Higher elevations still the best spots to see fall foliage

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Higher elevations still the best spots to see fall foliage

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s fall foliage season is in full swing despite an early snow in the mountains.  Last weekend’s snowfall did cause some leaves to drop, but foresters report there is plenty of colorful foliage left to see.

“The higher the elevation, the better the color,” said Regional Forester Rudy Williams, who is stationed in the Division of Forestry’s (DOF) Farmington office.  Places like Tucker County’s Davis and Thomas, as well as Canaan Valley and Blackwater state parks are still on the must-see list. 

The Mt. Storm Lake area of Grant County is showing an abundance of reds and yellows with 75 percent of the leaves at peak.  A drive along State Route 93 toward Davis is recommended.  And, if you are in the area, foresters recommend a stop at the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area where foliage also is reported to be at 75 percent peak.
View Fall Foliage photo gallery
The mountains surrounding Elkins are a colorful backdrop to this week’s Mountain State Forest Festival.  Foresters recommend driving along U.S. Route 33 to Elkins to take in the festivities.  Foliage within Elkins is still a week or so from peak.

Higher elevations of Nicholas County are recommended again this week, including Richwood and Cherry River.  Maples are reported to be very colorful this year in those areas.  Overall, Nicholas County is at 65 percent peak this week.

Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties are at 75 percent peak.  The western portion of Pocahontas, which was at peak last week, has lost a lot of leaves, but the eastern portion should be at peak within the next week.  

Webster County is at 70 percent peak.  Foresters recommend a drive along Elk River Road from Webster Springs to the Pocahontas County line.

Higher elevations of Upshur County have excellent color this week.  The recommended drive is along State Route 20 from Rock Cave to the Webster County line.

If you are visiting Oglebayfest at Oglebay Park this weekend or the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival in Milton, be sure to stop by the DOF’s exhibits.  Foliage in Ohio County is at five percent peak; in Cabell County, foliage is at 10 percent peak.  

Looking ahead to next week, foresters predict colors should be near peak for Bridge Day.  Fayette County is currently at 55 percent peak, and foresters recommend a drive along U.S. Route 60 to get a sneak peek at the foliage.

Foliage will not be at peak for next week’s Bunner Ridge Fall Festival in Marion County, but foresters say there will be some color in the area.  Admission to the festival is free and proceeds from the event will go to rebuild the community center that was destroyed by fire two years ago.  Currently, foliage in Marion County is at 10 percent peak.

Leaves in areas of lower elevation mostly are yet to turn, but will be catching up quickly over the next few weeks.

The next fall foliage report will be released on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011.  

For more information about fall foliage, visit the Division of Forestry’s website at www.wvforestry.com. 

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News Release:  Oct. 6, 2011

Contact:  Leslie Fitzwater, Public Information Specialist, 304-957-9342 or 304-541-8102, Leslie.C.Fitzwater@wv.gov