Fall is officially here! There’s a crisp chill in the air, the leaves are changing to warm hues of yellows and oranges, pumpkins can be found on every doorstep — and our Mountain State provides the perfect backdrop for limitless autumn fun. Here are thirteen great activities and events you won’t want to miss this fall in West Virginia.
Festivals are a classic way for families to spend their weekends during the fall months. There are many festivals to be found, but some of West Virginia’s most famous fall festivals are listed below.
September 24-27 – Kingwood, WV
The “buckwheat” became a farmer’s staple in the 1930’s when locals discovered the easily grown crop could be made into consumable pancakes. Buckwheat cakes will be available the entire weekend along with breakfast sides and other fair food. The Wild World of Animals Show will show off their prized actors: a European Eagle Owl, Blue and Gold Macaw, Albino Burmese Python and others. Country star, Aaron Tippin, will be performing a concert with opening act Wyatt Turner.
Mountain State Forest Festival
September 26-October 4 – Elkins, WV
The 79th annual festival is a fall tradition for many around the state. Dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the state’s natural resources, it annually attracts around 125,000 visitors depending upon the weather. This year’s festival is full of activities including a Strong Man contest, wing cook-off, a 10k race, concerts, parades, craft shows, and the coronation ceremony.
Apple Butter Festival
October 1-4 – Salem, WV
Crowds will gather to watch how the delicious homemade butter was produced the old-fashioned way with copper kettles over open fires. The festival’s activities include live entertainment, a petting zoo, bingo, a 5k run, Homecoming Parade, and apple butter and apple pie contests.
October 17 – New River Gorge (Fayetteville, WV)
World-renowned Bridge Day is an adrenaline junkies dream. Over 80,000 people are expected to attend to watch the BASE jumpers fall 876 feet to the river bottom. The High Line, a controlled zip line, stretches 700 feet down over the gorge from the beams of the bridge and is open to the public for either solo or tandem rides (but you need to sign up early!). Enjoy a tour under the bridge, hundreds of vendors, a chili cook-off, spectacular views, and other activities for the whole family.
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon outdoors or you enjoy baking with West Virginia’s finest produce, be sure to check out these apple farms below.
Sinks Grove, WV
Located in Monroe County near Lewisburg, WV, Morgan Orchard is a great place to start a wonderful fall mini-vacation! The staff is available to assist you with picking the produce of your choice. You can finish off your day with some fresh apple cider available in the orchard store.
Orr’s Farm Market
Mix and match homegrown WV apples for a discount price with Orr’s Farms Market Bin Apple Special. Pick your own out of bins and get the perfect combination of varieties. As a bonus, they also make and sell Apple Cider Donuts!
Pumpkin Patches & Farms
One of fall’s timeless traditions includes picking pumpkins. Whether it’s to carve, make a delicious pie, or just to decorate the front porch, this is an activity that the entire family can enjoy. Plan your visit to one of West Virginia’s biggest pumpkin patches listed below.
Good Hope Berry Farm
Good Hope, WV
Known for their strawberry picking in the spring and summer months, the Good Hope Berry Farm is now offering pumpkin picking and hayrides this fall beginning October 1. A major plus? If you live in Harrison County, you won’t have to travel far to pick out the perfect pumpkin!
Old McDonald’s Pumpkin Patch
The 175-acre Glencoe Farm has been run by the McDonald family since the late 1700s. The farm provides endless pumpkins to choose from, hayrides, a corn maze, petting zoo, zip line, and antique tractor displays.
Okes Family Farms
Cool Ridge, WV
Okes Family Farms offers free weekend wagon rides all September and October on their over four-acre patch. They also host BBQ cookouts, sell homemade apple butter, have a hay maze and a fire pit to enjoy.
Cooper Family Farm
Featuring a corn maze, zombie paintball, pumpkin patch, Field of Screams haunted corn maze, and zip lines for the whole family, the Cooper Family Farm is nothing short of fall fun.
Fall Foliage Driving Tours
Does getting away from the chaos and crowds sound good to you? If you’re looking for a no-stress fall activity, we suggest a nice drive down a country road. West Virginia has a plethora of gorgeous foliage driving tours you can plan yourself and enjoy at your own leisure.
Mountain Magic Tour
A classic foliage driving tour is the Mountain Magic Tour, which is best enjoyed in late September through early October. This road trip will take you across Canaan Valley, where you should also stop for a visit at West Virginia’s largest waterfall, Blackwater Falls State Park. The views are unbeatable traveling through the mountains to the former lumber towns of Davis and Thomas. You’ll also want to stop in Dolly Sods where you can drive or hike for miles and miles overlooking untouched wilderness. The last stretch of the drive is the Highland Scenic Highway, which is WV Rt. 150.
Scarlet Heartland Tour
Another favorite for a fall drive is the Scarlet Heartland Tour, which begins at Coopers Rock State Park, located 20 minutes east of Morgantown. The park is famous for its overlook of the Cheat River Gorge, which has a 1,200-foot valley below. You can also stop by Cheat Lake or Lakeview Resort to enjoy the scenic views. Continue the tour south on I-79 and stop at Prickett’s Fort State Park in Fairmont. This historical reconstructed fort provides beautiful views. On this tour, you’ll continue your drive to the Philippi Covered Bridge, Jackson’s Mill, and Stonewall Resort.
Mansion by Candlelight
October 9-10 – Blennerhassett Island (Parkersburg, WV)
This two-night only fall event is hosted by Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. Your journey begins with a boat ride on a sternwheeler to the island for a party set in 1805. The mansion is without electricity and covered in hundreds of candles that expand across the entire property. The night includes wagon rides and dinner.
Whether you decide to pick pumpkins to carve at home with your family, travel across the state to eat classic carnival treats, or even jump off a bridge, West Virginia offers fall activities for everyone. We at the Clarksburg Post hope you take advantage of these autumn months throughout our beautiful state as she shows off her natural beauty!