Make your leaf viewing plans at Virginia State Parks

by | Oct 7, 2023 | Outdoors

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There’s nothing quite like fall at Virginia State Parks. From the mountains to the coast, the changing leaves create a beautiful backdrop for going to a fall festival, relaxing by a campfire or connecting with nature on a trail.

Our state parks experience peak fall colors at different times, so check out our fall foliage report and refer to our list of fall foliage viewing recommendations below, separated by region: mountain, central and coastal, as you plan your fall getaway.

Please note: Generally, peak fall foliage is sometime between October 10 and 31, but these dates can change from year to year. Click here to learn more.

Mountain Peak fall foliage: October 10-20

Fall foliage


Claytor Lake

  • The gazebo behind Howe House.
  • Lakeview Trail: 0.95, rated easy.

Clinch River

  • Sugar Hill Loop Trail: 3.3 miles, rated moderate.
  • Riverside Trail: 1.9 miles, rated easy.


  • Tuscarora Overlook: Can be reached via Stony Run or Blue Suck Falls trails, both rated difficult.
  • The deck at the Lakeview Camp Store & Grill.

Fairy Stone

  • Upper Stuart’s Knob Trail: ¾-miles, rated difficult.
  • The beach.

Grayson Highlands

  • Twin Pinnacles Trail: 1.3 miles, rated moderate.
  • Buzzard Rock Overlook.

Hungry Mother

  • Molly’s Knob Trail: 1.9 miles, rated difficult.
  • The beach.

New River Trail

  • Ivanhoe Birding Trail: 1.2 miles, rated moderate.
  • Foster Falls access area.

Natural Tunnel

  • The gazebo: Requires a 0.37-mile walk. Guests with limited mobility can contact the park for permission to drive to the gazebo.
  • Main overlook behind the Visitor Center.

Southwest Virginia Museum Historical

  • The Victorian Garden.

Wilderness Road

  • Martin’s Station.
  • Indian Ridge Trail: 0.77 miles, rated moderate.

Central Peak fall foliage: October 15-25

Fall foliage


Bear Creek Lake

  • Channel Cat Loop: 1.8 miles, rated moderate.
  • Otter Trail: 0.2 miles, rated easy.

High Bridge Trail

  • Smyth Trail: 1.9 miles, crosses scenic High Bridge.
  • Camp Paradise Trail: 1 mile, rated moderate.

Holliday Lake

  • Northridge Trail: 0.4 miles, rated moderate.
  • Lakeshore Trail: 6.5 miles, rated difficult.

James River

  • Tye River Overlook: Can be accessed by hiking Cabell Trail. Guests with limited mobility can contact the park for permission to drive to the Tye River Overlook.
  • Taylor Trail & Taylor Pond Loop: 1 mile, rated moderate.

Lake Anna

  • Railroad Forrest Trail: 1.4 miles, rated easy.
  • Big Woods Trail: 1.2 miles, rated moderate.

Natural Bridge

  • Skyline Trail: 0.6 miles, rated easy.
  • The Natural Bridge.


  • Mossey Creek Nature Trail: 0.7 miles, rated easy.
  • Amphitheater.


  • Beaver Lake Trail: 2.5 miles, rated moderate.
  • Spillway (paved) Trail: 0.2 miles, rated easy.


  • Turkey Trail: 1.2 miles, rated easy.
  • Coyote Run Trail: 0.3 miles, rated moderate.

Shenandoah River

  • Culler’s Overlook.
  • Redtail Ridge Trail: 1 mile, rated easy.

Staunton River Battlefield

  • Battlefield Trail: 1.24 miles, rated easy.
  • Edgewood Nature Trail: 0.7 miles, rated easy.

Sailor’s Creek

  • Custis Lee Trail: 0.8 miles, rated moderate.
  • Wheaton Trail: 0.7 miles, rated easy.

Seven Bends

  • Gokotta Trail: 0.8 miles, rated easy.
  • River’s Way Natural Play Space.

Sky Meadows

  • Piedmont Overlook Trail: 0.61 miles, rated moderate.
  • Turner Pond.

Smith Mountain Lake

  • Turtle Islands Trail: 1.4 miles, rated moderate.
  • Discovery Center.

Staunton River

  • River Bank Trail: 8.5 miles total but has several access points to create shorter hikes, rated moderate.
  • Amphitheater.

Sweet Run

  • Legacy Loop Trail: 4 miles, rated moderate.
  • Farmstead Loop and Piney Run Spur Trail: 2 miles, rated moderate due to elevation changes, but good for all ages and all fitness levels.

Twin Lakes

  • Otter’s Path Trail: 2.9 miles, rated moderate.
  • Goodwin Lake Trail: 1.1 miles, rated easy.

Coastal Peak fall foliage: October 20-31

Fall foliage


Belle Isle

  • Porpoise Creek Trail: 0.38 miles, rated easy.
  • Mulberry Creek Boardwalk: 0.17 miles.


  • Potomac Overlook Trail: 0.94 miles, rated easy.
  • Poplar Grove Trail: 0.7 miles, rated moderate.


  • Equestrian Trail: 8.3 miles, rated easy.
  • College Run Trail: 1.2 miles, rated easy.

False Cape

  • Sand Ridge Trail: 6.4 miles, rated moderate.
  • Maple Leaf Trail: 0.67 miles, rated easy.

First Landing

  • Bald Cypress Trail: 1.8 miles, rated moderate.
  • Live Oak Trail: 0.4 miles, rated easy.


  • Brown Pelican Trail: 0.57 miles, rated easy.
  • Raptor Trail: 1.51 miles, rated easy.


  • Lee’s Woods Trail: 1.96 miles, rated moderate.
  • Potomac Trail: 0.41 miles, rated easy.


  • Interpretive Trail: 0.07 miles, rated easy.
  • Forestry Trail: 2.4 miles, rated easy.

Mason Neck

  • Eagle Spur Trail: 1.29 miles, rated moderate.
  • Bay View Trail: 1.02 miles, rated easy.


  • Conservation Corps Fitness Trail: 1.6 miles, rated easy.
  • Big Meadow Trail: .6 miles, rated easy.


  • Holly Marsh Trail: 0.05 miles, rated easy.
  • Long Pond Trail: 1.75 miles, rated easy.

York River

  • Taskinas Creek Trail: 2 miles, rated moderate.
  • Woodstock Pond Trail: .85 miles, rated easy.

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