Fall colors brighten western Highland County

By Lynn R. Mitchell

15With a hurricane tracking toward the East Coast and weather forecasters discussing a “perfect storm” of high winds and historic rainfalls within a few days, we took advantage of the break in the weather on Wednesday, September 30, and headed out Route 250 west of Staunton as we looked for fall. We found it at the high elevations of western Highland County at the West Virginia state line — the bright oranges, red, and golds that will spread eastward over the next weeks.

1As we traveled the back roads, there were a good many folks busy stockpiling firewood for the upcoming rainy, cool weather.

2This was just west of Monterey where leaf color has barely begun but the view was beautiful.

3Highland puts the “rural” in bucolic. The pastoral countryside, mountain vistas, and friendly locals make for a special back road experience. Sheep are everywhere in Virginia’s “Little Switzerland,” grazing even as the autumn changes occur around them.

5The leaves did not disappoint. Colorful hardwoods mixed with evergreen along Route 250 about just before the West Virginia line.

6Our lunch spot was in the Old House Run roadside picnic area in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.

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11I enjoy snapping photos of old fences including this one …

12… old barbed wire, fall wildflowers, broom straw, evergreens, mountain vistas.

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17Gates intrigue me, too, and this one had character, obvious from its many years of use and weather, its bleached-out boards blocking the way into the overgrown pasture.

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19If you follow Route 250 eastward from this point in Highland,  you will end up in downtown Richmond.

20My kind of road, the one less traveled.

21As autumn colors continue, we will be back….

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 30, 2015

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One thought on “Fall colors brighten western Highland County

  1. […] Highland County is also known as Virginia’s “Little Switzerland” because of its mountains and sheep. Sparsely populated, the vistas year round are exceptionally stunning but in the fall vibrant oranges, reds, and golds make the mountain slopes come alive with color. These photos were taken on September 30 when only the far western part of the county was at peak but the next week will see big changes as the autumn color show moves east. (For more photos see Fall colors brighten western Highland County.) […]

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