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Tourism

Fall foliage is peeking through

The Preston County Journal of Kingwood, West Virginia

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While all seasons in West Virginia are beautiful the fall brings an explosion of colors in the hills and valleys of the Mountain State. And best of all due to its rural nature,

West Virginia is filled with quiet country roads that allow visitors to enjoy leisurely drives through the scenic wonders. Most roads have many areas where tourists can pull off the road and take pictures (or simply let the locals around).

The leaves of the mountainous areas of West Virginia are the first to turn due to their elevation. Late September is generally the peak of the colors in this area. Routes 219 and 220 run north-south through this mountainous area. From Interstate 79, take Route 33 east into this area. Points of Interest include Cass Scenic Railroad (where you can ride a steam powered train up the mountains providing spectacular views), Snowshoe Mountain Resort, and many mountain peaks. Many points can also be reached from Interstate 68, particularly in Preston County (on the Maryland border).

Early October is the time to be in Elkins for the leaves, or in the northern panhandle. Rt. 2 runs north through Wheeling and Weirton with many scenic views accessible to visitors. Points of Interest include Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino and Olgebay Park. This are is easily accessible from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Youngstown, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio.

Mid October is the prime time for north central West Virginia. Route 50 between Parkersburg and Clarksburg is a divided 4" lane highway that runs through an undeveloped area often at a high elevation where the leaves can be seen for miles in each direction. Route 47 is a two lane road between Parkersburg and Weston and provides a more up close look at the leaves. Points of Interest include Blennerhas-sett Island in Parkersburg and North

In late October the southern part of West Virginia becomes the focus of the fall leaves. The West Virginia Turnpike (toll road)/ Interstate 77 between Beckley and Charleston and Interstate 64 between Charleston and Huntington provide many avenues to access the beauty in this region. The Turnpike itself provides beautiful views of the area. Points of Interest include the Grist Mill at Babcock State Park, West Virginia cultural heritage and shopping at Tamarack, and the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville.

Here are a few miscellaneous tips for tourists. Squirrel season starts on the first Saturday of October. Don't laugh the hotels will fill up quickly. Squirrel gravy and biscuits is a delicacy to those of us raised in West Virginia. Plan any trips near Mor-gantown around West Virginia University home games. The roads in the area will be desolate during the game but will be packed before and after the contests.



Copyright 2010 The Preston County Journal, Kingwood, West Virginia. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

© 2011 The Preston County Journal Kingwood, West Virginia. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from DAS.

Original Publication Date: September 15, 2010



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