It’s official—fall is here. That means it’s time to break out the cozy sweaters, boots, and scarves and get outside and enjoy the region’s colorful fall foliage and bountiful natural scenery.
What better place to do that than Grant County, West Virginia, one of the most beautiful counties in the Mountain State? With peak leaf-peeping conditions predicted for the region from October 5 through 21 this year, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for a fall getaway.
All Aboard, Leaf Peepers!
The annual Autumn Splendor Dinner Train is set to roll through the historic town of Petersburg, West Virginia, on October 18. Presented by the South Side Depot, a made-in-West Virginia store in Petersburg, the annual Autumn Splendor Dinner Train offers eager leaf peepers a unique way to view some of the most gorgeous scenery in the region.
The festivities begin at the South Side Depot, located at 126 South Main Street in Petersburg, where leaf-peeping enthusiasts will gather from 2 to 4 p.m. prior to boarding the train to enjoy a tasting of West Virginia wines and foods. Attendees will sample wines from West-Whitehill Winery in Moorefield and from Lambert’s Winery in Weston as well as Blue Smoke Salsa from Ansted and the South Side Depot’s own hot pepper jelly. And those are just a few of the West Virginia-made products and hors d’oeuvres to be served.
After guests have their fill, they’ll hop aboard a refurbished 1950s Amtrak train for a winding, two-and-a-half-hour train ride that will showcase the plethora of changing leaves along the South Branch of the Potomac River.
While tickets for the October 18 Autumn Splendor Dinner Train are sold out already, the South Side Depot hosts several seasonal train trips throughout the year, including the annual Snowflake Express train rides happening December 12 and 13. Visit www.southsidedepot.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
Outdoor Adventures Abound
For those who prefer a bit more action as they take in Grant County’s majestic scenery, outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking are perfect. Experience the scenic mountain views at Dolly Sods Wilderness Area and on the North Fork Mountain Trail firsthand as you stroll or roll along.
Other Grant County attractions include Smoke Hole Caverns, Fort Mulligan (one of the few remaining Civil War earthen forts in the country), and the many fairs, festivals and events held throughout the year. Known as the home of the golden trout, Grant County also attracts anglers from all over the country.
To learn more, call the Grant County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 304-257-9266.
Photo caption: Red, yellow, and gold paints a mountainside in Grant County, West Virginia, a popular destination for leaf peepers from all over the East Coast. The train gives passengers a birds-eye view of colorful fall foliage.