Fall in Virginia has arrived in full force, bringing with it all sorts of wacky weather and the promise of changing leaves. The foliage hasn’t begun just yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning to visit the best places for leaf peeping. Without any further ado, here are some of the best places to spot the changing leaves in the Old Dominion:
1. Lake Accotink, Springfield
Located in Fairfax County awaits a beautiful 493-acre lake surrounded by peaceful walking trails and hardwood forests. Visit and you can experience unique marshlands and wildlife among the gorgeous fall foliage. As you'll notice from the above photo, you'll immediately feel immersed into the fall season as soon as you begin driving to the water. Lake Accotink is located at 7500 Accotink Park Rd, Springfield, VA 22150.
2. Mabry Mill
Mabry Mill is perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks in Virginia, and, come autumn, becomes all the more picturesque. Visit this historic grist mill and you'll see a glimpse as to what life was like in rural Virginia in the 1900s. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this landmark is the most photographed location along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It can be found at mile marker 176.2.
3. Skyline Drive
If you've yet to experience Skyline Drive during the fall season, you're missing out on a quintessential Virginia adventure. Skyline winds its way through Shenandoah National Park, offering countless opportunities for pull-offs and spectacular hikes under the forest canopy.
4. Stony Man Mountain Trail
Stony Man Mountain Trail is one such example of a glorious hike available in Shenandoah National Park near the town of Luray. This trail encounters the famous Appalachian Trail, yet is fortunately just 1.5 miles round trip. At the peak of the mountain, you'll enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains in all their autumn glory.
5. Pocohantas State Park
Just a short drive from Richmond, Pocahontas State Park offers a beautiful escape into nature. When it was created in the 1900s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, it was the largest state park to date at nearly 8,000 acres. When you visit this season, you can enjoy the slowly changing leaves, bountiful hiking trails, and lots of spots for a scenic picnic. Address: 10301 State Park Rd, Chesterfield, VA 23832.
6. Crabtree Falls
Beautiful any time of year, Crabtree Falls is positively enchanting during the fall. The combination of the endless cascades paired with the golden foliage is a sight you won't soon forget. Few people realize that Crabtree Falls is actually the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Visitors are encouraged to take the trail that leads to the top of the waterfall as long as they stay on the designated walking area only. Crabtree Falls is located at 11581 Crabtree Falls Hwy. Montebello, VA 24464.
7. Hungry Mother State Park
Hungry Mother State Park is an unforgettable natural area in Virginia, and not just because of its unusual name. This beautiful state park is easily accessible from I-81, yet you'll feel worlds away from it all as soon as you arrive. Gorgeous lakes, wooded trails, cabin rentals, and beautiful places to simply sit and admire nature are just a few of the highlights that await. Hungry Mother State Park is located at 2854 Park Blvd, Marion, VA 24354.
8. Virginia Creeper Trail
The Virginia Creeper Trail is one of the most iconic rail-to-trails in Virginia. Meandering through southwestern Virginia, this shared trail not only provides the perfect excuse to explore this region of Virginia, but also will transport you to some of the friendliest trail communities in Virginia. Plus, the above photograph truly speaks for itself.
9. Smith Mountain Lake
Last, but certainly not least, we arrive at Smith Mountain Lake near Moneta, Virginia. What makes lakes such an ideal place for fall foliage is the reflection of the beautiful colors on the water. For this reason, the massive Smith Mountain Lake is a treasure trove of seasonal beauty. The ever-popular destination is surprisingly less crowded in the fall, so you could even rent a cabin and enjoy the cool air and stunning views right from your front porch. Smith Mountain Lake State Park is located at 1235 State Park Rd Huddleston, VA.
Are there any must-see spots in Virginia for fall foliage that we may have missed? Be sure to share them with us in the comments below! We’ve highlighted some of these spots, and a few more, in this handy Fall Foliage Road Trip Through Virginia. Check it out by