Best time to travel to Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Fall Foliage

Autumn reveals its stunning colors across the Keystone State

Best time: October

Pennsylvania Fall Foliage
Pennsylvania Fall Foliage
Pennsylvania Fall Foliage
Pennsylvania Fall Foliage
Pennsylvania Fall Foliage
Pennsylvania Fall Foliage
Pennsylvania Fall Foliage
View from Bowman's Tower in New Hope, PA

The change of seasons is especially beautiful in Pennsylvania with its vast parks, picturesque mountains, and clear lakes. The best time to see mother nature's spectacle in Pennsylvania is mid-October. Oak forests dominate two-thirds of the state. Chestnut oak, scarlet oak, and black oak are the most common trees to exhibit fall yellows and reds. Sugar maple adds some orange tones, while red maple adds a few scarlet notes.

Allegheny National Forest

In the northwestern part of the state, Allegheny National Forest is probably the most famous place to observe fall foliage. Leaves start to turn here in late September and the forest transforms into a sea of gold by mid-October. You'll see lots of yellow tones with some orange and red accents. Take a drive on National Longhouse Scenic Byway to enjoy the whole picture. For a slower experience, hike to Bridal Falls, Hector Falls, or Logan Falls to make a postcard-worthy picture. Stop by Kinzua Reservoir to view a scenic overlook and take some reflection shots.

The Poconos

The Pocono Mountains look most stunning in the fall months. The best time for leaf peepers in Big Pocono State Park comes in mid-October. Nestled on the slopes and summit of Camelback Mountain, the park offers overlooks reaching New York and New Jersey. The most scenic locations include Lake Wallenpaupack and Bushkill Falls. Take a hike to Camelback Mountain or visit Hawk Falls in Hickory Run State Park to witness the area's stunning fall beauty. Also, check out the picturesque area of Delaware Water Gap, praised for fabulous fall foliage displays.

Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle State Park is a beautiful fall foliage destination on the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland. Ohiopyle State Park reaches the peak display of fall colors in early October. The Great Allegheny Passage is the most famous hiking area in the park. With some 150 mi (240 km) of trails stretching to Cumberland, Maryland, Ohiopyle State Park is a dream destination for a leaf peeper. Also, don't miss the annual Fall Foliage Ride and Run in mid-October along the Youghiogheny River.

Pine Creek Gorge or Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

Pine Creek Gorge offers beautiful trails, scenic waterfalls, and observation overlooks with 360-degree views that are at their best in early October. Some of the greatest views are available at Leonard Harrison State Park, Colton Point State Park, and Tioga State Forest. Take a hike on Pine Creek Rail Trail or drive along the west rim of the canyon to enjoy the colorful spectacle of fall in the gorge.


The historical Gettysburg is not just one of the most famous destinations in Pennsylvania. It's also one of the most beautiful sites due to its astonishing fall foliage display. Visit one of the most famous battlefields in American history in late October to enjoy the best fall colors. Additionally, you can explore over 1,400 monuments of the Civil War.

Scenic Drives

Pennsylvania is famous for its nature, and during the last two weeks of October, the whole state becomes picture-perfect. Some scenic drives just can't be missed. Take Route 6 that stretches for 400 mi (643 km) across the northern part of the state passing the famous Pine Creek Gorge or Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Stop by the Marie Antoinette Overlook facing the Susquehanna River. Another beautiful ride awaits you on Route 32 in Bucks County that connects Kintersville and New Hope. Watch the stunning colors on hillsides along the Delaware River and stop by Ringing Rocks County Park to see amazing Pennsylvania nature up close.

Where to stay

A rural hotel or a farm bed and breakfast is the best lodging to enjoy Pennsylvania's countryside. Some farms are located next to the most scenic spots like Ohiopyle State Park. Make sure to book in advance.

Practical info

When is the best time to go to Pennsylvania for fall foliage?

The most scenic time to visit Pennsylvania is around mid-October when the leaves reach their peak colors. The leaves usually start turning in late September, and it's an excellent time to visit Big Pocono State Park for leaf peeping. For the best display of fall colors at Ohiopyle State Park, one should visit in early October. Pine Creek Gorge, also known as Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon, offers visitors the best view of foliage in early October. Late October is the best time to visit the Gettysburg battlefield to explore the park's colorful trees. Show more

What are some recommended places to observe autumn colors in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania offers several picturesque locations to explore the colors of fall, such as Allegheny National Forest, Pine Creek Gorge, Ohiopyle State Park, Gettysburg Battlefield, Route 6 stretch, and Route 32 in Bucks County. Allegheny National Forest in the northwestern part of the state is the most popular destination for leaf peeping, with Kinzua Reservoir offering stunning views of the foliage. Ohiopyle State Park comprises about 150 miles of hiking trails stretching to Cumberland, providing a perfect destination for leaf peeping. Pine Creek Gorge offers some incredible autumn views with waterfalls and 360-degree views. Show more

Which trees are known for displaying fall yellows and reds in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania's state is dominated by oak forests. The common trees that contribute to the fall yellows and reds include chestnut oak, scarlet oak, and black oak. Besides these, sugar maple trees exhibit some orange tones, while red maple trees add slight scarlet notes to the colors of fall. Sycamore and hickory trees also add to the colorful autumn foliage of the state, providing incredible views for the traditional season for leaf peeping. Show more

What are some of the scenic routes that one shouldn't miss during the autumn in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania offers a couple of exciting routes to explore during autumn, and the two most picturesque ones shouldn't be missed. One of the famous drives is to follow Route 6, which stretches for 400 miles across the state's northern part, passing by Pine Creek Gorge and Penn's Woods. Another scenic route is Route 32 in Bucks County, connecting Kintersville and New Hope, providing breathtaking autumn scenery. The National Longhouse Scenic Byway near Allegheny National Forest and the drive along Pine Creek Gorge's west rim are additional incredible possible routes that one can drive to explore the colors of fall in Pennsylvania. Show more

What is the primary hiking area in Ohiopyle State Park?

Ohiopyle State Park has a famous hiking trail called The Great Allegheny Passage, stretching for around 150 miles, from the state park to Cumberland, Maryland. Ohiopyle State Park is an excellent destination for leaf peeping, with several activities such as hiking, biking, and seasonal events like the annual Fall Foliage Ride and Run along the Youghiogheny River. Several landmarks and natural sites like Cucumber Falls, Natural Waterslides, and Ferncliff Peninsula, which are home to endangered plant species, are major highlights of the park. Show more

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