Where to See Fall Foliage in Pennsylvania

Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania, is worth a visit to see it in all its fall glory
Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania, is worth a visit to see it in all its fall glory | © Pat & Chuck Blackley / Alamy Stock Photo
Mike Title

Fall descends upon Pennsylvania with majesty, and from October, the leaf color is at its most glorious, and lasts for about a month. Culture Trip rounds up the best spots to enjoy this natural phenomenon.

1. Schenley Park


The enormous 500-acre (185ha) Schenley Park, in Pittsburgh, is famous for its yellow-wood trees. Panther Hollow Lake has many trails to take, with varying degrees of difficulty. Here you can experience the full glory of nature without straying far from the city. The skyscrapers, bold and imposing, can still be seen in the distance, as summer draws to its end and fall envelops the wild surroundings.

2. Hyner View State Park


Around one hour north of Pennsylvania this state park, with a ridge overlooking the region, and around 1,300ft (396m) above the Susquehanna River, gives you an excellent view of the foliage in all its fall colors. As the hang gliders swoop against the sunset and the river flows below, the scene for the end of summer is set. The primitive trails on offer here are for those who like to hike in the rough.

3. Bowman’s Hill Tower

Natural Feature

Bowman’s Hill Tower, less than an hour’s drive northeast out of Philadelphia and near New Hope, in Bucks County, is a historic site where George Washington once stood with his troops. It offers incredible views of the Delaware River and across to New Jersey. Surrounded by forest, the observation tower offers 360-degree views and all the fiery colors of fall.

4. Penn Grand Canyon

Natural Feature

© H. Mark Weidman Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Penn Grand Canyon, on the edge of the Susquehannock State Forest in northern Pennsylvania, has miles of forested trails worth hiking, past waterfalls through woods and into gorges. It is definitely hard to beat.

5. Jim Thorpe

Natural Feature

Switchback Trail, Jim Thorpe PA
© Brandon Schaffer / Alamy Stock Photo

Jim Thorpe, in eastern Pennsylvania, is a small town named after the Native American athlete who became the first indigenous man to win a medal in the Olympics for the United States. During fall there are many festivals that draw crowds with a wonderful atmosphere downtown. It’s a fun place to be and it is easy to rent a bike and escape out into nature on one of the many trails to enjoy the fall colors.

6. The Gettysburg Battlefield


The Gettysburg Battlefield in Southern Pennsylvania is one of the most famous sights in the United States. Visitors to this scene of monuments, cannons and the wide sprawling nature itself makes it busy all year round, but in fall the area comes into its own, when the battlefields, once a scene of such brutality, display the glorious colors of fall. Elsewhere in the region there are many festivals to enjoy as well as a bounty of apples from the many orchards.

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