Skip to Content

Discovering Pennsylvania Fall Foliage: A Scenic Guide

For many, autumn is a favorite season because it’s a time to watch our landscape melt into a paint palette full of colors in the splendor of nature!

Where can you go to find the perfect view of Pennsylvania fall foliage? Here’s your guide to twelve of the most gorgeous scenic views of fall foliage that you’ll find around the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania!

pennsylvania fall foliage

Southeastern Pennsylvania

A beautiful autumn sunrise at Valley Forge. The National Memorial Arch is a  monument dedicated to George Washington and the United States Continental Army. This monument is located at Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania, USA.

Valley Forge Historical Park

Located across both Montgomery and Chester Counties, this historical park is open year-round with no fees. Enjoy touring historic buildings, statues, and monuments, as well as exploring 35 miles of trails to hike in the 3500-acre area of Valley Forge Historical Park.

The park was the original encampment site of the Continental Army over the winter of 1777-1778. It’s considered one of the largest continuous, protected areas in southeastern Pennsylvania.

This beautiful historical location features a variety of habitats, a river, several streams, and forested wetlands, as well as a deciduous forest and tall-grass meadows.

A few favorite places to visit that show the splendor of fall colors are the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts and Washington’s Headquarters. Or hike to the peak of Mount Misery or Mount Joy for more amazing foliage views!

The best time to visit is early to mid-November

Brandywine Battlefield Park

Brandywine Battlefield Park is located in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. It’s home to the American Revolution’s largest battlefield, which leaves this park rich with history and scenic views.

Visitors are always welcome to hike along the grounds from dawn until dusk. Or opt to take a Guided Tour throughout the grounds to see historic sites, as well as the best fall foliage in Pennsylvania!

Washington’s Headquarters and the Gideon Gilpin House are noted favorite places for visitors to explore.

The best time to visit is mid to late October

Southcentral Pennsylvania

Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park

One of the most famous battles of the Civil War, Gettysburg National Military Park is located in Adams County. It’s open from dawn to dusk and features plenty of historic and colorful sites for visitors.

There are 1,328 monuments, memorials, markers, and plaques throughout the battlefield that memorialize the men who fought and died during the battle. All of these are hidden among breathtaking views of fall foliage in Pennsylvania that create the ideal scene for photographers and visitors alike.

Looking for the perfect place to take pictures of the Pennsylvania fall foliage? Standing on top of Little Round Top will give you a view of miles of battlefield, farmland, and the Blue Ridge Mountain Range.

Find more amazing views of the fall foliage along Route 234!

The best time to visit is mid to late October

Lancaster County

There are several ways to enjoy the view of the foliage throughout Lancaster County.

Visit Speedwell Forge ParkLititz Springs Park, or Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area for spectacular sights of the changing leaves during your visit to Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Or take a ride on the Strasburg Railroad which takes you on a scenic view along the countryside!

Did you know Lancaster County is known for its covered bridges? Take a Lancaster’s Covered Bridge driving tour to see the beautiful bridges against a colorful fall foliage backdrop!

Visit the Lancaster Hot Air Balloon Rides to book your ride to capture breathtaking pictures of the changing colors of autumn!

The best time to visit is early to mid-October

Mt Gretna/Lebanon Valley Rail Trail

Located in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, the Lebanon Valley Trail is 18 miles long and features some of the most gorgeous views of fall foliage in the state. Built in the 1880s, this historic location has hiking trails that begin in downtown Lebanon and take you throughout the area.

Mt Gretna’s Governor Dick was voted “One of the ten most insanely beautiful destinations for fall colors” by UncoveringPA Magazine. With 1105 acres of forested park in southern Lebanon County, there are 16 miles of trails, a 66-foot-tall observation tower, and an Environmental Center to visit.

Driving along Fort Indiantown Gap in northern Lebanon County is also a lovely scenic view of fall foliage in Pennsylvania.

The best time to visit is early October

Central Pennsylvania

Scenic view from the top of Camelback Mountain, in the Big Pocono State Park, Monroe County, Pennsylvania.

6. Big Pocono State Park

Big Pocono State Park is located in Tannersville, on the top of Camelback Mountain. Spectacular fall foliage views can be seen on foot or by car as you drive through the park. The summit has a scenic overlook with views from Pennsylvania to New Jersey and New York. There are a total of 8 ½ miles of hiking trails within Big Pocono State Park.

Another great way to see Pennsylvania fall foliage is a ride on the Pocono Express. This 90-minute train ride through the Pocono Mountains will be a ride of a lifetime!

The best time to visit is mid to late October.

7. Great Allegheny Passage

The Great Allegheny Passage is located in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

There are 150 miles of hiking and biking that begin in downtown Pittsburgh and travel down into Cumberland, Maryland.

The best fall foliage views can be seen on the Baughman Trail and the Baughman Rock Overlook. This trail is a steep one but you’ll have a great view of the Youghiogheny River Gorge, as well!

This happens to be the location of one of the longest rail trails in the east!

While you visit, don’t miss out on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. This house stretches across a 30-foot waterfall with breathtaking views of Pennsylvania fall foliage.

Ohiopyle State Park is also one of the favorites of this region, with over 20,000 acres to explore. While you’re there, go whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River.

The best time to visit is early October

Western Pennsylvania

Skywalk At The Kinzua Bridge State Park in Pennsylvania

8. State College

Bald Eagle State Park is a favorite location within the State College area for hiking, bird watching, and catching a scenic view of the fall foliage in Pennsylvania alongside Sayers Lake. There are 5900 acres to explore and visit while you take in the idyllic scenery.

Another great location for beautiful views is Rothrock State Forest. Visitors can hike, bike, or boat down Raystown Lake all while enjoying the fall foliage in Pennsylvania. The overlook on top of Tussey Mountain also has incredible views of miles of colorful foliage.

Black Moshannon State Park has almost 3400 acres of forest and wetlands on the 43,000 acres of state forest land. Black Moshannon Lake is an excellent place for bird-watching and for taking pictures. When the lake is still, the reflection of the fall foliage on the surface of the lake is simply breathtaking.

The best time to visit is mid-October

9. Kinzua Bridge State Park

Kinzua Bridge State Park is located in Mount Jewett, Pennsylvania, and is open from dawn to dusk.

The park houses the Kinzua Viaduct. At 301 feet high and 2053 feet long, it was once the world’s highest and longest railroad bridge when it was constructed in 1882.

During your visit, don’t miss out on the skywalk. At the end of the skywalk is a glass floor that looks down at the Kinzua Creek Valley below.

There are also several hiking trails where visitors can capture colorful pictures of the foliage, including the popular 1.6-mile-long General Kane Trail.

The best time to visit is early to mid-October.

Northern Pennsylvania

Striking colors of fall foliage near Lehigh River, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, U.S

10. Jim Thorpe

Did you know the town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania has a Fall Foliage Festival?

This annual festival usually takes place over the four weekends of October every year. Jim Thorpe is known as the “Switzerland of America” for its historic architecture and breathtaking scenic mountain views.

The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway is a great way to see all the fall foliage in Pennsylvania. The train will take you parallel to the Lehigh River on a 45-minute ride.

More amazing views of Pennsylvania fall foliage can be seen at Mount Pisgah, with sights of the Lehigh Gorge and the town of Jim Thorpe. Visitors should consider that it is a steep hike to make your way to the Jim Thorpe Overlook at the top of Mount Pisgah.

Don’t miss out on a visit to Glen Onoko! The Moyer’s Rock Overlook has an astonishing view of the Lehigh Gorge.

Best time to visit: October

11. Starrucca Viaduct

Located in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, the historic Starrucca Viaduct bridge was built in 1848, and is the oldest railroad bridge in Pennsylvania still in use today.

It’s located near the D&H Rail Trail and is one of the biggest stone-arch bridges in the U.S. The bridge is over 1000 feet long and is almost 100 feet tall, with 17 arches.

A favorite place for many visitors to see the beautiful fall colors is Luciana Park.

The best time to visit is early October.

12. Pine Creek Gorge

Pine Creek Gorge is located in Wellsboro and was voted by USA Today as “One of the 10 great places to take a bike tour.”

Find impressive photo opportunities within the Tioga State Forest, alongside the gorge that spans 47 miles long and is almost 1500 feet deep. The best views for fall foliage are to be had along the west rim of the gorge, as well as at the Leonard Harrison State Park and Colton Pont State Park.

One more great location to see Pennsylvania fall foliage is Pine Creek Rail Trail. Hike or bike the 62-mile-long trail as you capture colorful pictures.

The best time to visit is early October.

Discovering Pennsylvania Fall Foliage for Yourself

That’s everything you need to know about Pennsylvania fall foliage and where to find it at just the right time to catch the perfect changing colors of autumn.

Are you interested in learning more about the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania? Visit our posts on The 12 Best Apple Orchards in Pennsylvania as well as the state’s 16 Best Pumpkin Patches!