Fall Foliage in Newport News, VA,

Fall Foliage at The Chesapeake

According to YouGov, fall is the most popular season of the year. With the cooler weather, fall festivals and dazzling colors of the changing leaves, it’s easy to see why. This post will look at one of the favorite fall activities for seniors — leaf peeping — and suggest top spots in Virginia to view the autumnal colors.
Every fall, the shortening of daytime hours triggers leaves to change from green to bright red, orange and yellow. It’s also around this time that the most popular fall activity for senior living communities — like The Chesapeake — is to head to the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains to enjoy nature’s vivid spectacle in the crisp mid- to late-October air.

Colorful parkway.

The Blue Ridge Parkway in the eastern part of Virginia is by far the most favored destination to enjoy the changing autumn leaves. The parkway includes east- and west-facing slopes, and varies in elevation from just under 650 feet at James River in Virginia, to over 6,000 feet south of Mount Pisgah in North Carolina. 
Its wide range of elevations offers a variety of colorful splendor as the leaves start to turn from the peak tops down. Because it’s one of the favored fall activities for seniors, if you’re planning to make more than a day trip during October, we recommend making reservations for overnight accommodations.

Other popular destinations.

Here are 9 of the most popular day trip destinations to view the changing colors. These are ranked from nearest to farthest from our independent senior living community in Newport News, so depending on where you live, your mileage may vary. 

  1. Pocahontas State Park: This 8,000 acre state park offers a beautiful escape into nature with plentiful hiking trails and lots of spots for a scenic picnic. 
  2. Lake Accotink, Springfield: Located in Fairfax County, this beautiful 493-acre lake is surrounded by peaceful walking trails and hardwood forests. On your visit, you’ll experience unique marshlands and wildlife among the gorgeous fall foliage. 
  3. Skyline Drive: This scenic byway winds its way through Shenandoah National Park, offering countless opportunities for pull-offs and spectacular hikes under the forest canopy.
  4. Stony Man Mountain Trail: Near the town of Luray, this trail encounters the famous Appalachian Trail. It’s just a 1.5 mile round trip with a slight incline, but it’s a dirt trail with rocks and roots. At the peak of the mountain, you’ll enjoy a sweeping view of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains in all their autumn glory.
  5. Crabtree Falls: The tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River, its combination of cascading water and golden foliage is a sight you won’t soon forget. 
  6. Smith Mountain Lake: Near Moneta, Virginia, the massive Smith Mountain Lake is a treasure trove of seasonal beauty. You could even rent a cabin and enjoy the cool air and stunning views right from your front porch.
  7. Mabry Mill: An iconic Virginia landmark, this historic grist mill gives you a glimpse of what life was like in rural Virginia in the 1900s. Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find it at mile marker 176.2.
  8. Hungry Mother State Park: This beautiful state park is easily accessible from I-81, yet you’ll feel worlds away from it all as soon as you arrive. Gorgeous lakes, wooded trails, cabin rentals, and beautiful places to simply sit and admire nature are just a few of the highlights. 

Virginia Creeper Trail: One of the most iconic rails-to-trails in Virginia, it wanders through some of the friendliest trail communities in the southwestern part of the state.

Discover a lifestyle you’ll enjoy year round. 

At The Chesapeake, we offer a wide array of services and amenities, including a full social calendar and activities for seniors. To learn more about our lifestyle, contact us here. One of our retirement counselors will be in touch with you soon.