Fall is for PhotographersOctober 18, 2020
Planning an autumn trip to the mountains of Tucker County revolving around photography is the wisest decision you could ever make. Between the natural landscapes being as diverse as it is beautiful and eye catching historic architecture from the logging and coal boom days, photographers will have unique opportunities from sun up to sun down. In the descriptions below you will find the best of the best we recommend for a photographers dream fall color excursion to the mountains Tucker County, West Virginia.
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For micro photography enthusiasts, lovely cranberry bogs are found in places like Dolly Sods and along Canaan Loop Road (Forest Road 13). Cotton-grass is also found in the same bogs and wet areas as are cranberries. Cotton-grass is easily spotted since these beauties are found in masses and are relatively easy to spot whether from the road or hiking trails. Blueberry bushes are one of the most sought after sights come fall. The leaves turn a scarlet red and turn the land into a magical landscape that uninterruptedly carpet acres of Dolly Sods Wilderness and Bear Rocks Preserve. Sunrise at Bear Rocks Preserve is the classic spot as golden hour light up the iconic landscape. Ferns turn a golden bronze before laying down for a long winter. Ferns of all shapes and sizes are the first to turn color in September.
Thousands of acres of uninterrupted trees flourish on several public lands used in conservation of wildlife and lands. Dolly Sods and Otter Creek are the most protected natural areas and where true wilderness is found. Wild rivers to towering Red Spruce and Hemlock are found in this rugged region. Canaan Valley is the highest valley of its size east of the Mississippi River. A grand showcase of wide open expansive lands between 1,000 foot mountains surrounding the valley floor. The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refugeis over 15,000 acres of protected lands and miles upon miles of hiking trails. The refuge is also best known for its bird watching.
From sunrise to sunset photographers will have their lenses full of fall splendor in Blackwater Falls State Park. Two of the finest waterfalls in Tucker County are found here. Elakala Falls and Blackwater Falls are easily accessible. Sunsets over Blackwater Falls are best captured from the Gentle Trail Overlook, which is handicap accessible. The premiere sunset location is Lindy Point Overlook. At nearly 1,000 feet above the Blackwater Canyon and the presence of a towering chimney rock, great composition is not hard to come by. Sunrise at Pendleton Point overlook illuminates the walls of the Blackwater Canyon.
Endless views of expansive mountain sides, deep valley’s, and panoramic fall color fill wide angle to telephoto lenses. Easy access on Canaan Valley Resort’sscenic chairlift drops you off atop Cabin Mountain. From here photographers head to Bald Knob which is a one mile hike to a west facing overlook. Another vantage point only a couple hundred feet from the chairlift overlooks miles of the Dry Fork Valley. Table Rock is a flat mass of bedrock that jets out from the mountain nearly a thousand feet above Red Run in the Canaan Mountain Backcountry. Hike the ¾ mile Table Rock Trail found at the end of Canaan Loop Road (FSR 13) for access to this location. If you do not mind the heights, Olsen Fire Tower provides 360 degree uninterrupted views of the Appalachian Mountains and town of Parsons, WV.