Beautiful peak color at Black Water Falls State Park, October 2, 2015. (Navin Sarma via Flickr)

With 11 straight days of overcast skies spanning the end of September and start of October,  time seemingly stood still in the D.C. area. But fall hasn’t stopped pressing forward.  Nowhere is the season’s progress more apparent than in West Virginia’s high country where autumn colors have burst.

This past weekend, trees at Canaan Valley and Blackwater Falls – popular W. Va. recreational destinations – showed off beautiful yellow, red, and orange hues

According to Robert Leffler, a retired National Weather Service climatologist, now is the norm for the peak foliage in these areas, whose elevations are above 3,000 feet.

Believe it or not, Canaan Valley recorded its first frost all the way back on September 15 when the mercury tumbled to 33 degrees.  The average first freeze there is September 1, Leffler says.


The D.C. area still has a few weeks before fall color really starts to pop.  On average, peak color reaches our western suburbs around Halloween, and a week after Halloween along and east of I-95.

Locations along the Skyline Drive should have peak color in about a week to 10 days, while the Shenandoah Valley sees optimal color in the final third of the month.

We’ll keep you posted with fall foliage updates each week.

Bookmark our fall foliage category for current and previous updates.

Readers: We want your fall foliage photos! Please share them with us on FacebookTwitter, and/or Flickr!

Foliage photos Sept. 29-Oct. 5

Black Water Falls, October 2, 2015 (Nathan Jones via Flickr)

Canaan Valley, October 2, 2015 (Nathan Jones via Flickr)

Blackwater Falls State Park, W. Va., October 2, 2015. (Nathan Jones via Flickr)

Blackwater Falls State Park, October 2, 2015 (Navin Sarma via Flickr)

Shared by Robert Leffler

Canaan Valley Fall Colors
Canaan Valley, Sept. 29. (Joe Henry-White Grass Country Ski Center)
Dolly Sods
Canaan Valley, September 29, 2015. (Joe Henry-White Grass Country Ski Center)

Dolly Sods, W. Va., October 5. (U.S. Forest Service Cam)