It's no secret that I love my home state of West Virginia. I love to showcase the state's resilient people, culture, and rugged, natural beauty. Although I love the Mountain State in every season, Autumn is my absolute favorite time in West Virginia.
There is no shortage of festivals and activities that people can enjoy in West Virginia during the fall, but I've chosen to only highlight five here. (And these are in no particular order, by the way.)
|Both images via|
Keep in mind that the New River Train only runs on select weekends in mid and late October and departures typically sell out well in advance.
Riders have an option of two different excursions: the 2-hour, 4 mile roundtrip excursion to Whittaker Station and the 4.5 hour, 22 mile roundtrip journey to Bald Knob. In the fall, riders are treated to spectacular views of the Appalachian mountains all decked out in their autumn splendor. Keep in mind that riders sit in open air cars, so warm attire and layers are essential.
In addition to watching BASE jumpers leap from the 876' tall bridge into the gorge, thrill seekers can also sign up for a tandem BASE jump. For the those seeking activities with less of an adrenaline rush, there are numerous vendors, a 5K race, a car show, a bluegrass festival (Bridge Jam), a chili cook-off, and other activities. One of the most enjoyable activities is to just take in the wonder of the architectural feat that turned a 45 minute drive into the gorge in order to cross the New River into a drive that is now around one minute, not to mention simply enjoying the wondrous views of the the fall foliage in the gorge.
White Water Rafting
Fayette and Summers Counties, WV
West Virginia is known for its white water rafting. There are two world class rivers located in southern West Virginia - the New River and the Gauley River.
During the summer and fall, the Lower New offers solid class II-IV rapids. The fall offers some spectacular views of the autumn foliage. During spring runoff, however, the river is usually upgraded to a class IV-V, which offers rafters a splashier, bigger water experience. Trips on the Lower New also give rafters the unique vantage of viewing the iconic New River Gorge Bridge from underneath.
Then, there's the Gauley River, which is known as the Beast of the East. The Gauley is the most renowned whitewater in West Virginia. It is always ranked in the top three whitewater rivers in the United States and is consistently considered one of the top 5 in the world. I, personally, have not rafted the Gauley because it is a more difficult river and requires more rafting skills than I feel I possess.
The Gauley River is known for its big fall paddling season when water is released from Summersville Dam in order to bring Summersville Lake down to winter level. During dam release days, the Gauley River offers some of the biggest, baddest whitewater around (consistent class V with over 100 rapids). Rafting the Gauley during the fall is not for the faint of heart.
Rafting trips also take place on the Gauley during the spring and summer, but the whitewater levels during these times is much more tamer.
*There are numerous rafting companies to chose from, but I would highly recommend Class VI. I have rafted with them numerous times and I have had nothing but exceptional experiences with them.
In addition to some awesome trail riding on the Hatfield & McCoy trail system, there are other fun events held throughout the weekend such as scavenger hunts, contests, poker runs, and mud pit racing, to name a few.
For more information on things to do in WV, click here.
As always, thanks for stopping by!
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