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Leaf changing and peeping in Virginia is at its peak in October through early November, when the shorter days and cooler temperatures of autumn create dazzling displays of bright reds, oranges, and yellows throughout the Commonwealth and surrounding states. From the mountains of Southwest Virginia to the Coastal Plain, changes will sweep eastward, from the tips of the mountains to the lower altitudes.
In Virginia, the Department of Forestry is taking the lead in keeping us up-to-date on the changing colors and the Tourism Corporation in steering us to seasonal festivals, getaways, apple picking, corn mazes, and more.
The experts in local trees, shrubs, and vines, the DOF has prepared a web page of fall foliage information and a weekly blog. The department also contributes to Virginia Tourism's toll-free fall foliage hotline, 1-800-424-LOVE. The DOF fall foliage web page includes a weekly update, a chart of native trees and their fall colors, information on why leaves change colors, and links to other foliage resources, like the Weather Channel's guide to fall colors.
The page also presents five VDOF-Recommended Fall Foliage Driving Tours, from Greene County near Charlottesville west. Prepared by local foresters, these off-the-beaten path drives will help you find the vibrant fall reds, yellows and oranges along forested roadways while avoiding the traffic and crowds of the more popular leaf-peeping routes.
From the DOF web site, you can also order a field guide to make your foliage tours more informative. Native Trees of Virginia is only $2 plus shipping and handling.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation web site, always a useful resource for exploring the Commonwealth, highlights fall activities such as the Eastern Shore Harvest Festival in Cape Charles, the Bland County Festival of Leaves, the Wilderness Road Heritage Festival in Ewing, the Jeter Farm Fall Festival and Country Store in Roanoke, and the Yorktown Market Days and Fall Festival. The Virginia Tourism blog highlights autumn railroad themed events, including excursion, festivals, and museums.
The Virginia travel web site also focuses on couples getaways, travel deals, family favorites, and wineries.
Autumn's changes are fleeting. Let these Virginia resources help you appreciate the beauty of the Commonwealth.
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