2021 Fall Foliage Guide

When and where to see the season’s best colors
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 9:27 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2021 at 11:47 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - As the first fall cold front brings that chill in the air, your mind instantly starts thinking pumpkins and fall colors. October is the month of rapid changes as the nights get longer and the temperatures get cooler. We’ve put together a guide that should help you make plans on where to go as well as when the leaves may look the best along the way.


Sometimes it’s best to plan your week first, THEN look and see where the best colors are for a specific location to take the road trip. Color changes and intensity fluctuate from year-to-year, so hitting the times exactly at peak will take some flexibility in your travel plans.

Typically, the leaves begin changing in the West Virginia mountains in mid-September and peak in early October. From there, the gradual changes from west to east and high elevation to low elevation unfolds throughout the month of October. Generally, the second half of October brings the best coverage of colors which can spill into the early November if we’re lucky.

Once the leaves peak, there’s typically about two weeks of great colors, unless a windy weather pattern changes blows them away early.

A look of the peak times to check out the fall foliage in Southwest and Central Virginia.
A look of the peak times to check out the fall foliage in Southwest and Central Virginia.(WDBJ7)

Let us know how the leaves are looking in your area. Complete the form each week and we will use the results in our weekly Fall Foliage Report.

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