. This once-a year-event won’t last long, so be sure to get out and enjoy it while you can.”

West Virginia is the third most forested state in the country and has plenty of trails to view the foliage. The West Virginia Division of Forestry and the Department of Tourism have put together a list of more than 1,500 miles of hiking trails in areas to get the best hiking and foliage experience.

Featured Hikes 

Seneca Rocks Trail

  • Moderate | 3.6 out and back
  • Beginning at the Seneca Rocks Trailhead, this uphill climb rewards guests with an up-close-and-personal view of one of West Virginia’s best-known landmarks. This trail features benches along the way, as well as picnic areas and a visitor center.

Lindy Point Overlook

  • Easy | 0.8 mile out and back
  • Lindy Point Overlook is an easy hike that leads to the most iconic scenic overlook within Blackwater Falls State Park, overlooking the Blackwater Canyon at 3,000 feet below. There is a small parking area at the trailhead and dogs are welcome, as long as they are on a leash.

Whispering Spruce Trail and Spruce Knob

  • Easy | 0.6 mile out and back
  • Part of the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, this trail peeks into the North Fork Valley of the Allegheny Mountains with exceptional views. Feel the west wind blow as you wind through windblown rock before coming to an open field full of scattered boulders. 

Blackwater Falls Overlook

  • Accessible | 0.2 mile
  • This overlook is reached by taking the park’s Gentle Trail which is accessible for visitors using wheelchairs, mobility equipment and strollers. The paved path leads to a wooden boardwalk that gives expansive views of the park’s namesake falls. 

Shavers Lake, Bail Out, 6,000 Steps and Cheat Mountain Ridge Trail

  • Moderate | 6.4 mile out and back
  • Take this Snowshoe Mountain trek to gain over 1,000 feet in elevation and be prepared for steep portions along the way. Following this route will lead to the Fire Tower, which can be climbed for additional autumn mountain views.

AllTrails Partnership

AllTrails and the West Virginia Department of Tourism are working together to offer hikers a free, one-year AllTrails Pro membership. With AllTrails Pro, users can download offline maps, unlock more map details and view 3D maps. For more official information on the partnership, visit wvtourism.com/alltrails/.

“We welcome all travelers to visit West Virginia this fall season to experience the incredible hiking, leaf peeping opportunities and more,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “Our forests and mountaintops come alive with hues of red, orange and yellow, creating beautiful views. We're excited to team up with AllTrails to help travelers discover and explore the incredible fall hiking trails we have.”

The West Virginia Department of Tourism’s live leaf tracker will be updated daily, featuring photos from social media.


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