Vibrant Fall Hues in Pocahontas County
Fall is in the air, and the vibrant hues of the season are painting the landscapes of Pocahontas County, West Virginia. With a vast expanse of over 940 square miles and a significant portion of the Monongahela National Forest within our borders, Pocahontas County offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of foliage. So, grab your camera, put on your hiking boots or hop on your bike, because we’re about to guide you through the best ways to enjoy the breathtaking autumn scenery in Nature’s Mountain Playground this month.
With an average altitude of 3,219 feet, Pocahontas County is the sixth-highest county east of the Mississippi River, making it a prime spot for capturing stunning panoramic views of the foliage. On clear, sunny days during the peak of fall color, places like Snowshoe Mountain Resort and the Highland Scenic Highway offer vistas that stretch for miles in every direction, showcasing a striking collage of red, orange and gold leaves against the backdrop of rugged mountain ranges and deep valleys.
For those who want to fully experience the colors of fall, there’s no better way than hiking through the forested trails of Pocahontas County. For incredible and unique sights, visit the following spots:
- Allegheny Trail – Head out on an adventure and traverse a section of the 311-mile Allegheny Trail through Pocahontas County this fall for unbeatable views.
- Beartown State Park – For a magical experience, set out on a hike at Beartown State Park, where winding trails lead you through a world of golden leaves and moss-covered rock formations.
- Cranberry Glades Botanical Area – Visit the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Walk the half-mile observation boardwalk and explore the ecological wonder of this high-altitude bog in the heart of autumn.
- Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park – Climb to the top of the Droop Mountain Tower for sweeping views of the Greenbrier Valley.
- Falls of Hills Creek – Journey through a colorful forest, culminating in the awe-inspiring sight of cascading waterfalls framed by the fiery foliage at the Falls of Hills Creek.
- Greenbrier River Trail State Park – Explore part of this 78-mile rail trail and revel in the lively colors of the changing leaves while strolling along the serene riverside path.
- Watoga State Park – Take a leisurely walk around Watoga Lake for a mesmerizing scene of the autumn colors reflecting off the tranquil waters.
- Seneca State Forest – Find peace and solitude while hiking through the expansive Seneca State Forest, where the canopy above is painted with a kaleidoscope of seasonal hues.
- West Fork Trail – Get off the grid and follow the 26-mile West Fork Trail along the Greenbrier River for scenic and colorful views.
These destinations offer a variety of hiking trails that lead you deep into the heart of the autumn foliage. As you walk among the fallen leaves, the only sound you’ll hear is the soothing crunch beneath your feet and the occasional shower of leaves falling from the trees above.
Fall biking in Pocahontas County is a vibrant experience. Start at the Green Bank Observatory, where you can explore beginner-level green trails encircling the world’s largest steerable radio telescope. As you pedal along, not only will you be treated to the amazing autumn vistas, but you’ll also have the unique opportunity to view the impressive telescope up close. For another leisurely ride, cruise the Greenbrier River Trail, a family-friendly rail trail winding through remote mountains. Experienced bikers can tackle challenging routes at Seneca State Forest, surrounded by the stunning fall scenery.
If you’re an explorer who wants to create your own fall foliage tour, Pocahontas County offers incredible motorcycling routes. Cruising along the country roads, following the natural contours of the mountains, winding valleys and meandering rivers, you’ll experience the full spectrum of seasonal beauty. The Highland Scenic Highway, in particular, is a popular choice, ascending from 2,325 feet to over 4,500 feet. The breathtaking views from its scenic overlooks during fall foliage season are truly awe-inspiring. But don’t limit yourself; Pocahontas County’s extensive road network provides numerous scenic byways and picturesque backroads to explore. Request a copy of our free Motorcycle Ride Guide to find your next ride.
Scenic Train Rides
For a memorable leaf-peeping experience, hop on one of Pocahontas County’s scenic train rides. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park offers two excursions, taking passengers deep into the Allegheny Mountain Range. Choose between a two-hour round trip to Whittaker Station or a four-and-a-half-hour journey to Bald Knob. Additionally, the Durbin Rocket, propelled by a coal-fed steam engine, takes visitors on a ten-and-a-half-mile, two-hour journey along the Greenbrier River.
No matter your leaf-peeping strategy, whether it involves ascending to higher elevations for panoramic views or going out on foot on the forested trails, Pocahontas County has something to offer every leaf peeper. But hurry – peak color only lasts a couple of weeks!