Fall in Mercer County is waking up to crisp mornings and a blue sky filled with red, orange and yellow leaves waving in the breeze. It is discovering warmth in the afternoon that makes you roll up your sleeves and tilt your face to the sun. It is the perfect combination that leads to trips to the parks, walks on the trail and scenic drives on country back roads.
October is the best month to get outside and enjoy Mother Nature. Even better, we have some of the best views, parks and overlooks in the area. Plan a road trip to soak in those glorious days of fall:
Glenwood Park – Stunning fall foliage surrounds a 55-acre lake. Take a walk around the park, enjoy a picnic, play disc golf or miniature golf. Located on Route 20 in between Bluefield and Princeton, a hidden gazebo inside the park is a local favorite. The view across the lake is filled with plenty of fall foliage.
Concord University – You don’t have to be alumni or a student to walk across this college campus in Athens. There are plenty of sidewalks all throughout campus, which is surrounded by trees. Across from the campus is a small-town park.
Camp Creek State Park – Cross this one off your bucket list. Camp Creek is known for their waterfalls, especially after a good rainy season. We love this area all year round, but the added color makes for a dazzling afternoon.
East River Mountain Overlook – Turn off Route 460 in Bluefield, onto Bland Road, Route 598. At the top, enjoy the best view of Bluefield and her neighbor, Virginia. If you drive back down Route 598, you will cross into Wythe County.
Route 19 – This back road from Princeton to Beckley is quite curvy, but you will enjoy the view from both sides of the mountain.
Route 123 – Skip the highway and busy roads for this two-lane stretch a road that connects Bluefield to Green Valley. Also known as Airport Road, the area is also home to Kee Dam Reservoir, built in 1976.
Route 52 and Pinnacle Rock State Park – If you want more curvy roads and a chance to see the coal country of southern WV, look no further than Route 52 from Bluefield to Bramwell. Stop at Pinnacle Rock State Park and hike to the top for an awesome view of Mercer County. Continue on Route 52 in McDowell County and eventually into Wyoming and Logan County.
When to visit: A few trees are already starting their transformation. Look for peak to happen in the next few weeks. Most of southern WV will experience high color in the middle and end of October.