Best of October in WV
In fall, West Virginia’s forests and trees alight into a fiery red, yellow and orange palette. What better time to get out and enjoy the scenery than October?
Check out these 5 festivals that embrace fall’s beauty in the Mountain State:
1. Watch daredevils leap off of a nearly 900-foot-high bridge
Oct. 21 on the New River Gorge Bridge
On Bridge Day, thousands of people not only walk across the highest and longest steel-arch span in the Western Hemisphere, but hundreds also jump off of it—intentionally.
Only experienced parachuters get the chance to BASE jump at the festival (well, and a lucky few tandem jumpers). And if that isn’t cutting it in the adrenaline department, jumpers can also walk the plank, a 15-foot-long 4-inch-wide balance beam, or climb an antenna even higher.
Onlookers fill the bridge, browsing food and craft vendors as they watch BASE jumpers glide towards rapids below, as well as the rappellers, skydivers and other adventurers.
2. Revel in everything fall & pumpkin
Oct. 5-8 in Milton
The Pumpkin Festival in Milton is a whole lot more than just pumpkins, although the festival started in 1986 to help farmers raise and sell them. The event packs in more than 100 artisans who display their crafts and do demonstrations. Craftsmen share their knowledge of blacksmithing, pottery making, quilting, woodworking and much more. Enjoy live music and an array of pumpkin-flavored treats.
3. Celebrate rail history
Oct. 21-22, 28-29 in Hinton
The Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad helped shape Hinton into the charming place it is today. Every year, the little town commemorates its history with Hinton Railroad Days. For 2 weekends in October, the streets are filled with vendors selling unique crafts and delicious food. The New River Train rolls guests in fresh from a ride through the stunning fall scenery.
4. Get a taste of Italy right here in the Mountain State
Oct. 7 in Bluefield
Sample authentic Italian dishes like spaghetti, rich meatballs, lasagna and sweet cannelloni at the Southern West Virginia Italian Festival, an annual ode to the Italian heritage tucked away in the mountains. If your taste buds like what they try, you can take some homemade sauces and meatballs home.
Enjoy talented tribute artists, inflatables, mechanical bull rides, face painting, games and assorted artisans and vendors.
5. Celebrate Halloween in an abandoned lunatic asylum
October in Weston
What better place to get into the spirit of Halloween than at the spooky former Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum? The abandoned site hosts a family-friendly annual fall festival on Oct. 8, featuring food and craft vendors, karaoke competitions, costume contests, games, a car show and more.
For those looking for a spookier time, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the asylum, including paranormal tours, flashlight tours and a haunted house, “Hysteria,” where a demented doctor has brought his patients’ nightmares to life.
What are you looking forward to in West Virginia this October?