No matter what season, West Virginia is one of the most beautiful states in our great nation. But especially in the fall, visitors travel from all over the country - and the world - to enjoy our spectacular landscape. With West Virginia's rugged terrain, rumbling rivers, picturesque mountain views, windy roads and acres of farmland, I encourage all West Virginians, young and old, to take advantage of the multitude of outdoor activities during this fall season.
With nearly 80 percent of West Virginia blanketed by trees, autumn's scene in the Mountain State showcases foliage that no other state in America can rival. Jump in the car or hop on the Harley and enjoy a day drive on our winding roads, just like I do. From the Highland Scenic Highway and the North Central Byway to the new Greenbrier Valley Byway and Washington Heritage Trail, people across West Virginia can enjoy beauty at every curve. Pack a map to plan a trip, or take the road less traveled for an adventurous route.
To save on gas, there are also plenty of specialty trains that highlight West Virginia attractions, history and beauty all in one. The Cass Scenic Railroad, Romney's Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad, Elkin's Cheat Mountain Salamander or National Forest's Durbin Rocket are a few of the many railroad expeditions our state offers. Sight a bald eagle, learn about our state's coal mining history, dare to experience two of the tightest track curves in the nation, or view the rich wildlife in our state forests.
For those who relish peace and serenity, hunting for a buck or testing your skills at fly-fishing are great options that I thoroughly enjoy myself. For thrill seekers, enjoy a long hike or test your agility by zip lining through the extensive tree lines.
Everyone from mountain bikers to horseback riding fans can discover their niche in our charming state and national parks, where the wildlife, mountains, rolling hills and streams capture attractions for every visitor.
Looking for fun activities that the entire family can enjoy? There are weekend activities for the entire family in all our communities throughout the fall, such as weaving through corn mazes, visiting a pumpkin patch, driving to the nearest fall festival, or daring to hop on a haunted hayride.
As a lifelong, avid outdoor enthusiast, I know firsthand that exploring the outdoors will give you and your family an exciting opportunity to experience the best of West Virginia. The state is truly fortunate to have so many wonderful landscapes and unique destinations to showcase, both for a visiting tourist and for a true Mountaineer.
All West Virginians who want to savor West Virginia's crisp autumn air and stunning landscape, please go explore the outdoors today. There aren't many places that are, simply put, as special as West Virginia, and we're all so blessed to call this great state our home.