RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As we head deeper into October, fall can be seen coming into full bloom across the Commonwealth, and with it – a spectacular display of diversity as the native deciduous flora show off all the land has to offer.

October is the time of year when the land’s red maple, scarlet oak, shagbark hickory, American hornbeam and black walnut trees get their time to shine in the spotlight. Their leaves undergo a type of metamorphosis, growing crisper and more vibrantly colored each day.

Yet, just weeks after the change in foliage begins, it ends. Find a list below that maps out the best times to see peak fall colors across all of Virginia.

The best time to see fall foliage across Virginia

Virginia’s varying topography allows for a wide range of time when hunting for the best colors in the Commonwealth. To the west, the Blue Ridge Mountains boast the earliest color change, as peak time can be seen from Bristol, north of Roanoke in early October. To the east, Virginia’s lowland Tidewater region will wrap up the season with premium foliage estimated to arrive in mid to late October.

While not perfect, estimated peak fall foliage does quite closely fall into line along the undrawn borders of Virginia’s five regions, as shown in a map released by the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

  1. Early October: Valley and Ridge — Grayson, Alleghany, Harrisonburg, Shenandoah
  2. Early to mid-October: Blue Ridge — Winchester, Charlottesville, Roanoke, Danville
  3. Early to mid-October: Appalachian Plateau — Norton, Wise, Buchanan
  4. Mid-October: Piedmont — Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Clarkesville
  5. Mid to late October: Tidewater Region — Urbanna, Chincoteague, Cape Charles, Norfolk, Virginia Beach