From pumpkin-flavored treats to cozy sweaters and corn mazes to apple picking, autumn is one of the most beloved times of year for so many. One of the most-popular autumnal activities is watching the leaves brighten into vivid reds, oranges, and yellows.
For many, watching the leaves change, or “leaf-peeping,” is a beloved fall activity, and we’ve compiled a list of the best places in Pennsylvania to see vibrantly-colored leaves and when to visit them:
When is Peak Season for Different Regions
Starting around mid-September, those living in the northern tier and northeastern corner of Pennsylvania will begin to see minimal changes in the local foliage, with patchy color arriving closer to the week of September 21 and partial color blossoming during the week of September 28.
Similarly, during the week of September 21, residents within the mountain areas of Central and Western Pennsylvania will begin to see minimal changes in their fall foliage, with partial color arriving around the week of September 28.
By early October, sites across the state will be showing at least partial color, while areas in the northern tier and northeastern corner of the state will be reaching peak leaf-peeping season.
By mid-October, the northern tier and northeastern corner of Pennsylvania will be past peak leaf-peeping season, but the northwestern quarter of the state and the mountain areas of Central and Western Pennsylvania will be in peak season. By the end of October, these regions will be past peak, but all other areas of the state will have peak color.
Where are the Best Places to See Fall Foliage by Region
Northern Tier/Northeastern Corner
- Ricketts Glen State Park – For residents of northeastern Pennsylvania, one of the best places to visit to see beautiful fall foliage is Ricketts Glen State Park. Not only does this location boast of the “best hike in the entire state.” it has 23 named waterfalls to reflect the vibrant colors on the trees.
- Hyner View State Park – At 1,300 feet anova the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, Hyner View State Park is one of the best overlooks in the state and undoubtedly one of the top areas to see fall foliage in Pennsylvania.
- Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area – Home to the state’s tallest waterfalls, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is also home to some of the most beautiful fall foliage in Pennsylvania. From miles of great hiking trails to a handful of great vistas over the Delaware Valley, this site is one leaf-peepers wil definitely want on their list.
- Kinzua Bridge – The Kinzua Bridge provides a spectacular view of the Kinzua Valley, so individuals seeking a horizon filled with vibrant fall foliage should make this destination a top priority.
- Presque Isle State Park – Visiting during autumn means experiencing a level of peacefulness not often found during the summertime. Enjoy fall foliage from hiking trails deep in the interior of the park or from afar on a kayak on Lake Erie.
- Mount Davis – As the highest point in Pennsylvania, Mount Davis offers incredible views overlooking Somerset County. Visitors can experience several miles of hiking as well as breathtaking views.
Central & Western Pennsylvania
- Ohiopyle State Park – Filled with forested trails and hidden waterfalls, Ohiopyle State Park comes alive during autumn. In addition, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater sits right outside the parks boundaries.
- Raystown Lake – Since the majority of Raystown Lake is surrounded by gorgeous woodlands, this is an ideal spot for fall foliage. Visitors can hike in Trough Creek State Park, bike the Allegrippis Trails, or even take lake cruises to view the leaves.
- McConnells Mill State Park – Nestled along the banks of the Slippery Rock Creek, McConnells Mill State Park is a fantastic place to view fall foliage. Plus, the iconic red bridge looks incredible against the yellows and oranges of the surrounding trees.