Fall Leaf Tours

From winding backroads to stunning mountain vistas, it’s no wonder Patrick County attracts leaf-lovers from all over to capture the annual fall leaf change.

Starting in mid-October, the rural landscape of Patrick County comes alive with the colors of fall. Take a winding drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway for stunning mountain views, explore our backroads for off-the-beaten path scenery, or take a hike along our hundreds of miles of wooded trails. No matter how you want to capture fall, Patrick County is the perfect backdrop. 

We rounded up some of our local’s favorite spots to photograph fall leaves.

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Mabry Mill

Mabry Mill Overlooking Pond with Fall Leaves

Called “one of the most picturesque places on the Blue Ridge Parkway” by the National Park Service, Mabry Mill offers historic hiking trails, cultural demonstrations, and a decades-long tradition of Sunday afternoon music and dancing.

Where: 266 Mabry Mill Rd SE, Milepost 176, Meadows of Dan, VA 24120

Lover’s Leap at Fred Clifton Park

View of fall leaves from mountain top

At an elevation of 2930 feet, Fred Clifton Park provides multiple breathtaking views of the northern Blue Ridge Mountains and Valley of Patrick County. A beautiful, densely wooded area surrounds the picnic and parking areas. Lovers Leap Scenic Overlook is located adjacent to the park.

Where: 8550 Jeb Stuart Highway, Meadows of Dan, VA 24120

Reynolds Homestead/L.E.A.F. Trail

Child crossing bridge at Reynolds Homestead in the fall.

The Link to Education About Forests (LEAF) Trail is a heritage-based outdoor classroom at Reynolds Homestead. This easy trail is 1 mile long and offers beautiful views of the surrounding forests. The trail is open throughout the year from dawn until dusk and offers seasonal observers an opportunity to experience the changing habitat of native flora and fauna.

Where: 463 Homestead Lane, Critz, VA 24082

Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge

Covered bridge with fall leaf backdrop

The covered bridges in Patrick County are fabulous spots for romance and are full of history making them one of the best experiences in Virginia. There is something about covered bridges that draws people to them. Maybe it’s the feel of being taken back to a simpler time, where life moved a little bit slower. The 48-foot oak constructed Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge was built in 1914 by Charles Vaughan and designed by Walter Weaver of Woolwine. 

Where: 1274 Jacks Creek Road Woolwine, VA 24185

I.C. DeHart Park

Fall leaf trail at DeHart Park

The I.C. DeHart Park trails were originally built as a classic cross-country single track network for mountain bikers, but they also attract hikers and runners looking for a not-too-challenging hike through wooded landscapes. The reclaimed wetlands are home to many insects, reptiles, birds and plants, making it a must-see visit for wildlife lovers as well.

Where: 2631 Charity Hwy, Woolwine, VA 24185

Rock Castle Gorge/Rock Castle Creek

Fall leaves behind fence

Rock Castle Creek boasts an 11-mile moderately trafficked loop trail may be a challenge to complete but is well worth the effort. The trail has two entry/exit points. One at the base of the mountain in Woolwine at Little Rock Castle Creek and the other at the Rocky Knob Recreation Area, specifically at the campground. The trail goes through meadows, over fences, across creeks, down steep pathways, and beside abandoned mountain ruins.

Where: Fire Lane National Park Service, Woolwine, VA 24185

Mayo River Rail Trail

Mayo River Rail Trail attracts photographers and artists alike to capture its fall beauty. This 1.8 mile trail is in downtown Stuart, VA, just off Commerce Street following the path of the Danville and Western Railway (“Dick and Willie”). The smooth asphalt path is ideal for walking and biking.

Where: 108 Commerce St. Stuart, VA 24171

Angel Overlook

Angel Overlook. View of mountains and trees in the fall.

Angel Overlook is located on notoriously curvy Squirrel Spur Road between Ararat and Meadows of Dan. This is the perfect place to pause your backroads cruise for a picnic lunch and enjoy the views of the neighboring North Carolina skyline. 

Where: Squirrel Spur Road, Meadows of Dan, VA 24120

Winding Backroads

One of the best ways to experience fall in Patrick County is to leave the beaten path and explore backroads. Take a detour and you may just find a charming farmstead teeming with local produce, a local favorite swimmin’ hole, or your own private views of a mountain vista.