NEPA’s Forests Are Blazing With Fall Colors
October marks the height of fall foliage season in NEPA, and the mountains and valleys will soon be decked out in fiery red, brilliant orange and radiant gold. It’s a phenomenon that only happens in a few places in the entire world, and we’re lucky enough to have this spectacular show in our own backyards.
Timing is everything if you want to catch the best views. Peak season has already started in the Endless Mountains and northern Poconos, and the colors will creep south through the rest of the month. Check out DCNR’s weekly fall foliage reports for the latest maps and updates.
We’ve put together a list of some of the top spots to go leaf peeping. Some are bucket list destinations like the Poconos Mountains, which are consistently ranked one of the top places in the country to view fall foliage. Others will take you off the beaten path to NEPA’s small towns and hidden trails. Take a fall road trip with us and come admire Mother Nature’s handiwork at its finest.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Bring your camera, because the scenery is endless in this 70,000-acre park. Over 150 miles of trails will lead you through the famous Pocono foliage. You’ll also find roaring waterfalls, charming towns and fascinating historic sites along the way.
Lackawanna River Heritage Trail
The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail connects over 30 communities with several historical and cultural stops along the way. Hop on the nearest trailhead for an easy stroll or a bike ride along the river.
Frances Slocum State Park
Frances Slocum is an ideal spot for families with its gentle trails and plentiful picnic spots. Spend a day exploring the park’s peaceful forests, sweeping meadows and lakeshore views.
Lake Scranton Walking Trail
This peaceful, 3.5-mile trail is a short drive from the bustle of the Electric City. Take a stroll along the lake and soak up the views from the shore.
This enormous, arching railroad bridge is an incredible sight any time of year, but it’s all the more impressive when it’s surrounded by the vibrant colors of the Endless Mountains. You can view the viaduct at spots along US-11 and PA-92.
Seven Tubs Nature Area
Seven Tubs is a local favorite because you can score great views in just a short hike. A 0.3-mile walk will lead you right to the gorge and waterfalls, while the longer Audubon Trail will take you on a journey through the crisp autumn leaves.
Tobyhanna State Park
From easy trails along the lakeshore to challenging treks through the forest, Tobyhanna State Park has something for all ages. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy lunch beside the lake.
Nay Aug Park
The David Wenzel Treehouse will put you right in the middle of the brilliant fall colors. For even more views, take a walk along the Davis Trail to admire the cliffs and waterfalls of Nay Aug Gorge.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
As if the 70-mile views and awe-inspiring overlooks weren’t enough, Hawk Mountain is also one of the best spots in North America to view the fall raptor migration. Over 18,000 eagles, hawks and falcons will soar over the preserve just in time for fall foliage season.
Top of the World
If you’re chasing views, put Top of the World on your list. You’ll see miles upon miles of rolling mountains from this popular overlook, which makes the climb so worth it.
This 5,700-acre lake isn’t just a summer vacation destination. Squeeze in one last kayak trip of the season or take a stroll along the levee at the Wallenpaupack Lake Trail. Shuman Point, Lacawac Sanctuary and the Wallenpaupack Creek Trail are other prime spots to see the colors.
Little Rocky Glen Preserve
This 26-acre nature preserve is home to a steep gorge and rushing rapids. A short path will take you to a picnic pavilion and a meadow beside the creek— the perfect place to spend an autumn afternoon.
Mauch Chunk Lake Park
Jim Thorpe, PA
The fall colors are even more stunning when they’re reflecting off the water. Visit this public park to see the Pocono foliage at its peak. Pack a picnic lunch, wander along the nature trails or go boating or fishing.