As the weather cools, the leaves in Virginia turn the mountains and valleys into a tableau of stunning beauty created by an impressive variety of colors. It may not be safe to gather indoors, but the autumn leaves are a wonderful excuse to go for a scenic drive! Pack up your cooler with snacks and make a plan to take a road trip to see these truly breathtaking locations:
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forests
In Virginia, we have the chance to enjoy over 1.66 million acres of forests filled with over 2,200 miles of trails. This amazing wilderness area includes beautiful river views near the Shenandoah River and climbs all the way to the highest peak in Virginia at Mount Rogers (5,729 feet). Experience the most complete vision of autumn in our area by exploring this amazing natural resource.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park includes a 105-mile long national treasure, the Skyline Drive. This National Scenic Byway provides outstanding views that you can enjoy without ever getting out of your car, with stops along the way that feature truly breathtaking overlooks. Over 500 miles of hiking trails allow you to see mountain summit vistas that make it possible to see all the way to Tennessee on a clear day.
Grayson Highlands State Park
Grayson Highlands includes two of Virginia’s highest mountains, Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, and features views from peaks of more than 5,000 feet. Hiking and horse trails give you the opportunity to access the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail.
Natural Tunnel State Park
This park is home to a naturally carved tunnel that is more than 850 feet long and as tall as a ten-story building. Gorgeous views are just part of the attraction; the Wilderness Road historic area also provides cave tours and canoe rides on the Clinch River.
Hungry Mother State Park
The beautiful 108-acre lake in the heart of the mountains at Hungry Mother State Park creates an unforgettable vision of fall foliage both in the surrounding woodlands and reflected in the lake itself. Hiking and biking trails provide even more chances to take in the beauty of the season.
Wilderness Road State Park
The Wilderness Road was initially created by Daniel Boone in 1775 and traverses a 310-acre park. Bike enthusiasts can rent or bring their own bike to ride along the eight-mile Wilderness Road Trail, a multi-purpose trail that provides an excellent view of the stunning fall colors.
Natural Bridge State Park
Natural Bridge is a natural wonder, a 215-foot tall “bridge” created by the inexorable flow of the Cedar Creek through limestone. In addition to the fascinating title feature of this park, you can traverse hiking trails and rolling meadows to see some of the most beautiful forest views in Virginia.
Highbridge Trail State Park
What better vantage point to view autumn leaves than from this 160 foot tall bridge over the Appomattox River? The 2,400 foot long bridge provides an excellent opportunity to see the season’s glory.
Always remember to stay socially distanced and wear a mask when around others, even outside, and take special care when stopping at gas stations and rest areas. Virginia’s abundance of gorgeous scenic drives makes it easy to find a place near you to enjoy the season. Happy leafing!