Virginia’s fall season draws leaf peepers from all over the country. The changing trees are incredible, especially along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. No matter if you want to hike, camp, or road trip this fall season, there is a place in the Blue Ridge Mountains for you. Embrace autumn this year by visiting these 7 best places to see fall foliage in Virginia.
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Found in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Humpback Rocks is scenic spot for fall foliage. This short hike offers 360-degree views of the Shenandoah Valley. The trailhead to this mile-long hike is found in Humpback Rocks Recreation Area at mile 6 of the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. Even the drive to this hike is sure to be picturesque, as the Blue Ridge Parkway is known as one of the most beautiful drives in the Eastern United States.
McAfee Knob is an iconic spot found along the Appalachian Trail, and during the fall months McAfee Knobs offers unbelievable views of changing trees. This incredible viewpoint requires a eight-mile round trip hike. However the 270-degree view is totally worth the effort here. Do keep in mind that anyone from day hikers to thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail pass through this spot, so you may not experience a secluded trail. However, that shouldn’t deter you from experiencing one of the most popular hikes in the state and one of the most photographed spots along the AT.
Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
Found in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is a great spot to truly embrace the changing season. This botanical garden is perfect to visit for a fall picnic or a relaxing walk. Spanning 125 acres, this garden is a mix of urban garden and protected forest. You’ll see not only Virginia’s native trees change here but also other unique flora as well.
Big Walker Lookout
You won’t want to forget your camera when you visit this Virginia lookout tower. Big Walker Lookout is a 100-foot watchtower that is the perfect spot to catch 360-degree views of fall foliage. Found in Wytheville, the watchtower is accessible from the road, so no hike required. However, it is privately owned by the owners of the Big Walker Country Store. So make sure to support the local country store during your time here too.
Shenandoah National Park
If you’re wanting to plan a camping trip this fall, then you should consider visiting Shenandoah National Park. Backpack along the Appalachian Trail, stay at one of the park’s campsites, or simply road trip along Skyline Drive. No matter if you want to hike, camp or drive through the park, your time at the park this fall is sure to be unforgettable. Before you head out to this national park, make sure to check the park’s website for the fall foliage report to determine the best time to catch those changing leaves here.
If you’re interested in getting an Instagram-worthy picture of fall foliage this autumn season, then make sure to visit Mabry Mill. Another famous spot found along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill was once a functioning mill until the 1930s. However now its a popular tourist spot, boasting exhibits and even a restaurant. The buckwheat pancakes at the Mabry Mill Restaurant alone are worth the trip here.
Sky Meadows State Park
This 1,800-acre state park boasts impressive views of fall foliage during the autumn season. Take a fall hike on one of the trails here, including the Appalachian Trail. Sky Meadow State Park was once a family farm, but now it is a popular destination for hikers and campers in the area. However, hiking and camping aren’t the only activities to do in the area. As part of Northern Virginia’s wine country, the area surrounding Sky Meadow State Park is home to many wineries and tasting rooms.