ALL THE PRETTY COLORS
While it’s still as green as a Granny Smith apple cider at a Thundering Herd tailgate party here in the Ohio River Valley, over in the mountains, and north in Ohio, there’s starting to be a little peep of fall color.
Here’s a look at our Friday Fall Foliage roundup for West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, that will run each Friday in October in the H-D.
THE FOLIAGE: Color in Canaan Valley is nearing peak and higher elevations in Greenbrier County are starting to show signs of early color. Fall color continues to turn in the Canaan Valley region.
Last week’s report indicated this area was nearing peak, but thanks to warmer temperatures, color will stay around a bit longer. The next two weekends will offer prime viewing for iconic spots like Blackwater Falls and Dolly Sods Wilderness Area.
Higher elevations of the southeastern counties are beginning to show signs of scattered colors: Maples, birches, gums and poplars are showing early color, but the oaks remain solid green.
Lower elevations are still only on the brink of turning, with sycamores and poplars among those likely to change first. The region — which includes the Greenbrier Valley and the New River Gorge — is in the early stages of changing and should offer good viewing over the next three weeks as color begins to approach peak.
FEATURED COUNTRY ROAD: Route 311 in Monroe County. From U.S. 60 east of White Sulphur Springs, follow W.Va. 311 south through Monroe County. The rural road winds past picturesque farmland before climbing through dense forest to the ridgeline of Peters Mountain, where the maples are at peak.
There’s plenty to do in the area. Venture into White Sulphur Springs for the annual Wild Game Cook-Off (Oct. 6). At the State Fair of West Virginia Fairgrounds Hope in the Hills is sponsoring the Healing Appalachia: A Concert to Fight Addiction in Appalachia.
The concert is set for noon Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Fairgrounds in Greenbrier County. Music starts at 1 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of the concert if not sold out. Performing will be Tyler Childers, Kelsey Waldon, Justin Wells, The Wild Rumpus and The Half Bad Bluegrass Band. Visit www.healingappalachia.org.
Enjoy the crisp fall air with a bike ride along the Greenbrier River Trail, which offers access to several popular fishing holes on the Greenbrier River.
Nearby, Greenbrier State Forest offers nearly 19 miles of hiking trails. Farther south, Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory atop Peters Mountain is a favorite gathering spot for birders to watch the
Turn your road trip into an overnighter with a stay at The Greenbrier, Historic General Lewis Inn or the family-friendly Greenbrier River Campgrounds and Cabins. Additional accommodations and attractions can be found at www.WVtourism.com.
FESTIVAL PICK: On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7, the little Pocahontas County town of Huntersville is hosting its Traditions Day, a way to step back in time and enjoy Appalachian culture by taking part in demonstrations of some of the lost arts that have disappeared through the decades.
Wagon rides are provided for transportation after arriving in Huntersville. The Huntington Middle School and Huntington East Middle School Western Virginia Military Academy and the Lizzie Cabell Finishing School for Young Ladies will both be re-enacting at the festival this weekend.
Nearby, you can find overnight lodging, dining and lots of recreational opportunities at Snowshoe Mountain. Ride the Cass Scenic Railroad and explore a historic logging camp while you savor the brilliant fall color of the surrounding mountains.
Visit https://pocahontascountywv.com/for more info.
ON THE WEB: As you set out on your leaf-peeping excursion, post and share your favorite fall photos using #AlmostHeaven.
For more fall foliage updates and autumn travel inspiration, visit www.wvtourism.com/fall.
THE FOLIAGE: Some fall color is just now starting to be reported in some of the higher elevation Eastern Kentucky mountain parks.
This would be a great weekend to go check out The Breaks Interstate Park, or find yourself on a mountaintop in Kingdom Come State Park.
With an elevation of 2,700 feet, it is the crowning jewel in the crest of Pine Mountain near Cumberland, Kentucky.
Admire the beautiful views from one of eight overlooks, hike a trail or fish for bass, crappie and trout in the lake. Go online at https://parks.ky.gov/parks/recreationparks/kingdom-come/.
ROAD TRIP: Take a scenic drive in Daniel Boone National Forest in eastern Kentucky. At the northern end, explore the Red River Gorge and Zilpo Scenic Byways, while the southern end boasts the Wilderness Road Heritage Highway.
LOCAL ROAD TRIP: Head over just an hour west of Huntington where Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill, Kentucky, is hosting the first weekend of its Haunted Trail from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6.
Get to the park early to check out some fall foliage. Then if you dare, walk through the park’s quarter-mile wooded trail haunted attraction. Admission is $10. Concessions will be available at the beginning of the trail.
The trail is not recommended for young children. Transportation to and from the trail head will be provided by the park.
FESTIVAL PICK: Hoptoberfest is set to run 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Ky. Enjoy more than 80 craft beers from all over the globe paired with local music and food vendors.
General admission tickets are $30 and include 15 sample tickets and a free sampling glass. VIP is $50 for early entry, free wings for one hour, T-shirt and a sampling glass. Designated driver tickets are $10 and includes entry and free soft drinks.
ON THE WEB: https://www.kentuckytourism.com/colorfall/.
THE FOLIAGE: While most of the state is still seeing mostly green conditions, some hints of color are beginning to emerge as the Buckeye State starts its fall color transformation, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“Fall color is just beginning, and it will improve when we experience cool, crisp night temperatures and bright sunny days,” said ODNR Fall Color Forester Greg Smith.
“The colors will soon be noticeable in walnut, ash and maple trees in open areas, as well as with Virginia creeper and poison ivy vines. Right now, we are still seeing mostly green conditions across the state.”
One of Ohio’s popular pastimes this time of year, fall archery deer hunting season, is underway and will go until Feb. 3, 2019. For more information on deer hunting, go to wildohio.gov.
ROADTRIP: Of all of the places to admire Ohio’s breathtaking fall foliage and breathe in that crisp autumn air, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is among the best and it is starting to see some color change.
Hike or bike the wheelchair-friendly Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail, where you can explore spots like the Canal Exploration Center and Peninsula Depot Visitor Center along the way. Check out Hale Farm & Village, a living history museum featuring farm animals, blacksmithing, candle making, and more.
Don’t miss the picturesque Brandywine Falls, where you can overnight at the nearby Inn at Brandywine Falls, or go rustic at one of the park’s campsites. Go online at https://www.nps.gov/cuva/index.htm.
ON THE WEB: Find out where to find most eye-catching leaves throughout the upcoming fall color season should check out fallcolor.ohiodnr.gov, Ohio’s official guide to the changing colors.
To help visitors find those special autumn activities in Ohio, the Office of TourismOhio has created a new landing page, ohio.org/fallidays.
PHOTO CONTEST: Ohio State Parks is also having a photo contest this fall. Help highlight the best of the great outdoors in a variety of categories for a chance to win great prizes. Enter today at ohiostateparksphotocontest.com.