Fall at Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge

Jump on the Leaf Peeping Bandwagon, Today! by Brian Sarfino

We are in the middle of fall and the tree canopies are showing their autumn colors at certain elevations. Fortunately, Tucker County, West Virginia ranges in altitude from 4,300 feet down to 1,647 feet at our county seat in Parson, West Virginia. This means a couple of more weekends to take advantage of the autumn colors found in the northern Appalachian Mountains of almost heaven, West Virginia.

Tucker County, like the entire east coast, has experienced dry conditions and temperatures well above normal since the first of September. This weather pattern has resulted in a bit of a stunted fall leaf peeping season when it comes to the onset of peak colors. Which just happens to be the number one sought after question our office receives every fall in anticipation for a visit to Tucker County.


Well, the time is now. Yes, like tomorrow. This weekend. No later than October 20th in the lowest elevations of Parsons, Hendricks on the Dry Fork River, and Saint George along the Cheat River. If you are panicking, you should be. Because the time is now! This is why I am feverishly writing this blog on October 8th (2019).


Where are the prime locations for Columbus Day Weekend? Since that is when most of the working class can realistically get away. All of Canaan Valley, Canaan Valley State Park, and the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge will be prime time. I can’t help but to say “prime time” like ESPN’s Chris Berman when classically referring to Deon Sanders. Please excuse my digression. How to best to take fall color in will require a scenic chair lift ride at Canaan Valley Resort’s ski area and hike to the top of Bald Knob along the Bald Knob Trail. In the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge along Cortland Road you will find the Blackwater View Trail system that is easily navigable depending on the distance you want to travel.


Blackwater Falls State Park and the Blackwater Canyon in Davis, West Virginia are second on my to-do list. Overlooks at Pendleton, Pase, and Lindy Point, as well as the Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge are noteworthy leaf peeping views. If you do not mind heights, Olsen Tower off of HWY 219 and then Forest Service Road 717 would be a worthy stop.


As time and leaf color move on, head east toward Hendricks where the Dry Fork River Road and Otter Creek Wilderness offer uninterrupted forest. Bike along the Allegheny Highlands Rail Trail in Parsons for ease of biking and walking among Tucker County’s autumn glory. There you have it folks, a bucketlist of locations to take in fall color. Cancel your plans, find an illness, be spontaneous, and head to Tucker County, West Virginia for the ultimate autumn. Hope to see you soon!

Cheers,

Brian