No one can discredit or doubt the autumn beauty of the piedmont and mountains of Virginia. From the Shenandoah Valley, to the Blue Ridge Highlands and points west, visitors can gaze for miles at the gorgeous fall colors. Many travelers drive the parkways and hike the AT and other trails this time of year.
To avoid the crowds this fall, you may consider delaying peak leaf watching for about a week and going east instead. Historic Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown are joined together by the Colonial Parkway.
Bike an eastern Virginia trail this fall
Starting from the site of the first English settlement, Jamestown Island is surrounded by Powhatan Creek, the Thorofare, and James River. As a pleasant diversion from the parkway, take the Jamestown - Scotland Ferry to Surry County and admire the fall colors along the broad waters as you head to Chippokes Plantation State Park. Chippokes is one of the oldest farms still in operation in the new world. With falling leaves along the mansion, you will almost be transported back in time.
Fall Colors on an historic field
Taking the Colonial Parkway to Williamsburg and Yorktown, you will be greeted with trees in their fall brilliance along the historic rivers and quiet creeks. Eagles and herons will be making way for geese as they come to the area for the winter. The Colonial Capitol and Town Where Freedom Began will welcome you with open arms, great food, and an atmosphere enhanced with crisp air and leaves blowing along the places where the founding fathers once strolled.
Birds on the James River
Not far from Williamsburg are the 30 miles of trails at York River State Park. Adventurous hikers will be rewarded for taking the Taskinas Creek Trail with five incredible overlooks along the estuarine marsh. Not that adventurous? The creek overlook, amphitheater, gazebo, and back of the visitor's center are great places to enjoy a picnic with a view.
Colors on the York River
This fall, take a change of pace to view the fall colors. Ride the Colonial Parkway and visit Chippokes Plantation and York River State Parks.
Don't forget your camera
Directions to Chippokes Plantation State Park: Surry County. From I-95 and I-295, take Route 10 towards Hopewell. Follow Route 10 East for approximately 40 miles to Surry. Turn left at the intersection of routes 10 and 31 (this continues on Route 10). Turn right at the stop light. Turn left at Route 634 (Alliance Road), and the park entrance is four miles on the left.
Directions to York River State Park: From I-64, take the Croaker Exit 231B. Go north on Route 607 (Croaker Rd.) for one mile, then right on Route 606 (Riverview Rd.) about one and a half miles to the park entrance. Take a left turn into the park.