Best Fall Foliage in Pennsylvania

A roundup of places to catch a glimpse of Mother Nature’s autumn spectacle in Pennsylvania by foot, bike or car.

Nothing signals the advent of autumn in Pennsylvania like the changing color of the state’s landscape, when entire forests transform into glittering displays of reds, yellows and purples. From the large-scale transformations in Allegheny National Forest and Rothrock State Forest to historical sights framed by varying shades of gold, here are a few of the best places to see fall foliage in Pennsylvania.

Big Pocono State Park
Upstate PA
Best viewing time: mid-October
Situated on the slopes and summit of Camelback Mountain in the Pocono Mountains, Big Pocono State is a natural viewing area for fall colors.
For the best views: Head to the park’s summit to witness autumn’s eye-catching takeover of a large area of eastern Pennsylvania and portions of New Jersey and New York.

Gettysburg National Military Park
Dutch Country Roads
Best viewing time: late October
Explore the shrine to the monumental Civil War battle in mid- to late October to see more than 1,400 monuments and memorials outlined with multicolored shrubbery.
For the best views: Take a self-guided auto tour or gain knowledge from a licensed guide, who will lead you to the best sights and help you understand the battlefield from the comfort of your own vehicle. Find more historic sites in Pennsylvania >>

Great Allegheny Passage
Laurel Highlands
Best viewing time: early October
The passage supplies nearly 150 miles of hiking and biking trails between Homestead, Pennsylvania, and Cumberland, Maryland. Hop on the trail at mile 72 in Ohiopyle to experience the autumn-activated beauty of Ohiopyle State Park.
For the best views: Join other leaf peepers during the annual Fall Foliage Ride/Walk Run in mid-October on the Great Allegheny Passage along the Youghiogheny River. Check our local events page to catch other fall happenings amid the passage’s autumn backdrop.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Philadelphia and the Countryside

Best viewing time: late October
October is an ideal time to experience the park, which commemorates the site where General George Washington and his troops crossed the icy Delaware River in 1776. Stroll along nature trails and historic buildings to discover the history of Washington’s crossing and Taylorsville, a town founded in the nearly 1800s.
For the best views: Climb Bowman’s Hill Tower for a 14-mile view of the Delaware River area and its surrounding areas.

Kinzua Bridge State Park
Pennsylvania Wilds
Best viewing time: early to mid-October
The park is the site of the Kinzua Viaduct, formerly the world’s highest and longest railroad bridge at 301-feet tall and 2,053 feet long.
For the best views: A skywalk supplies suburb views of the Kinzua Creek Valley year-round, and the valley is most beautiful when splashed with fall colors. Plus, a glass-bottom viewing area provides a look at the remnants of the famous viaduct.

Pine Creek Gorge
Pennsylvania Wilds
Best viewing time: early October
Known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, Pine Creek Gorge is encased by Tioga State Forest, which turns shades of red, purple and yellow in the autumn. Catch the best views of the 50-mile-long, 1,000-foot-deep gorge at Leonard Harrison State Park or Colton Pont State Park.
For the best views: Drive along Pine Creek Gorge’s west rim to catch an eyeful of color and see northern Pennsylvania birds and other wildlife. Or hike the Pine Creek Rail Trail, a 60-mile route that runs through the gorgeous gorge.

Allegheny National Forest
Pennsylvania Wilds
Best viewing time: late September or early October
The national forest’s wealth of deciduous trees supply a wide array of warm reds, lively yellows and deep orange in autumn. Take a leisurely drive through the colorful forest or choose from a variety of hiking and biking trails to see the foliage up close.  
For the best views: Hop on the National Longhouse Scenic Byway, a 27-mile loop through the Allegheny National Forest’s core, for postcard-worthy vistas.

Oil Region National Heritage Area
Great Lakes Region
Best viewing time: mid-October
Don’t be fooled by the region’s petroleum-centered name and heritage, Pennsylvania’s Oil Region has more than 50 miles of paved trails colliding with beautiful landscapes, which are especially scenic in the fall.
For the best views: Tour the region’s unique population of Victorian houses in to see the structures surrounded by vivid colors.

Presque Isle State Park
Great Lakes Region
Best viewing time: mid-October
The 3,200-acre sandy peninsula unites with Lake Erie, providing wonderful opportunities to for leaf peepers to catch reflections of foliage in the water.
For the best views: Step into the Tom Ridge Environmental Center for free admission to interactive exhibits and an overview of the park from a 75-foot observation tower. Then, hit the 11 miles of hiking trails for an up-close encounter of the morphing scenery.

Rothrock State Forest
The Alleghenies
Best viewing time: mid-October
Situated in the heart of Pennsylvania, the forest has tons of areas to view autumn color, including the Seven Mountains area, the shores of Raystown Lake and on its nearly 300 miles of hiking trails.
For the best views: Alan Seeger Natural Area has some of the oldest tress in the state, scenic bridges and a beautiful creek, while the overlook at the summit of Tussey Mountain pairs views of the nearby Penn State University with dazzling fall panoramas.

Three Rivers Heritage Trail
Pittsburgh & The Countryside
Best viewing time: mid-October
On the urban trail system, visitors can admire Pittsburgh’s landscape while learning about the city’s storied past through colorful interpretive signs highlighting notable historical events, areas of cultural significance and facts about native wildlife.
For the best views: Check out the Three Rivers Heritage Trail map for recommended access points to the riverside trail and see Pittsburgh’s skyline tower above red, orange and gold-infested greenery.

Delaware State Forest
Pocono Mountains
Best viewing time: mid-October
Hike or bike through the forest’s Thunder Swamp Trail System, a 45-mile network of scenic interconnected trails.
For the best views: Buckle up and take a drive on PA Route 402 through the forest for supreme views of fall foliage.

Pennsylvania Route 6
Best viewing time: mid- to late October
Designated by National Geographic as one of the most scenic drives in the United States, Route 6 takes motorists through 11 counties and stretches over 400 miles across northern Pennsylvania.
For the best views: Explore the great eateries, museums and attractions that dot the famous route like Pine Creek Gorge and Lake Erie’s coastline – all of which are enhanced with color in October.

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