A visit to McConnell’s Mill State Park during the peak of the fall foliage season is breathtaking. Drive through McConnell’s Mill Covered Bridge (a registered National Historic Landmark), stop for a tour of the historic gristmill, and picnic at one of the two picnic areas. Adventurous travelers can enjoy hiking the 11.2 miles of rugged trails that traverse the Slippery Rock Gorge from Hell’s Hollow to Eckert Bridge, or take on the six-mile non-loop North Country National Scenic Trail. Don’t forget to stop at Cleland Rock Overlook for a spectacular view.
All aboard! Enjoy a relaxing three-hour round-trip train ride through beautiful Oil Creek State Park on the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad. The Fall Foliage Rides take place Oct. 3-21, Wednesdays through Sundays. The train travels at a rate of only 12 mph, so there’s plenty of time to take in the views, record a video or two, and snap some great photos for your followers.
For royal views go to Kings Gap and Pine Grove Furnace. Both state parks offer biking and hiking trails, mountain lakes, for the ultimate in fall experiences. Feeling fair for fowl? Go to Waggoner’s Gap Hawk Watch in Carlisle as thousands of raptors pass through during migration with the multicolor landscape as a backdrop.
Walk the tracks across the sky at the Kinzua Sky Walk. The sky walk offers a look at the historic Kinzua Bridge — once was the highest and longest viaduct in the world before a tornado damaged it in 2003. Today, the spectacular sky walk allows you to walk above the treetops and view the vibrant colors of the Allegheny National Forest below through a glass-bottomed observation deck.
Almost 50-miles long and 1,000-feet deep, the Pine Creek Gorge features a brilliant fall display of deep reds, yellows, and oranges in early to mid-October. Some of the best fall views of the canyon can be found at Leonard Harrison or Colton Point State Park. For a unique experience, take a ride on the Pine Creek Rail Trail. Voted by USA Today as one of the “10 great places to take a bike tour,” this 10-mile trail travels through the gorge for an up-close-and-personal look at foliage for hikers, bikers, or equestrians.
Big Pocono Sate Park offers 1,306 acres of rugged terrain on the summit offering spectacular views of fall foliage. Perched atop Camelback Mountain, the park offers a paved, 1.4-mile, ADA-accessible drive, providing magnificent views of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. The park also features 8.5 miles of trails, some of which include steep grades. Grab your phone and get ready to snap your way across the park!
Stop at the shores of Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park to discover the magnificence of this 3,200-acre peninsula as it curls into the lake, offering a wide variety of fall experiences. There are 11 miles of hiking trails throughout the park for those who want a more up-close view of the fall colors. And, for those looking to get on the water, climb aboard “Lady Kate,” a 65-foot Great Lakes vessel that ventures out onto the waters of Lake Erie for a 90-minute tour and an incredible view of the shoreline that you couldn’t capture otherwise.
Explore the scenic Laurel Highlands region by taking a biking excursion along the Great Allegheny Passage. Known as the longest rail-trail in the east, the Laurel Highlands’ section of the Great Allegheny Passage is filled with scenic overlooks, viaducts, and plenty of spectacular foliage. Worthy detours include a visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater for stunning fall vistas or dive into a whitewater adventure at Ohiopyle.
Take in the views of the beautiful Pittsburgh skyline and the picturesque countryside that display incredible colors every autumn along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. The trail features the new Interpretive signage guide that features information about the Pittsburgh Pirates, Mister Rogers, Andy Warhol, and the steel industry. Let the Pittsburgh region explain itself to you while touring one of the best urban trail systems in the country.
If you’re looking to enlist for Civil War-themed experience but want to avoid the crowds and high temperatures, make a point to visit Gettysburg National Military Park in the fall, where rolling hills and copses provide a beautiful fall-colored backdrop to its historic attractions. For great foliage snaps, tour the battlefield on horseback for a guided tour from Hickory Hollow Horse Farm in Gettysburg.
Get historic at Washington Crossing Historic Park, an interpretive center that not only tells the story of Washington’s famous crossing, but also preserves the early 19th century history of Taylorsville where the crossing of the Delaware occurred. For great photos, go to Bowman’s Hill Tower, a 125-foot tall observation tower that offers an expansive 14-mile view of the region.
For quintessential small town charm, go to Jim Thorpe in the Pocono Mountains. Nestled in the breathtaking Lehigh Gorge, this Victorian town is beaming with history, romance, and family fun. As you explore the quaint downtown, you’ll see stunning fall views of the Lehigh Gorge in the distance.
Near State College, the 5,900-acre Bald Eagle State Park is blanketed with vibrant fall foliage colors that circle a 1,730-acre reservoir. While visiting, stay at the Nature Inn, the ecofriendly inn offers stunning views and is a great perch for looking for the park’s namesake.
To learn about more places to see fall foliage, check out the visitPA website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don’t forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.