Fall is arguably the most beautiful time to visit Fayetteville and the New River Gorge. As temperatures cool, and the leaves start to change colors, it’s a great time to enjoy a fun fall getaway weekend in Fayetteville. To enjoy autumn to the fullest extent, we’ve put together Fayetteville’s Fun Guide. Fall is the perfect time to experience all that Fayetteville has to offer with cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and loads of fall fun.
A couple of things to keep in mind when exploring Fayetteville this fall. Plan ahead, advance tickets are required for some activities. Visitors travel from all over to take in the spectacular fall views, so lodging fills up fast, it is best to book your lodging plans in advance.
We have so many fall activities for you to enjoy from endless hiking, mountain biking, rafting or simply enjoying the incredible fall foliage and sightseeing around the National Park.
When Is Peak Fall Color?
This is our most frequently asked question. Due to our area’s vast elevation changes, we have an extended season for fall colors. The development of color is largely dependent on elevation and tree species. We usually have color around late October, but as you travel throughout vast elevation changes within the National Park it is easy to find color. If you aren’t seeing a lot of color in one spot you can take a short drive to another elevation lower or higher within the park for a chance at enjoying spectacular fall views.
As we gear up for the 2023 fall color season, we are counting on you to help us share and stay up to date on the current colors. Tag us at #visittheville @visitfayettevillewv for a chance to be featured with our weekly color updates. Stay tuned to our social media pages for updates throughout the season.
Taste the Local Harvest
Take advantage of the fall season by stopping by the Fayette County Farmers Market every Saturday from 8am -12:30pm off Wiseman Ave in the Fayette County Courthouse parking lot to savor the flavors of fall. Enjoy locally grown apples, pumpkin breads, apple butter, pepperoni rolls and a bounty of fall produce.
Looking for a local pumpkin patch, hayrides, farm animals, corn pit, kettle corn and more? Stop by Owl Mountain Farm Pumpkin Patch in Hico on Saturdays and Sundays September 30th- October 29th to tour their pumpkin patch!
Ghost Tours in Historic Fayetteville
Get ready for an eerie and enchanting experience with Ghosts on the Gorge Ghost Tour as they take you on a ghost tour on a walk around historic Fayetteville. Brace yourself for spine-chilling ghost stories and intriguing folklore that will leave you spellbound. (Tours go out on Fridays and Saturdays)
Enjoy a Birds Eye View
Nothing beats a bird’s eye view for taking in spectacular fall colors!
Experience a one-of-a-kind Bridge Walk in the mountains of West Virginia, as you cross the catwalk under the New River Gorge Bridge on a panoramic adventure.
See a burst of color flying through the forest canopy on a scenic fall zipline tour. Zip from tree to tree over mill creek on the Tree Tops Canopy Tour or zip along the edge of the gorge at Ace Adventure Resort’s ziplines. Explore the The Ridges Zipline Tour or race off the side of a mountain on dual racing zips over 3,000 ft at Gravity Zipline Tours.
Wild Blue Adventure Company Biplane will take you out over the gorge in a Stearman biplane.
Experience West Virginias fifth season, Gauley season. Gauley season means guaranteed dam releases from the Summersville dam offering epic whitewater from the second week of September till the third weekend in October. Start planning your Gauley adventures with a local outfitter.
Rt 60 Midland Trail and the New River Gorge
Named WV Tourism’s Best 4 Scenic Mountain Road Trips. The 180-mile Midland Trail traverses the state on historic 2-lane Route 60. The Trail is full of great places to stop and enjoy the scenery, pioneer history, outdoor adventure, local arts and crafts as well as great West Virginia food. Plus, it’s lined with flowing waterfalls.
Fayette Station Road
Winding roads and mountain views make for great scenic drives. One of our favorite scenic drives is the Fayette Station Road Tour. This one-hundred-year-old road used to be the only route across the New River Gorge before the New River Gorge Bridge was built. There are wide pull-offs where you can stop and take in the beauty of this massive structure. Enjoy the history of the New River Gorge Bridge with this ride along the audio tour.
To access Fayette Station Road, turn right onto Lansing-Edmond Road from US-19 North This 7.5-mile loop begins at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center. At ¼ mile turn right onto Fayette Station Road. Turn left at the fork. Follow the signs to Fayette Station.
Thurmond Historic District
Fall is the perfect time to explore this coal country ghost town steeped in rich history.
To access Thurmond travel south on Rt. 19 from Fayetteville to the Glenn Jean exit. Follow the signs to Thurmond along Dunloup creek for seven miles along narrow Route 25 leading to the restored Thurmond Depot.
Abandoned coal towns will give you the haunting vibes your craving. Explore the rich history of others like Thurmond, Nuttalburg, and the Kaymor Mine.
Babcock State Park
One of West Virginia’s most iconic locations, with 4,117 acres of beautiful scenery. The park is known for the iconic Glade Creek Grist Mill, one of the most photographed landmarks in the state.
To access Babcock travel 6 miles north of Fayetteville on Rt. 19 and take the Route 60 Midland Trail Exit. Take a left off the exit and follow the signs to Babcock. You will turn on Rt. 41 following the signs to Babcock.
Go for a walk and take in the clean, crisp autumn air. Enjoy the sound of leaves crinkling and crackling underneath your shoes. Longpoint Trail is hard to beat for amazing fall views. We also love the Island In The Sky Trail at Babcock State Park for its scenic vistas.
Arrowhead Bike Farm
Experience fall in the New River Gorge like never before on a guided mountain biking tour with Arrowhead Bike Farm. Tours are focused on riding trails and seeing the area. Book your trip now to explore America’s newest national park this autumn: After your bike ride grab a bite at the Handle Bar Restaurant and hang out with the farm’s resident goats.
New River Jet Boat Tour
Stop by Hawks Nest State Park and enjoy the views above the canopy at the Hawks Nest overlooks. Then head on down to the River with Miss M. Rocks and Captain Rick to experience a New River Jet Boat excursion. Take in all the views as you travel from the Hawks Nest Lake upstream toward the New River Gorge Bridge. Trips are running Thursday – Monday through October.
Fayetteville is the unofficial food capital of West Virginia. Fall is the perfect time to gorge on seasonal specials to prepare for winter hibernation. Enjoy seasonal favorites at restaurants throughout town. Stop by the Stache for pumpkin flavored ice-cream.
As the leaves begin to change, so do the flavors on tap. Savor the suds of the season at The Freefolk Brewery and Bridge Brew Works. Both have outdoor covered seating and firepits to enjoy the crisp autumn air. For more fall favorites stop by the Southside Junction Taphouse, Water Stones Brew Garden, or Maggie’s Pub to enjoy a seasonal drink. The Historic Morris Havey House has opened Rosa’s speakeasy where period dress is strongly encouraged, make reservations to guarantee your spot. You can stock up on your favorites at Studio B Art Boutique and Wine Gallery.
Update Your Wardrobe
With summer coming to an end, it’s time to revamp your fall wardrobe! Check out Thread, Out of The Ashes, Twisted Gypsy’s. Lost Appalachia Trading Co., and Adventure’s Station for fall styling to pair up with your favorite boots or snag a new sweater or souvenir shirt. Our outdoor gear shops can outfit you for the cooler temps at Waterstone Outdoors and Ace Adventure Gear Shop.
Stay with us
Take in fall’s splendor on horseback at Cowboy Town.Tis the season for whitewater rafting with a few more weeks of Gauley season. It is not too late to get on the water with Mountain Surf Paddle Sports offering waterfall tours and SUP rentals. You can also book an ATV trip with New River ATV.
Bridge Day Chili Cook-off
October at The Park Festival
Saturday, October 7
The Fayette County Park is hosting the ultimate Fall festival with fall fun for the whole family. Artisan vendors will be set up along with food vendors.
Thunder in the Mountains
Saturday, October 21
Bridge Day Chili Cook-off
Saturday, October 21