The Canaan Valley continues its rapid growth but it has caused some issues

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 7:41 PM EDT
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TUCKER COUNTY, Wv. (WHSV) - The Canaan Valley is very busy this time of year. The area is known to produce some of the best views of fall colors in our region.

The Canaan Valley is located in Tucker County which is just west of our viewing area. It has been buzzing over the last two years as the views of fall are breathtaking.

The area has continued to show growth over the past few years, but then when the pandemic hit, it started growing at a rapid pace.

“We saw a large increase of traffic during the pandemic. Whereas other areas that might have been tourist destinations did not. A lot of people were still coming to our areas because they can make it on one tank of gas, can bring their own food, and go outside and feel safe about still getting out of town,” said Jessica Waldo, Executive Director of the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

While the increase in visitors has been great for the local economy, there have been some issues.

“We’ve had some traffic jams and some trash needed to be addressed,” said Waldo.

She said a lot of this comes from visitors with little experience outdoors. They don’t know some of the “rules of nature.”

“You know people that go outdoors all the time are aware of those things but those that are new to it... we are trying to educate them on being aware of those things. You know, remove your trash, be respectful to the trail as well,” said Waldo.

She mentioned the visitor centers have plenty of paper maps so that people are aware of their surroundings.

There’s also a fun game you can play which helps spread people out across the area.

“The last two years we’ve done like a little scavenger hunt and created a passport last year on places that people might not have visited because it’s not the number one thing to see and do in the area. But it’s still a great thing to see and try to spread people out throughout the area and not just go to the main attractions,” Waldo also said.

The trees in the Canaan Valley are already at their peak and over the next few weeks, fall foliage will be in full swing for most of the area. You can check out the weekly fall foliage report here. A new report will come out every Thursday for the rest of the month.