Mountain Views, Scenic Trails, Colorful Leaves & More
Fall is officially in the air! The weather is getting crisp, football is returning to television screens, and you can smell pumpkin spice everywhere you turn. You’ve decorated with seasonal decor, and you’re unpacking your sweaters from your wardrobe. Time to celebrate the season – and what better way than with a leaf-peeping journey?
No matter where the country roads take you, the trees are changing to yellow, orange, and red. Since foliage in West Virginia is so beautiful, we put together a roadmap of the best peeping destinations to visit the Wild and Wonderful color changes within Mountaineer Country. From well-known state parks to hidden gems, you won’t want to miss these sights.
Call your friends and grab your camera – it’s time to experience a fall fun adventure!
Cooper’s Rock State Forest
Along the Cheat River Gorge, Cooper’s Rock offers a 360°picturesque view of the state forest. With its multiple overlooks, 21 hiking trails and wildlife, Cooper’s Rock is a must-see when traveling into Morgantown, WV. Individuals who may not be up for a multiple-mile hike can enjoy the convenience of a quicker overlook experience, simply parking and walking a few hundred feet to take in the main mountain view. Find more information by visiting the Coopers Rock State Forest Complete Visitors Guide.
Dorsey’s Knob Park and Lodge
Enjoy the 71-acre view of the Monongahela River at Dorsey’s Knob Park. Climb the “Sky Rock,” which stands nearly 600 feet above the tall pines –known as the highest peak in Morgantown. Catch a glimpse of the park before you visit with this 360° video view! You can also stay the night at Dorsey’s Knob Lodge if you want to relax in a mountaintop atmosphere.
Cathedral State Park
Explore the bosky trails of the majestic forest at Cathedral State Park. As a remembrance of what once garnished the Appalachian highlands, Cathedral State Park is a hemlock forest with trees reaching up to 90-feet high! You’re sure to be surrounded by all the colors of fall when exploring this ancient scenery.
WVU Core Arboretum
Located near the WVU Coliseum, the WVU Core Arboretum is a 91-acre trail of hillside and bottomland along the Monongahela River. The Arboretum has many trails aligned with colorful trees and shrubs, as well as bridges. The Arboretum’s plants and trees are identified by species, encouraging trail-goers to learn more about the various types of flora flourishing within the facility.
WV Botanic Garden
The WV Botanic Garden is the former reservoir that supplied water to the Morgantown area from 1912 to 1969. Today, it thrives as the state’s flagship public garden. The old structures of the reservoir can be seen along the many trails through the floral forest that the Botanical Garden offers. Check out this 360˚ tour of the Garden before you visit!
Follow the Nature Conservancy signs to enter Cranesville Swamp. An area that harbors five trails and more than 1,700 acres, Cranesville Swamp offers a great atmosphere to experience various plants and birds.
Tygart Lake State Park
Tygart Lake State Park in Taylor County is home to numerous walking, hiking and biking trails and plenty of opportunities to surround yourself in fall foliage. Picnic tables placed along the shoreline make for the perfect lunch venue at the lake or choose to dine at one of the nearby restaurants. Visitors can stay the night at the Tygart Lake Lodge, relax in a cabin, or set up at one of the campground and RV sites. Find more information by visiting the Tygart Lake State Park Complete Visitors Guide.
Visitors to Cheat Lake can enjoy a fully accessible walking trail, open to walkers, joggers, cyclists and families. The trail stretches 4.5 miles along the north-eastern shoreline, following Cheat Lake all the way to the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border. Calm water sets the scene for a peaceful experience – just check out this gallery of visitor-submitted photos! Find more information by visiting the Cheat Lake Complete Visitors Guide.
Plan your next Fall adventure with our new app! Browse lodging, restaurants, activities, and events, and map your trip in our planner app. Your itinerary is available on your mobile device and can even include discount coupons! Visit www.VisitMountaineerCountry.com/Planner to download the app or find the Visit Mountaineer Country app in the Google Play and Apple App Store.
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All photos courtesy of Visit Mountaineer Country