Photo courtesy of West Virginia Department of Commerce
Fall foliage at its finest at Kumbrabow State Forest, which covers 9,474 acres in Randolph County.
Living in a state known for its natural beauty, we sometimes take our forests for granted-even though we're surrounded by trees. In fact, we are surrounded by 12 million acres of trees, making West Virginia the third most forested state in the nation. Trees provide the backdrop to our everyday lives. They cover our mountains and line our streets, keeping our state green and clean.
Every fall, our forests stop being part of the scenery and take center stage. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures grow cooler, our hardwood forests turn an array of breathtaking colors before they settle down for their winter's rest. Visitors travel from across the country to see our glorious autumn foliage, sometimes spending weeks at a time "chasing color."
Foliage starts to turn shades of red, yellow, and orange at the highest peaks in mid- to late-September. As the fall foliage season continues, these brilliant colors slowly make its way down the mountainsides and wraps up in the valleys in late October. No matter where you live in West Virginia, you will have the opportunity to enjoy fall color each autumn, and after the season is over you can rest assured that you will get to see it again next year.
This is in large part thanks to more than 260,000 private forest landowners that own the majority of the state's forestland. Many of these landowners, with the help of our Division of Forestry personnel, actively manage their forestland, thereby ensuring healthy forests for future fall foliage seasons. You also can do your part to contribute to our future autumn color by planting hardwood seedlings like maple, oak and poplar - all available from Clements State Tree Nursery. Order online at www.wvcommerce.org/ClementsNursery
or call 304-675-1820 to request a catalog.
Every fall when I look out the window, I realize once again how blessed I am to live in this beautiful state. If you haven't had a chance to take time this fall to admire the foliage, please do so before it is gone for another year.
The Division of Forestry prepares fall foliage reports throughout the month of October. The reports can be viewed on the Division of Forestry's website, www.wvforestry.com
, the agency's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/wvforestry
and the Department of Commerce's website, www.wvcommerce.org
Amy Shuler Goodwin