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7 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Virginia

Virginia’s fall season draws leaf peepers from all over the country. The changing trees are incredible, especially along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. Whether you want to go hiking, enjoy camping or glamping retreat, or enjoy a road trip this fall season, there is a place in the Blue Ridge Mountains for you. Embrace autumn this year by visiting these best places to see fall foliage in Virginia.

Humpback Rocks Humpback Rocks Shenandoah valley
Credit: Humpback Rocks Shenandoah valley by © Michael Angelilli | Dreamstime.com

Humpback Rocks

Found in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Humpback Rocks is a scenic spot for fall foliage. This short hike offers 360-degree views of the Shenandoah Valley. You can find this trailhead to this mile-long hike 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 Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Mountains
Credit: Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Mountains by Geoff Livingston via Flickr

McAfee Knob

McAfee Knob is an iconic spot found along the Appalachian Trail. During the fall months, it offers unbelievable views of changing trees and incredible viewpoints, requiring an eight-mile round-trip hike. However, the 270-degree view is worth the effort here. Remember that anyone from day hikers to thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail passes 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 Edith J. Carrier Arboretum
Credit: Edith J. Carrier Arboretum by

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Found in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is a great spot to embrace the changing season. This botanical garden is perfect for visiting and enjoying a fall picnic or a relaxing walk. This garden spans 125 acres and is a mix of urban gardens and protected forests. You’ll see not only Virginia’s native trees change here but also other unique flora as well.

Big Walker Lookout Autumn Views from Big Walker Lookout
Credit: Autumn Views from Big Walker Lookout by scenicbeauty-va.com

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 is required. The Big Walker Country Store owners privately own the watchtower, so make sure to support the local country store during your time here.

Shenandoah National Park Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park travels for 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Credit: Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park travels for 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. by bigstockphoto.com

Shenandoah National Park

If you want 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. Whether you want to hike, camp, or drive through the park, your time at the park this fall is sure to be unforgettable. Before heading out to this national park, check the park’s website for the fall foliage report to determine the best time to catch those changing leaves here.

Mabry Mill Mabry Mill

Mabry Mill

If you’re interested in getting an Instagram-worthy picture of fall foliage this autumn, visit Mabry Mill. Another famous spot along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill, was once a functioning mill until the 1930s. However, now it’s’ 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 Sky Meadows State Park
Credit: Sky Meadows State Park by Facebook.com

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 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.

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