West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is a fan of fall foliage.
In an email released from his office Thursday, Tomblin said he realizes how blessed he is to live in a beautiful state.
"Every fall, our forests stop being part of the scenery and take center stage," Tomblin said in the email. "As the days grow shorter and the temperatures grow cooler, our hardwood forests turn an array of breathtaking colors before they settle down for their winter's rest. Visitors travel from across the country to see our glorious autumn foliage, sometimes spending weeks at a time 'chasing color.'<!p><#148>
Despite the governor's love of fall foliage, the season in West Virginia is quickly coming to a close as many counties are seeing heavy rains and wind.
A few counties are still colorful and officials at the West Virginia Division of Forestry are urging people to head south this weekend before the trees get naked.
"Foliage is past peak in most of the northern counties and on higher elevations (above 3,400 feet)," said Leo Lester, regional program specialist for the forestry division. "I would say McDowell and Wyoming counties would be safe bets. There are several oak and hickory trees that are still colorful."
Lester said foliage is at its peak along U.S. 52 and U.S. 54 in McDowell and Wyoming counties, more specifically in the Mullens, Pineville and Welch areas.
Fall foliage can also be seen in the Braxton, Clay, Raleigh and Summers counties.
"The colors you see solely depends on the weather and proper lighting," Lester said. "The weather many counties are seeing today (Thursday) could impact the foliage."
Foresters also recommend visiting Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area and hiking on the Beacon Tower Trail or Old Still Trail in Berkeley County. In addition, a drive along county Route 12 from Moorefield to Lost River State Park will feature foliage along ridges and on top of mountains.
Trees at Tygart Lake State Park in Taylor County and Coopers Rock State Forest in Monongahela County still have hints of yellow and red to them.
"Although the season is wrapping up, people can be assured that they will get to see it again next year," Lester said. "This weekend may be the last to see foliage because Old Man Winter is knocking."
Contact writer John Gibb at john.g...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796.