When Is Peak Fall Color In Tucker County, West Virginia

In this month’s Blog I am going to tackle the always speculative topic of when peak fall color will occur. Needless to say, Mother Nature does what she wants. Let’s begin with the one variable nature cannot change on a daily basis. Our mountain and valley elevations. From the highest points of Dolly Sods Wilderness at 4,123 feet to the floor of the Cheat River at 1,647 in Parsons West Virginia.

Fall Foliage peaks color in the Blackwater Canyon at Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia.

Autumn begins early at 4,000 feet, but the transition is slow. Ground cover like fern, begin their transition the second week of September. The contrast of ferns against Cotton Grass, mosses and a temporarily green landscape is eye catching.

Dolly Sods Wilderness in early September.  Autumn begins to settle in.

Blueberry Bushes as far as the eye can see are next in line to change. The scarlet red hip-high bushes are notorious in the highest elevations down to around 3,000 ft. By the third weekend of September, transitions are evident in the blueberry bushes and now maple trees. At this point I feel it is a safe bet to say the lower elevations of Tucker County (Parsons/Dry Fork River) are five to seven days behind the autumn transition taking place in Dolly Sods and Canaan Valley.

Blueberry bushes in Dolly Sods turn scarlet red with the fall season.

Now, how about that peak fall foliage timing I was teasing about in the first paragraph. I cannot take credit for this incredibly wise statement. Peak fall foliage comes in the first ten days of October. This is the best, most accurate advice I have ever received. As peak closes in tune into social media sites, especially Facebook, that are specific to Dolly Sods Wilderness and Canaan Valley for real time observations.

Table Rock looking over Red Run and fall foliage in Davis, West Virginia.

There is no doubt Tucker County and the Allegheny Highlands of West Virginia are home to some of the country’s most fine fall foliage viewing. There is good reason for this. At elevations above 3,000 feet there is a homogenization of northern hardwood and southern hardwood trees. Think of it as Canada meets North Carolina. The colors are spectacular and scenery is uninterrupted as far as the eye can see.

Fall background when staying in Canaan Valley, West Virginia.

Photo Credit: Vernon Patterson and Brian Sarfino

Happy Autumn. Cheers,


Fall in the bogs of Canaan Valley, West Virginia.