10 Fall Hiking Spots
Camping isn’t just a summer activity – fall hikes and overnight trips are just as exciting. Exploring Pennsylvania’s many state parks will fill you with memories of jumping in leaves, wrapping up in a blanket to watch the stars, and eating chili dogs by a campfire, while leaving room for you to make new ones.
We checked out www.visitpa.com to learn about their top 10 places to camp and hike this fall in Pennsylvania. Some spots are right outside Pittsburgh, and all of them are worth the drive. Check it out!
Almost 50 miles long and 1,000 feet deep, the Pine Creek Gorge is known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania and features a brilliant fall display of deep reds, yellows and purples in early October. Some of the best fall views of the canyon can be found at Leonard Harrison or Colton Point State Park. Voted by USA Today as one of the “10 great places to take a bike tour,” this 60-mile trail travels through the Gorge for an up-close and personal look at foliage for hikers, bikers or equestrians.
Scenic drives through the hardwood forests of McKean County in northern Pennsylvania provide spectacular fall foliage touring. In the Allegheny National Forest, visitors can hike hundreds of acres of trailways, ranging from short birding trails to the challenging North Country Trail. Throughout, the Allegheny National Forest region offers a variety of scenic vistas, mountains, brilliant colors and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Big Pocono State Park, located at the top of Camelback Mountain in the Pocono Mountains region, is home to breathtaking views in the fall season by foot or by car. The best place for viewing foliage is at the park’s summit, where a scenic overlook offers views for miles from the popular Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and beyond.
Known as the birthplace of the first commercially successful oil well, this 50-mile area in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region is also a prime spot to experience the bright shades of yellow, red and orange lining the hillsides. Boasting attractive Victorian towns, outstanding historical artifacts, scenic views and cultural traditions, the Oil Heritage Region displays its original oil country charm each autumn. The region also offers three recreational trails and the scenic Oil Creek State Park’s numerous day-hike trails.
Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region displays many beautiful autumn colors along the shore of Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park. Discover the magnificence of this 3,200-acre peninsula as it curls into the lake offering a wide variety of fall experiences. Home to more than 4 million visitors each year, Presque Isle offers the leisurely 14-mile Karl Boyes Multi-purpose National Recreation Trail for walkers and bicyclists interested in sightseeing along the Bay.
For those exploring the scenic Laurel Highlands region in search of autumn colors, there’s perhaps nowhere better to do so than on a biking excursion along the Great Allegheny Passage that was completed in June 2013. 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.
Celebrate the city’s 200th anniversary with views of the beautiful Pittsburgh skyline and the picturesque countryside that display incredible colors not only this year, but every year during autumn. Incorporated into the new edition of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail map is the Three Rivers Heritage Trail Interpretive Signage Guide. Pittsburgh’s dramatic landscape and history are portrayed in dozens of signs located along the riverfronts. From 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.
In the heart of the Alleghenies region, the parks and vistas that encompass Rothrock State Forest provide dramatic foliage areas that can be accessed in a variety of ways. Mountain bike along the trails surrounding the majestic Seven Mountains area, hike numerous trails throughout the forest, or explore from the lowest points from a boat on Raystown Lake.
Gettysburg National Military Park is a must-see for any fall excursion, providing the perfect scenic backdrop for visitors experiencing this historic battlefield. Explore the sights and sounds of battlefield reenactments, monuments, memorials and true history. Gettysburg offers guests a part of the nation’s past all year, but provides optimal trekking treasures in the fall.
In 1776, General George Washington and his army crossed the Delaware River in the frigid cold of winter. At that site today is 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. With historic sites, wildflower areas and nature trails, it’s also an excellent place to discover the October foliage of Bucks County in suburban Philadelphia. Harvest festivals and related events throughout the autumn season add to the fall experience at the Park.
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