Fight Back Against Mold Illness with Help from Proactive Wellness Centers

CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment in Great Falls, VA

Experiencing mold toxicity is a terrifying thought for most people. Although it may seem like an interesting concept for a medical drama, nobody wants to experience the effects of mold exposure firsthand.

Mold is a fungus that thrives in wet environments, such as under tiles, wood floors, and ceilings, pipes, and roofs. While several types of mold exist, some are more hazardous than others, and some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to mycotoxins, the toxins that mold naturally produces. Exposure to excessive amounts of mold, or the types of mold that trigger health problems, can lead to mold toxicity and even CIRS - Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. This acute and chronic systemic inflammatory response syndrome is typically acquired after exposure to mold or other producers of biotoxins, usually from damaged water buildings.

If you believe that you're suffering from mold toxicity or mold illness, it can seem like the world is folding in on you. No matter what you do, your symptoms persist, lowering your quality of life and eliminating your peace of mind. Fortunately, there is reason to be hopeful: Proactive Wellness Centers now offers a research-backed, highly effective mold illness poisoning treatment in Great Falls, VA for men and women just like yourself and your children as well if they have been impacted.

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CIRS and Mold Toxicity

CIRS and mold illness are on the rise, and accurate diagnosis of the issue plays a major role in this trend. Thanks to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, there is a huge body of evidence that covers diagnosing and treating patients with CIRS. Dr. Lawson is one of less than 30 practitioners in the United States that are fully certified by Dr. Shoemaker for diagnosing and treating CIRS. The body of evidence by Shoemaker and many associates is the largest body of scientific evidence that is published in major medical journals. Around 80% of CIRS/Mold cases are caused by indoor air contaminated with mold toxins and other triggers. However, it's important to note that CIRS can also be caused by biotoxin producers such as cyanobacteria and a marine dinoflagellate that produces the Ciguatera toxin found in certain types of fish.

When mold or biotoxins are not processed effectively, a series of biochemical changes known as the Biotoxin Pathway occur. Genetic studies have revealed that approximately 24% of individuals have a genetic makeup that makes them susceptible to developing an illness related to mold or biotoxins. The remaining 76% of the population can typically eliminate these toxins from their system and avoid the development of the Biotoxin Pathway that can lead to various diseases.

CIRS Treatment In Great Falls Great Falls, VA

CIRS and Mold Poisoning Misdiagnosis

CIRS and mold exposure symptoms overlap with many other chronic illnesses, which makes diagnosis challenging and can even lead to missed diagnosis of CIRS. Based on research from Proactive Wellness Centers, CIRS is frequently misdiagnosed. Some of the most common misdiagnoses include:

  • Lupus
  • Chronic Pain Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • PTSD
  • More

Lyme disease, in particular, is often misdiagnosed. We have treated a number of patients whose symptoms were in line with Lyme disease. Fortunately, we were able to confirm the presence of CIRS and mold and were able to successfully help those patients using CIRS treatment in Great Falls, VA.

Note that many of these patients have CIRS and Lyme disease and in that case, it is necessary to treat both in order for full recovery. Treating one or the other will invariably leave the patient with debilitating symptoms and even more frustration with their medical team. At Proactive Wellness Centers, we are skilled In diagnosing and treating both.

 VA Great Falls, VA
 CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment In Great Falls Great Falls, VA

CIRS and Mold Poisoning Symptoms

If you're reading this page, chances are you're concerned that you might have CIRS or some form of mold poisoning. You may be wondering what you have - is it CIRS, or is it something else like Lyme disease? We can't provide the answer to that question without consultation and testing at our wellness center in Virginia. However, there are common symptoms of CIRS and mold toxicity you should know.

Some of the most common symptoms of CIRS include:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreased Word Finding
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Morning Stiffness
  • Tremors
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Tingling
  • Night Sweats
  • Frequent Urination
  • Confusion
  • Mood Swings

Proactive Wellness Centers'

Tools for Diagnosing Mold Sickness and CIRS

Identifying and confirming if a patient is being impacted by CIRS and identifying the cause and source of the biotoxin are the two main steps in diagnosing CIRS and Mold Exposure. To diagnose CIRS and Mold Exposure, the following diagnostic tools are commonly used:

To learn more about the debilitating symptoms of mold sickness and to find out whether you have CIRS or something else, contact Proactive Wellness Centers. Our team of medical professionals is here to help you every step of the way.

 VA Great Falls, VA

Hope for Patients with CIRS: Proactive Wellness Centers' Mold Illness Treatment in Great Falls, VA

Our approach to treating CIRS utilizes integrative and functional medicine, The Shoemaker Protocol along with the latest evidence-based approaches to treating mold illness and the related secondary issues that it causes. We begin by utilizing advanced diagnostics to confirm the presence of the condition and identify the specific environment causing continued exposure to biotoxins. Next, we take a stepwise approach to halt the progression of the disease, eliminate biotoxins from the body, and reverse any damage to cellular structures. Our goal is to help patients achieve a full recovery.

To do this, we not only have to identify the primary condition like CIRS or Lyme disease, but we then have to continue looking to see if you have any of the common secondary conditions like reactivated EBV, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), and others. Once we understand the totally of your condition, then we can implement a treatment plan tailored for you. Yes, it will leverage the Shoemaker protocol, but we have found that we have to extend the protocol to cover the secondary issues that we uncover.

The steps we follow to reach that goal include:

In order to initiate the recovery process, it is important to address and resolve any affected areas, or, alternatively, relocate the patient from that environment if necessary. Prolonged exposure to mold can hinder the success of the treatment plan and impede the healing process.

Two commonly used binding agents in the process of treating Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome are Welchol and Cholestyramine. Cholestyramine is particularly effective in binding biotoxins that are processed in the liver's bile ducts and helps to eliminate them from the body. It has been scientifically proven, through placebo-controlled studies, to reverse multiple aspects of the inflammatory process associated with CIRS.

Many individuals experiencing mold sickness and other chronic inflammatory illnesses may have a staph infection called MARCoNS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci) residing deep in their nasal cavities. This infection is resistant to antibiotics and needs to be eliminated for the patient to fully recover.

Each patient requires a customized plan based on the affected areas and CIRS severity. Retesting is necessary after each step to confirm balance restoration. Testing may include some or all of the following:
  • VIP
  • TGF Beta 1
  • MMP9
  • ADH
  • Antigliadin
  • Androgen Imbalance
  • C4a
  • More

In order to halt the growth of mold fungi, patients need to avoid foods that can cause mycotoxins. Some examples of these foods include:
  • Barley
  • Cottonseed
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Black Pepper
  • Figs
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Beans
  • More
Proactive Wellness has a proven track record of treating patients who have experienced severe health issues without any clear explanation. Unlike other "syndromes," our diagnosis process involves specific tests to confirm a diagnosis rather than simply ruling out other diseases.
 CIRS Mold Poisoning Treatment In Great Falls Great Falls, VA

Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue, and Chronic Pain Syndrome are examples of illnesses that are often diagnosed without such confirmatory tests. If you are experiencing unexplained health issues or have been exposed to water-damaged buildings, it is possible that you are suffering from CIRS or a mold illness.

The good news is that we can diagnose and address this disease with a mold illness treatment program in Great Falls, VA tailored to your body and your symptoms. That way, we can help you regain your health as soon as possible.

Be Wary of These

5 Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Mold spores can easily be brought into your home on your shoes or clothing or through open windows or doors. If these spores can find a warm, damp, humid environment, they can begin to multiply. Soon, your home can be filled with toxic mold. If you think mold has invaded your home or another environment, like in an office or warehouse, it's important for you to know about the symptoms.

Unfortunately, diagnosing mold issues can be exceptionally difficult. But why? The answer can be quite frustrating.

Understanding the Difficulty of Diagnosing Mold Symptoms

Many doctors fail to recognize the impact of mycotoxins emitted by certain indoor mold species, which can lead to chemical and inflammatory reactions. While conventional medicine acknowledges that mold can cause allergies, it may overlook this crucial aspect of mold-related health issues.

This can happen for several reasons:

  • Standardized treatment protocols for mold toxicity are offered mostly by Functional/Integrative physicians as the conventional physicians are not on board despite over 20 years of published research. Due to this issue, patients spend precious months/years going from doctor to doctor in the conventional channel with no answers.
  • Though ERMI testing has been accepted in the integrative/functional medical community, there isn't a "gold standard" in mold testing that is universally accepted.
  • Mold symptoms can manifest in vastly different ways depending on the patient.
VA Great Falls, VA

After understanding the points above, it's no wonder that mold poisoning can be hard to diagnose. Fortunately, integrative and functional holistic medicine providers and wellness centers like Proactive Wellness are flipping the proverbial script. Unlike traditional clinics, our team considers environmental factors that can affect patient health and has advanced training to provide mold poisoning treatment in Great Falls, VA.

Now that you understand why mold symptoms are so hard to diagnose let's take a closer look at five of the most common indicators of mold sickness.

 Mold Toxicity Symptoms Great Falls, VA


Fatigue is probably the number one symptom of well over 90% of CIRS patients. The level of fatigue varies from 5 on a 10 point scale all the way to 10 on a 10 point scale. Many patients can no longer work or remain productive as in the worst cases, the fatigue is overwhelming. College students living in moldy dorms frequently have to drop out of school until the illness is treated effectively. Older adults have to retire or stop working due the fatigue. If you have overwhelming fatigue, CIRS may be a major contributor to your illness.

 Mold Poisoning Symtoms Great Falls, VA

Breathing Problems

Exposure to mold can cause a host of respiratory problems, such as breathing difficulties, allergies, and asthma, especially in individuals with a weakened immune system. Mold can worsen asthma, irritate the nasal passages, lungs, and throat, and lead to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and nasal congestion. Other health issues such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, sinus congestion, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis have also been associated with mold sickness.

 Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Treatment Great Falls, VA

Sadness and Depression

Mold can cause a variety of illnesses that can show up in different ways, such as psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, concentration problems, and memory loss. It has been reported that nearly 40% of people who live in moldy homes experience depression. Researchers suggest that exposure to toxic mold and dealing with the physical symptoms of mold illness can contribute to mental health issues.

Due to this phenomenon, many mold patients are given antidepressant medications in the conventional channels.

 Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Symptoms Great Falls, VA

Feeling "Pins and Needles"

Numbness, twitching, or tingling in the extremities, such as hands, feet, legs, and arms, is another symptom of mold illness. The sensation is similar to pins and needles, which are often felt when the body is held in an uncomfortable position for a long time. While this sensation can indicate serious nerve damage or disease, it can also be a symptom of mold sickness.

CIRS Treatment In Great Falls Great Falls, VA

Digestion Problems and Disorders

When exposed to mold, individuals may experience various digestive problems. Some may lose their appetite, leading to unintentional weight loss. Others may suffer from stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Furthermore, the influx of mold spores may trigger systemic inflammation, causing bloating and weight gain due to the digestive system's exposure to harmful mold.

Top Tips for

Controlling Mold in Your Environment

It's not possible to completely eliminate all mold and mold spores from your home or place of work. However, since mold spores need moisture to grow, the best way to prevent or get rid of growth is to reduce the moisture in your environment. If you already have mold growing there, it's important to clean it up and address the issue causing dampness. If you only clean up the mold and don't address the underlying problem, the mold is likely to return.

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture throughout your home or office:

  • Use A/C or Dehumidifiers. This is especially important if you live in a hot, humid area of the United States.
  • Ensure A/C drip pans are clean, dry, and obstruction-free.
  • Thoroughly dry areas that are damp or wet within 48 hours.
  • Be sure to install insulation in cold areas like your home's exterior walls and windows. Doing so will reduce condensation.
  • Work with an HVAC company to check your HVAC system. Doing so can help ensure your unit is removing as much humidity as possible.
  • Keep the humidity in your home below 60% whenever possible.
 CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment In Great Falls Great Falls, VA
 VA Great Falls, VA

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture in your kitchen:

  • Check for leaks near your ice makers, sinks, and anywhere else water is present.
  • Make sure your exhaust fans are directing moisture outside, not into your attic.
  • If you notice your appliances are causing moisture on windows and other surfaces, turn them off as soon as you're done using them.

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture in crawlspaces:

  • Use a plastic covering on the dirt in your crawlspace. Doing so will prevent moisture from saturating the ground.
  • Ensure that your crawlspace or basement is ventilated well.
  • Check your home's gutters. Make sure they're directing water away from your property, not toward your foundation or crawlspace.

Your Top Choice for

Mold Toxicity Treatment in Great Falls, VA

Trying to "tough it out" through life with CIRS isn't any way to live. If you're suffering from the effects of biotoxin illness, you should know that there are solutions available to help you reclaim your health and your life. With the help of a can-do attitude, healthy living, and mold illness treatment from Proactive Wellness, there's light at the end of the dark tunnel you're trapped within. Contact our office today to get started on your first step toward recovery!

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Hair School Near Me — Great Falls, VA

Navigating the Path to Beauty: Choosing the Right Beauty School Near YouIn the realm of creativity and self-expression, beauty schools stand as the epicenters of transformation. Cosmetology schools, esthetics institutes, and hairdressing academies are where dreams of becoming skilled beauty professionals take flight. For aspiring cosmetologists, estheticians, hairdressers, and nail technicians, finding the perfect beauty school is pivotal. Here's your guide to navigating this exciting journey, ensuring you choose th...

Navigating the Path to Beauty: Choosing the Right Beauty School Near You

In the realm of creativity and self-expression, beauty schools stand as the epicenters of transformation. Cosmetology schools, esthetics institutes, and hairdressing academies are where dreams of becoming skilled beauty professionals take flight. For aspiring cosmetologists, estheticians, hairdressers, and nail technicians, finding the perfect beauty school is pivotal. Here's your guide to navigating this exciting journey, ensuring you choose the ideal beauty school near you.

Proximity Matters: Beauty School Near Me

When embarking on a journey into the world of beauty, convenience matters. Searching for a "beauty school near me" narrows down the options, making it easier to visit the campus, attend orientations, and explore the facilities. A school in close proximity ensures that you can fully engage in the learning experience without the hassle of long commutes.

Comprehensive Programs: Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hairdressing, and Nail Tech School

The best beauty schools offer comprehensive programs covering diverse aspects of the beauty industry. Look for institutions that provide courses in cosmetology, esthetics, hairdressing, and nail technology. Comprehensive programs allow you to explore different specializations, equipping you with a well-rounded skill set.

Qualified Instructors and Expertise: Esthetician Institute and Hair School Near Me

Instructors are the guiding stars of your beauty school journey. Seek institutions with experienced educators who not only have industry expertise but also a passion for teaching. A knowledgeable and inspiring instructor can transform learning into an exciting and enriching experience, ensuring you grasp the intricacies of your chosen field.

Hands-on Training and Modern Facilities: Beauty Academy Near Me

Modern facilities and hands-on training are essential for honing your skills effectively. Look for beauty schools with well-equipped labs, salons, and classrooms. Access to industry-standard tools and equipment allows you to practice techniques, ensuring you are well-prepared for real-world scenarios.

Professional Connections and Industry Exposure: Hairdressing Schools and Esthetician Programs Near Me

The beauty industry thrives on connections and exposure. Choose a school that offers opportunities for industry exposure, internships, and collaborations. Professional connections made during your education can pave the way for exciting career prospects and collaborations with established professionals. Search for “hair school near me”, “Esthetician school” and “beauty school near me”.

Flexible Schedules and Supportive Environment: Nail Tech School and Beautician School

Balancing education with other responsibilities is a common challenge. Look for schools that offer flexible schedules, evening classes, or part-time programs. A supportive learning environment, where your educational journey is nurtured, can significantly enhance your overall experience. Search “beautician school”, “hairdressing schools”, “esthetician programs near me”, “esthetician institute” and “esthetician school near me”.

Financial Considerations: Cosmetology school Near Me and Nail Tech School Near Me

Education is an investment in your future, and financial considerations are crucial. Explore scholarships, grants, and financial aid options offered by beauty school. Consider the overall value of the education provided concerning tuition fees, course duration, and the opportunities for practical training. Look for “Beauty academy near me”, “nail tech school near me”, “nail tech school”, “cosmetology school near me” and “hair school”.

The journey to becoming a skilled beauty professional starts with choosing the right beauty school near you. Whether you dream of being a cosmetologist, esthetician, hairdresser, or nail technician, the perfect beauty school will nurture your talents, inspire your creativity, and prepare you for a rewarding career in the vibrant beauty industry. With careful research and consideration, your passion for beauty can transform into a fulfilling profession, shaping a future filled with creativity and success.

American Vocational Institute

10130-A Colvin Run Rd mn, Great Falls, VA 22066

(703) 759–2700


Empire Portfolio Group Opens New Great Falls, VA Orangetheory Fitness Studio

GREAT FALLS, Va., Jan. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Empire Portfolio Group ("Empire"), a leading Area Developer and Franchisee of Orangetheory® Fitness, the heart rate-based interval training fitness franchise, announced today it will open a new studio in Great Falls, VA. The new studio will be located at 1025 Seneca Road, Great Falls, VA 22066...

GREAT FALLS, Va., Jan. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Empire Portfolio Group ("Empire"), a leading Area Developer and Franchisee of Orangetheory® Fitness, the heart rate-based interval training fitness franchise, announced today it will open a new studio in Great Falls, VA. The new studio will be located at 1025 Seneca Road, Great Falls, VA 22066, and will be the tenth in the greater Virginia area.

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The new studio will offer new member specials throughout the month of February 2023, giving locals the chance to try out the heart rate-based interval training fitness franchise as a founding member. The studio will feature state-of-the-art fitness equipment with a large lobby area to encourage community members to socialize before and after class. The studio will be celebrating its grand opening on February 5, 2023.

The group workouts incorporate endurance, strength, and power to generate the 'Orange Effect' – which keeps calories burning for up to 24 hours after the 60-minute workout. The studio will also have Orangetheory's new personalized MaxHR algorithm, which updates heart rate zones in real-time to improve individual performance results. The studio's treadmills and rowers are integrated with OTconnect technology, a proprietary platform that creates an ecosystem of data and feedback highlighting each member's total distance, average/max incline, max miles per hour and total moving time as part of the Orangetheory Fitness mobile app.

There are fitness programs that focus on technology to track your stats and there are fitness programs that focus on great coaching to motivate you— but Orangetheory gives you the best of both worlds in one great workout. "We're thrilled to expand to our 10th location in Virginia and are looking forward to providing the residents of Great Falls with convenient access to our science-backed workout. Whether you're passionate about fitness, or just starting your fitness journey, we're here to help you achieve your goals when you join our Orangetheory family," said Empire's CEO, Adam Krell.

For more information on the Great Falls Orangetheory Fitness studio and membership packages, please call 703-637-2365. Additional information on Orangetheory Fitness is available at Follow Orangetheory Fitness on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and trends.

About Orangetheory

Orangetheory® ( makes it simple to get More Life from your workout. One of the world's fastest-growing franchise companies, Orangetheory has developed a unique approach to fitness that blends a unique trifecta of science, coaching and technology that work together seamlessly to elevate participants' heart rates to help burn more calories. Backed by the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Orangetheory workouts incorporate endurance, strength and power to generate the "Orange Effect," whereby participants keep burning calories for up to 24 hours after a 60-minute workout. Orangetheory franchisees have opened over 1,500 studios in all 50 U.S. states and 25 countries.

About Empire Portfolio Group

Empire Portfolio Group, founded in 2013 and headquartered in New York City, is a leading franchisee and area representative of Orangetheory Fitness. Empire has over 130 Orangetheory Fitness studios across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:Jardan Paige

SOURCE Empire Portfolio Group

Over 15 Incredible Spots to Enjoy Virginia Fall Colors

Autumn is here, and it’s time to experience one of the most picturesque seasons of the year when the state is a riot of Virginia fall colors. From the crisp, cool air to the vibrant leaves, fall in Virginia presents an amazing opportunity to experience the beauty of nature.Virginia, in particular, offers a breathtaking display of color, making it the perfect destination for leaf peepers and tourists alike. Here are some of the top locations in Virginia to enjoy the stunning fall foliage, providing you with the perfect guide to p...

Autumn is here, and it’s time to experience one of the most picturesque seasons of the year when the state is a riot of Virginia fall colors. From the crisp, cool air to the vibrant leaves, fall in Virginia presents an amazing opportunity to experience the beauty of nature.

Virginia, in particular, offers a breathtaking display of color, making it the perfect destination for leaf peepers and tourists alike. Here are some of the top locations in Virginia to enjoy the stunning fall foliage, providing you with the perfect guide to plan your next autumn adventure.

Explore more of the state! Here are our favorite things to do in Virginia with kids.

Virginia Fall Colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Arguably the most popular spot for fall foliage in Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway is an iconic, 469-mile stretch of road slices through Virginia and North Carolina, offering breathtaking views at every turn.

Virginia’s section of the Blue Ridge Parkway leaves no shortage of vibrant fall foliage. With numerous overlooks and hiking trails, it’s easy to spend a full day (or more) soaking in the beautiful autumn scenery.

Easily one of the most iconic landmarks on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill is not to miss. This historic mill, surrounded by fiery reds, oranges, and yellows, makes for the perfect postcard-worthy photo. What’s more, the on-site restaurant serves up delicious southern fare for a true taste of Virginia.

Experience the splendor of three mountain peaks – Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill – as the backdrop for spectacular fall colors at the Peaks of Otter. Hikers can ascend one or more peaks for panoramic views and that rewarding sense of accomplishment.

Refresh with a meal at the Peaks of Otter Lodge Restaurant after your hike while taking in breathtaking views of Abbott Lake.

A moderate 1.7-mile loop trail, Fallingwater Cascades Trail brings you close to the cascading water as it meanders through the forest. The waterfalls create a serene atmosphere, perfect for embracing the essence of fall. As you walk along the trail, be prepared for an explosion of color from the surrounding foliage.

Explore the James River and Otter Creek as they merge in a stunning display of autumn brilliance. This spot is ideal for picnicking, with several tables available to set up your feast. Or if you prefer, take a short walk across the James River Footbridge, one of the parkway’s architectural marvels, to capture panoramic views of the surrounding foliage.

Boasting an elevation of 3,200 feet, Ravens Roost Overlook showcases vistas of Torry Mountain and the Shenandoah Valley.

Grab your camera, as this overlook is the perfect place to capture the parkway’s picturesque sunsets. Additionally, the area offers an accessible trail and picnic spot for a leisurely break with your loved ones.

Located at the northern end of the Parkway, Humpback Rocks gives you a chance to feel the deep roots of our past and the allure of nature.

This section of the parkway offers an outdoor farm museum, showcasing the region’s history, and a trail leading to Humpback Rocks summit with its awe-inspiring scenery. It provides an enriching experience that combines history, culture, and Mother Nature at its finest.

Together, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests span over 1.8 million acres across Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virgina. They offer an expansive array of options for those seeking a serene fall escape. In Virginia they span from the Appalachian Mountains in the southwest to the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, making up 91% of all national forest land found within the state.

Nestled within the heart of Jefferson National Forest, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area offers a stunning variety of landscapes and activities for nature lovers. From hiking trails to scenic byways, this area truly has something for everyone.

One of the major highlights within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area is the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 34-mile multi-purpose rail trail that winds through the region. Bicycling is the most popular activity on this trail and the area boasts several bike rental and shuttle services.

For those seeking more of a scenic drive, the Mount Rogers Scenic Byway travels over 50 miles through the National Recreation Area and rural countryside, giving you sweeping views of the fall foliage. Along this route, you’ll witness the dramatic transition from open farmland to the rugged beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, all while basking in the glow of the warm autumn hues.

The summit of Whitetop Mountain is accessible via the highest elevated road in the state of Virginia. This incredible vantage point offers panoramic views of the area, the perfect spot for a memorable fall foliage photo.

Tucked away within George Washington National Forest on the border of Virginia and West Virgina, Wolf Gap Recreation Area offers a more secluded option for fall foliage enthusiasts. The drive from Interstate 81 to the recreation area is beautiful in the fall.

The highlight if you enjoy hiking is Big Schloss, a peak in the Great North Mountain range of the Ridge and Valley Appalachians, with an elevation of 2,964 feet. From the parking area, the hike is 4.3 miles roundtrip. You’ll feel on top of the world as you take in the panoramic scenes of a spectacular autumn palette below.

Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area offering visitors a fascinating journey back to the 18th century when America was taking root. As its name suggests, this area was once home to an important furnacе that produced pig iron from 1836 to 1884. In its prime, the furnace was a bustling enterprise, with workers and their families living right on-site!

Enjoy a serene walk in the woods along the Pig Iron and Charcoal Trails, where you’ll find historic remnants from the area’s past amid a backdrop of beaming autumn hues. The Buzzard Rock North Trail is another great choice, offering expansive views of the surrounding foliage from atop a rocky ridge.

Enjoy Fall in Virginia at Shenandoah National Park

While fall foliage is beautiful everywhere, the unique landscape and panoramic views of Shenandoah National Park make it a must-visit destination during autumn. In addition, the park has a 105-mile paved scenic road, Skyline Drive with 75 overlooks that allow you to easily appreciate the changing leaves across the park and down into the valley below.

The best way to experience all it has to offer is to stay at one of the beautiful lodges or choose among the four campgrounds in Shenandoah National Park. Immerse yourself in nature by pitching a tent, renting a cabin, or enjoying the two lodge’s hotel-style rooms where you can enjoy views right from your door.

With over 200,000 acres of protected land and countless hiking trails to suit every skill level, there are endless opportunities to enjoy the brilliant display of colors.

A relatively easy trail at 2.4 miles round trip, Compton Peak offers a moderate hike with spectacular views of the Shenandoah Valley’s picturesque countryside. As you make your way along the trail, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning display of crimson, orange, and yellow leaves contrasted against the large basalt and granite rock formations.

The moderate 1.4-mile trail to Dark Hollow Falls takes you to one of the park’s prettiest cascades. Surrounded by lush fall foliage, the beautiful 70-foot waterfall is undoubtedly one of the most photogenic spots in the park.

If you’re up for a moderate hike, combine Dark Hollow Falls with the adjacent Rose River Loop. The 4-mile Rose River Trail provides a moderate hike, suited for those in search of both serenity and awe-inspiring fall foliage.

Walk along the tumbling streams and catch glimpses of beautiful cascades as you are surrounded by a kaleidoscope of stunning autumn colors.

Challenge yourself with the one-mile Bearfence Trail, offering a unique rock scramble experience that leads you to unbeatable 360-degree views of the vibrant fall colors. This hike requires some climbing and agility but is well worth the effort for the breathtaking vistas at the summit.

Last but not least, the one-mile Blackrock Summit trail is ideal for families and novice hikers searching for an accessible, but memorable adventure.

Stroll along the wooded path leading to the most impressive rock formation at the peak, where you’ll be greeted with sweeping views of sprawling forests blanketed in a sea of brilliant autumn hues.

Located in Northern Virginia just 15 miles from Washington, D.C. and Great Falls Park offers a more accessible spot for those wishing to witness the fall colors without straying far from the nation’s capital. With 800 acres of woodland bordering the Potomac River, this park features a mix of oak, maple, and beech trees, creating a spectacular blend of colors.

The park features three primary overlooks, each providing a unique perspective on the rushing waterfalls framed by vibrant autumn leaves. The contrast of the roaring falls with the calm serenity of the foliage creates a scene you won’t find anywhere else. Continuing onto the River Trail, you’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape from 80’ tall cliffs.

For a unique twist on your fall foliage experience, consider visiting Virginia’s Historic Triangle. Considered the heart of American History, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown were pivotal to our nation’s beginnings.

As the first permanent English settlement in North America, Jamestown showcases 17th century colonial life at its most authentic. Colonial Williamsburg showcases 18th century life in Virginia and Yorktown was the site of the last major battle of the American Revolution.

Conviently located in this historic area is York River State Park, a true gem for anyone looking to enjoy fall foliage in a more natural setting. With over 2,500 acres of untouched landscape, this park offers various opportunities for hiking, biking, and fishing. The Taskinas Creek Overlooks and the Bluffs along the York River provide unforgettable vistas of the seasonal colors.

A stroll along the Taskinas Creek Trail will take you through wetlands and upland forests that burst with brilliant color each autumn. For a more panoramic view, the park’s Goose Neck Overlook provides an awe-inspiring perspective of the serene York River flanked by resplendent foliage.

Virginia serves as a captivating destination for those wishing to immerse themselves in the magic of fall foliage. From the iconic Shenandoah National Park to the bustling historic town of Williamsburg, there’s a spot for everyone to appreciate the natural beauty of the season. So don’t hesitate – pack your bags, grab your camera, and embark on a leaf-peeping tour that will take your breath away. You won’t be disappointed!

Julie Chickery is a travel writer with a passion for exploration. She caught the travel bug while serving 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. She’s spent years traveling the world, writing about her experiences and giving readers the information they need to plan their own adventures. Visit her website at

15 Virginia Parks Where You Can Catch the Best Fall Foliage

You don’t have to look far to find the best fall color in Virginia.Hop the Blue Ridge Parkway and take it north to find great fall foliage in Virginia...

You don’t have to look far to find the best fall color in Virginia.

Hop the Blue Ridge Parkway and take it north to find great fall foliage in Virginia. Parks across the commonwealth offer up vibrant foliage that blankets the mountains and valleys with the colors of autumn, and it happens sooner than many spots located farther south, which means you can start planning your road trip now. Winding scenic roads will take you to wilderness areas and state parks filled with deep forests of deciduous trees and campgrounds too—all perfect places for leaf peeping. Set your sights on Virginia's parks, and you'll also be charting a course to the area's small mountain towns, rivers, and vistas as well. Sections of the Appalachian Trail also run through, offering unparalleled access to the most dramatic fall sights. Explore a park from our list of the most picturesque autumn places in the Old Dominion state, and you'll be glad you did.

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1. Algonkian Regional Park

Sterling, VirginiaFind 838 acres of hiking trails, fields, and wooded areas in Algonkian Regional Park, located along the Potomac River in northern Virginia. Check out fall color along the river or fish along its banks for a welcome respite after a busy day of activities outside the park—Algonkian is just 30 miles from Washington, D.C.

47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling, VA 20165,

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2. Bear Creek Lake State Park

Cumberland, VirginiaThis 326-acre state park has plenty of room to roam along with camping facilities near a scenic lake in the Cumberland State Forest. Located in the central part of the state about an hour from Richmond, the park offers a boat launch, fishing pier, boat rentals, archery range, and playgrounds. Park trails connect to the 16,000-acre forest.

22 Bear Creek Lake Rd., Cumberland, VA 23040,

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3. Breaks Interstate Park

Breaks, VirginiaA state park located on the Kentucky-Virginia border, Breaks Interstate Park has campgrounds, picnic areas, lakefront log cabins, and scenic views overlooking the Russell Fork River. If you make the trip in early fall, don't miss the zip lining and elk tours. Peak leaf season usually occurs the last week of October, but you'll catch views of massive sandstone cliffs whenever you visit.

627 Commission Circle, Breaks, VA 24607,

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4. Claytor Lake State Park

Radford, VirginiaEnjoy a day on the water at this 4,500-acre Virginia lake, and be sure to take in the scenic shoreline with its seasonal hues too. Camping and cabins are available in the park, as well as a full-service marina with docking slips and boat rentals. Rent a bike to tour the lake on wheels or stop by the historic Howe House for interactive exhibits on the ecology of the lake and surrounding areas.

6620 Ben H. Bolen Dr., Dublin, VA 24084,

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5. George Washington National Forest

Roanoke, VirginiaThe George Washington and Jefferson National Forests comprise 1.8 million acres across several states, one of the largest stretches of public land in the region. Visit the section in Virginia to see some of the most striking foliage on the East coast. Favorite viewing spots include the High Knob Tower on the state line with West Virginia and the Reddish Knob near Harrisonburg.

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6. Grayson Highlands State Park

Mouth of Wilson, VirginiaStunning vistas along the park's hiking trails are par for the course in Grayson Highlands, which makes anyone who visits year-round, but especially in fall, a fortunate traveler indeed. Near Virginia's two highest mountains, Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, Grayson Highlands offers scenic views at more than 5,000 feet high. Campgrounds, yurts, and a bunkhouse are available in this backpackers' paradise.

829 Grayson Highland Ln., Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363,

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7. Great Falls Park

McLean, VirginiaIf you like your foliage with a side of whitewater recreation, set your sights on Great Falls Park, which finds the shoreline of the Potomac River turning red and gold during the season. The 800-acre park is only 15 miles from the nation's capital, but you wouldn't know it in this peaceful escape. Explore one of the nation's first canals, see the Great Falls, hike along Mather Gorge's dramatic clifftops, and explore the museum exhibits in the visitor center.

9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA 22102,

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8. Hidden Valley Lake

Abingdon, VirginiaFish with a view at Hidden Valley Lake, a mountain lake in Washington County at 3,500 feet. The south side of the lake in this secluded wildlife area is almost completely forested, while the north side provides good bank access for anglers. Be sure to obtain the necessary permits before visiting.

Route 690, Virginia 24210,

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9. Mabry Mill and the Blue Ridge Parkway

Milepost 176, Blue Ridge Parkway, VirginiaYou can't go wrong touring any section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. America's longest national park consists of 469 miles of gorgeous roadway connecting Shenandoah National Park with the Great Smoky Mountains. A fan favorite on the Parkway, Mabry Mill, is located 15 miles from the town of Floyd at Milepost 176. Pull out your camera for snapshots of the original Mabry family mill, sawmill, and blacksmith shop in full fall color (cultural demonstrations and music occur on the weekends in early fall).

Milepost 176, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia,

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10. Mount Rogers National Recreation Area

Marion, VirginiaThis recreation area in southwestern Virginia near the Tennessee and North Carolina borders is full of sights to take in, from rugged mountain balds to wild ponies. It includes the Lewis Fork Wilderness area and Mount Rogers, Virginia's highest point. Mount Rogers is also home to a portion of the Virginia Creeper Trail, a popular 34-mile trail open to bikers, runners, walkers, and cross-country skiers.

3714 VA-16, Marion, VA 24354,

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11. Natural Bridge State Park

Natural Bridge, VirginiaThe centerpiece of this state park is a 215-foot-tall limestone gorge eroded into a natural bridge by Cedar Creek, which flows below. There are also hiking trails, waterfalls, and vibrant fall foliage throughout the park. Admission to the park includes a visit to the Monacan Indian Village; interpretive programs are held through November.

6477 South Lee Highway, Natural Bridge, VA 24578,

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12. Seven Bends State Park

Woodstock, VirginiaA few miles from historic Woodstock, find Seven Bends State Park, which offers access to the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. Enjoy a picnic, launch a boat, or set out on a hike along 8 miles of trails. Then explore the northern Shenandoah Valley for wineries and breweries, scenic drives, museums, and battlefields.

2111 South Hollingsworth Road, Woodstock, VA 22664,

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13. Shenandoah National Park

Luray, VirginiaYou can enter the 200,000-acre Shenandoah National Park from many places, but the best way to see it is by meandering along Skyline Drive and taking in the vistas along the way. Make a stop at Hazel Mountain Overlook near Luray to see the changing leaves. Lodging, camping, and guided horseback rides are available through October; check the website for details.

259 Big Meadows Visitor Road, Stanley, VA 22851,

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14. Shenandoah River State Park

Bentonville, VirginiaThis 1,600-acre park lies along the shore of the Shenandoah River, with scenic views of the area including Massanutten Mountain and Shenandoah National Park. Stay in the six-room lodge, fully stocked cabins, or campground. Then venture onto 24 miles of trails to check out the views, or spend the day fishing.

350 Daughter of Stars Dr., Bentonville, VA 22610,

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15. Sky Meadows State Park

Delaplane, VirginiaThis 1,860-acre state park has panoramic views and woodlands, access to the Appalachian Trail, and a historic farm. It's a popular spot for hiking, fishing, camping, and biking. Bring a packed lunch to make a day of it, and settle in for a leisurely picnic among the area's changing leaves.

11012 Edmonds Ln., Delaplane, VA 20144,


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