After what has been an unseasonably warm start to fall and an even more unseasonably wet summer before that, many of us are wondering if the leaves are ever going to start changing. According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, a normal year would see peak fall colors hit Richmond around October 20-31. This year…well, this year we may not see the peak of fall foliage until the last week of October or even the beginning of November. But that doesn’t mean we’re not ready!
Virginia is one of the East Coast’s premier leaf-viewing states thanks to incredible views and vistas along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive – just to name a few spots. But if it’s fall color you’re seeking, you don’t have to travel beyond the Greater Richmond borders to find plenty of botanical palettes filled with orange, red, and gold. In fact, Richmond hosts a number of places that are perfect for fall foliage walks, hikes, or even drives.
Fall may be coming a bit late this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be ready to do some leaf-watching as soon as the time comes. To help you out, we’ve found five of the best places in Greater Richmond for viewing fall foliage.
To make our list, the following place each had to offer:
- An easily accessible location
- Walking trails or other suitable viewing points
- An abundance of trees for a variety of colors
We’re more than certain the following five spots will satisfy your fall color cravings in no time. Be sure to check out our list, then, if you have a favorite fall foliage viewing spot in the Greater Richmond area that we may have overlooked, be sure to let us know! Drop us a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, happy fall, y’all!
5. University of Richmond
The University of Richmond is already known for its beauty – both architectural and horticultural. From the stately campus buildings to the elegant landscaping, everything about this Richmond mainstay offers an aesthetic delight. So you can only imagine what happens when fall washes over the grounds. Visitors can stroll the university’s walkways, bridges, and paths to see some of the city’s best and brightest fall colors – just be sure to bring a camera because photo ops abound!
University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
4. Three Lakes Park & Nature Center
This beloved Henrico gem brings “the three worlds of air, water, and land” together into one practically perfect park. With ample walking trails, lush vegetation, dense forestry, beautiful wetlands and, of course, the main event, lakes, this park sets the ideal stage for a fall show of color. Stroll the park grounds or take a few moments to relax on the deck surrounding the Nature Center (which juts out over the water for the perfect lookout point), and soak in the beauty and serenity of fall.
Three Lakes Park & Nature Center
400 Sausiluta Drive
Richmond, VA 23227
This spot might surprise you at first, only because you might think of it simply as a neighborhood in Chesterfield. And you’d be right…it is one of the most popular communities on the Southside. But what you might not realize is that this family neighborhood southwest of Richmond provides a fireworks display of color every time fall rolls around. Woodlake is one of the more established planned communities in the Greater Richmond area, and as such, offers its residents a wide array of mature trees, plants, and waterfront greenery. Every fall, this neighborhood offers a stunning kaleidoscope of colors that can be viewed by driving down the tree-lined streets or strolling along one of the many walking paths, both through the neighborhood and along the water.
2. Forest Hill Park
This popular park just south of the James River is a local favorite for many reasons. In addition to its illustrious past as a quarry, then an estate, and finally an amusement park, the park boasts 105 acres of grounds that include history, hikes, and scenic splendor all in one. And while the park offers fun for the family year-round (with some of the best sledding in the city, by the way!), in the fall, it offers a special charm. Take a walk along one of the many hiking/jogging trails to explore the woods and the wetlands, but most importantly take in the wonder of fall. With colors exploding around you, you’ll soon understand why Forest Hill Park is one of our favorite picks for fall foliage.
Forest Hill Park
4021 Forest Hill Avenue
Richmond, VA, 23225
It would be almost impossible to create a list like this and not include Maymont. It would be even harder not to make it our number one pick for fall foliage hotspots in Richmond. Already renowned for its intricately sculpted and architecturally pristine gardens, from the Italian-style terraces to the Japanese bamboo forest and waterfall, Maymont is one of the city of Richmond’s greatest treasures. Whether you’re there to visit the gardens, check out the Nature Center, discover history at the Dooley Mansion, get up close and personal with wildlife at the Wildlife Exhibits, or spend a “day on the farm” at the Children’s Barn, this park truly offers something for everyone. But if it’s a stunning array of leaves in bold, bright colors you’re looking for – then this park doesn’t just have something, it has everything.
This fall, you’ll find more colors than ever at Maymont thanks to Garden Glow – a special event that runs nightly from 6pm – 10pm, October 27-Sunday, November 11, in the Japanese Garden. Not only will the natural colors of fall be present, but the garden will be lit up in a colorful cascade that will leave visitors in awe.
1700 Hampton Street
Richmond, VA 23220