State foresters say Coopers Rock State Forest, Cheat Lake and West Virginia’s Northern and Eastern panhandles are the best bets for fall color this weekend. Foliage in Coopers Rock State Forest turned a bit late this year, and foresters recommend a drive along Interstate 68 this weekend through the forest to see the best color of the season. While in the area, be sure to check out the leaves along Cheat Lake.
In the state’s Northern Panhandle, foliage in Marshall, Ohio, Brooke and Hancock counties is reported to be 100 percent peak and showing lots of yellows and reds. Foresters say any drive along the Ohio River will be beautiful. A drive along U.S. Route 250 from Wetzel County through Marshall County also is recommended. Foliage along that route is mostly past peak, but areas of bright color remain.
In the Eastern Panhandle, foliage in Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties also is reported to be 100 percent peak. Foresters recommend following State Route 9 along the Cacapon River with a stop at the Panorama Overlook. Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area is another recommended point of interest this weekend in the Eastern Panhandle.
U.S. Route 60 is colorful between Gauley Bridge and Charleston, as is a drive south along Interstates 64 and 77 from Charleston to Beckley.
State Route 5 is the recommended drive in Calhoun and Gilmer counties. U.S. Route 33 is recommended in Gilmer and Roane counties.
Forestry officials encourage leaf peepers to post their 2014 West Virginia fall foliage photos to the agency’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/wvforestry), or tweet them using #wvfallcolor. Photos may be featured on the Division’s Facebook page.
Weekly reports will be available through the agency’s website, www.wvforestry.com, its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/wvforestry, Twitter account, @wvforestry, and the Department of Commerce’s website, www.wvcommerce.org. Reports will be posted each Thursday afternoon through the end of October. Photos and updates, as available through the week, will be posted to the agency’s Facebook page. The next fall foliage report will be released Thursday, Oct. 30