There are parts of Pennsylvania that stretch out past dairy farms where black and white Holsteins graze on green grass, rolling pasture land blends into mountain ranges, and soft, undulating carpets of green set the stage for the true performance of autumn in the Keystone State: a canopy of candy yellows, rich crimsons and tangerine oranges. Fall foliage here unfurls in an endless pattern of beauty, and each time the road turns, the rich hues of autumn gives way to new vistas. But if you’re looking for a twist on the ‘ole fall foliage drive, Pennsylvania has some unique adventures this season that take leaf-peeping to new heights.
Bruce Klein, a pilot in Bradford, offers biplane rides that soar high above the Allegheny National Forest, Kinzua Sky Walk and the Allegheny Reservoir. For $80/person, you can fly in a vintage, open cockpit biplane with the wind in your hair and a patchwork of scarlet, yellow and orange below.
Another new company in the area offers visitors the opportunity to see the changing forest and natural attractions by boat. B’s Canoe Service offers canoe trips for groups up to 10 on the Tunungwant Creek, which flows north into the Allegheny River. The $50 trip includes lunch, dessert and a guided trip along a smooth, seven-mile scenic water trail.
See the Riverstone Estate in Foxburg on a guided Segway tour, where you’ll weave through hundreds of acres of forest and wooded trails. Your two-hour journey will glide along the Clarion River and past spectacular forest bluffs once appreciated by local Native Americans.
In Western PA, admire the changing leaves and wildlife from aboard the Nautical Nature, a 42-person pontoon boat on Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park. The naturalist-guided tour offers insight to the park’s natural history and osprey reintroduction.
Or zip through the Laurel Highlands at Seven Springs Mountain Resort with their new Ridgeline Canopy Tours. Constructed to fit the natural landscape, riders hit the treetops with a heart racing, pulse pounding adventure 150 feet in the air and at maximum speeds of 50 mph.
In Tioga County, tour Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon on a horse-drawn covered wagon. Tour guides will take you back to the 19th century as the horses make their way along the Pine Creek Rail Trail.
Recommended RoadtripsJourney off the highway, where you can meander PA's backroads this autumn and marvel at the cascade of colors set out before you.Roadtrips include:Upstate PATioga County Overlook TourThis road, the closest to a drive down the PA Grand Canyon as you can get, winds through Colton Point State Park, then follows Pine Creek to Cedar Run.PA WildsBucktail Trail State Scenic BywayThe unspoiled forestlands, beautiful hills and steep valleys along this 100-mile stretch through the Sproul and Elk State Forests are breathtaking during the fall, when the foliage is alive with blazing colors.Elk Scenic DriveFollow Elk Scenic Drive as it winds 127 miles through the region, with 23 viewing sites — or 23 chances to see the majestic animals and scenic beauty of the area.High Plateau State Scenic BywayThis 27-mile corridor, located between Snow Shoe, exit 147 off I-80, and Renovo, provides views of the Sproul State Forest as you travel on top of the plateau of the Allegheny Ridge. The vast expanse of hardwood forests offer you ideal locations to capture prize-winning photos or to do some hiking.Potter County Nature LoopStart your journey in Coudersport, and enjoy such as attractions as the Austin Dam, Cherry Springs State Park, the town of Galeton, Route 6, the PA Lumber Museum and Olga Gallery, CafÃ© & Bistro.
Need more information? Biplane Rides: To make reservations, call 814.642.9486 or 814.558.5376; B’S Canoe Service: Call 814.598.7348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; Foxburg Segway Tours; Nautical Nature; Ridgeline Canopy Tours; Ole Covered Wagon Tours