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West Virginia Department of Tourism releases 2023 Fall Foliage Projection Map

Recent rainfall in the nation’s third most forested state could be a precursor to stunning fall color

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In anticipation of the quickly-approaching autumn season, the West Virginia Department of Tourism has released its annual fall foliage projection map. The map, prepared in partnership with the West Virginia Division of Forestry, estimates when fall color is expected to begin appearing across the Mountain State in an effort to help travelers plan their fall getaways. Recent rainfall could lead to the most stunning fall the state has experienced in decades.  

Beginning mid-September, the Department of Tourism will start releasing weekly fall foliage updates which will include real-time color reports, as well as roadtrips with suggested stops and hikes that will guide travelers through the state’s prime leaf-viewing opportunities.

“We still have several good weeks left in summer, but it’s never too early to start planning an autumn trip to experience West Virginia’s stunning fall foliage,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. ”I can’t wait for our rolling hills to come alive with vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow. There’s no better place to experience the fall than right here in Almost Heaven.”

In addition to the fall foliage map, the Department of Tourism will also offer a live leaf tracker which will be updated in real-time as the season begins to shift to give travelers an inside look at fall color around the state. The tracker features photos from social media using #AlmostHeaven and can be viewed online at WVtourism.com/fall.

Experts believe West Virginia could be well-positioned for a memorable fall. “It doesn’t seem possible, but fall is just around the corner. As the days get shorter and the temperatures start to fall our trees will take on a brilliant display of colors. We are blessed with the wide variety of tree species that change different colors at different times which allows for an extended leaf watching season. From the high elevations of the mountains in late September to the lowlands of the Ohio Valley in late October there is a road waiting to be explored and take in this beautiful time of the year in our wonderful state we call home,” said Deputy State Forester Anthony Evans.

“We encourage all of our guests to join in on the fun and help us showcase our state’s natural beauty and jaw-dropping fall colors by sharing photos on social media using #AlmostHeaven,” said Ruby.

Along with the foliage map and live leaf tracker, travelers can also explore recommended places to stay, spectacular hikes, popular seasonal adventures, special fall festivals and events all at WVtourism.com/fall. Those looking for an adventure can order or digitally download the Department of Tourism’s free, vacation guide to help plan their fall getaway.

To access the latest updates, happenings and insider tips around fall in Almost Heaven, visit WVtourism.com/fall.

For graphics of the 2023 fall foliage map and high-quality images from previous fall seasons, click here. Photo credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism