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PA Fall Foliage

Posted by on Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:40 AM
  • 16 Replies

http://blog.pennlive.com/life/2012/09/fall_foliage_where_to_go_in_pe.html

 

 Fall foliage: Where to go in Pennsylvania to see the colors

 

Official fall foliage maps for Pennsylvania list Sept. 26-Oct. 12 as the average peak color period for the Northern Tier of the state, Oct. 13-28 for western and central counties, and Oct. 29-Nov. 5 for south-central and southeastern counties.

 

Last year, the peak periods, particularly in central Pennsylvania, ran about a week earlier than those averages.

 

The timing, and brilliance, of the fall colors will be determined largely by the weather over the next few weeks, according to Marc Abrams, professor of forest ecology at Penn State who's been observing fall foliage conditions and their relationship to the weather for about 25 years.

 

Dry days and cool nights now through mid-October, perhaps with an early frost in that period, could set the stage for great color on schedule. Wet, warm weather during that period could give us later peaks and more muted colors when they arrived.

 

Fall foliage
Enlarge MARCUS SCHNECK, The Patriot-News Schuylkill River Trail near Landingville, Schuylkill CountyFall foliage, Pennsylvania 2012 preview gallery (16 photos)
  
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Even if that "worst-case scenario" develops, there usually is at least some worthwhile color for two of central Pennsylvania's special opportunity gravel-road drives on Oct. 14, when the Pennsylvania Game Commission opens roads through two of the region's state game lands.

 

by on Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:40 AM
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Vertical15
by Vanessa on Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Gravel-road drives on Oct. 14

The 17-mile tour along the abandoned railroad bed through SGL 211, from the Ellendale gate in Middle Paxton Twp., Dauphin County, to Goldmine Road in Lebanon County is a one-day only event. The commission opens the gates for motorized driving only that day for the 9 a.m.-3 p.m. event. The tour also features an optional guided walking tour of the old Cold Springs Hotel site along the driving route.

Much, but not all, of the nine miles of gravel road through SGL 110 in Berks and Schuylkill counties is normally opened throughout the fall hunting seasons. However, some areas of the tract not open to general motorized travel are opening for the 9 a.m.-3 p.m. tour, and the commission stations officers along the route to explain some of the habitat work being down along the mountaintop. The tour runs from the commission parking lot on Mountain Road — midway between the Shartlesville exit of I-78 and Route 61 — to Route 183, north of Strausstown.

Vertical15
by Vanessa on Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

State forests

State forests across the region also offer plenty of gravel-road foliage adventures on tracks generally open throughout the year.

 

Fall foliageView full sizeMarcus Schneck, The Patriot-NewsScarlet oak

Hundreds of miles of unpaved, but hard-packed and readily drivable roads allow the leaf peeper to design his own unique tour. Public-use maps are available on the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/index.aspx and in DCNR offices.

Some particularly promising drives cut through nearly all of Michaux State Forest, between Mount Holly Springs in Cumberland County and Waynesboro in Franklin County; the tracts of Weiser State Forest, near Williamstown and Elizabethville in northern Dauphin County; and the area of Tuscarora State Forest, between Churchtown and Laurel Grove in Franklin County.

Vertical15
by Vanessa on Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Beyond the midstate

Beyond central Pennsylvania, but worth the drive, are West Rim Road along the west rim of the Pine Creek Gorge (Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania), between Tiadaghton and Ansonia in Tioga County; and the network of gravel roads intersecting repeatedly with the Quehanna Highway across Moshannon State Forest between Piper in Clearfield County and Medix Run in Elk County.

Vertical15
by Vanessa on Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Along your route

Paved roads across the region also offer wonderful sojourns through the colors of fall, including: 

  • Route 325, from Dauphin in Dauphin County to Tower City in Schuylkill County. 
  • Route 850 from Marysville in Perry County to Reeds Gap in Juniata County. 
  • Route 177 in Lewisberry in York County along to Route 74 in Wellsville. 
  • Route 174 in Churchtown in Cumberland County to Route 233 in Centerville to Mont Alto in Franklin County. 
  • Route 11/15 from Marysville to Duncannon in Perry County, across the Clarks Ferry Bridge. 
  • Route 147 in Dauphin County and north along the Susquehanna River to Milton in Montour County.
  • Beyond the region, the 100-mile Bucktail Trail runs through an extremely wild area of the state from Lock Haven to Ridgway.
  • The 127-mile Elk Scenic Drive runs throughout the Pennsylvania elk range in Elk and Cameron counties, and offers the bonus of plenty of views at the largest free-roaming herd of elk east of the Mississippi River.
Vertical15
by Vanessa on Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Hiking trips

Fall foliageView full sizeMarcus Schneck, The Patriot-NewsMixed hardwood forest along Susquehanna River

For hiking through the glories of autumn, extensive trail networks await at Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area in Dauphin County, Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center in Cumberland County, Colonel Denning State Park in Cumberland County, Gifford Pinchot State Park in York County, Little Buffalo State Park in Perry County and the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art near Millersburg in Dauphin County.

Vertical15
by Vanessa on Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Fall foliage festivals

Across Pennsylvania, several communities hold fall foliage festivals, including: 

  • Pennsylvania Fall Foliage Festival, Oct. 6-7 and 13-14 in Bedford, Bedford County. 
  • Autumn Leaf Festival, Sept. 30-Oct. 7 in Clarion, Clarion County. 
  • Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 5-7 in Confluence, Somerset County. 
  • Falling Leaves Festival, Oct. 5-6 in Coudersport, Potter County. 
  • Fall Festival, Oct. 13-14 in Forksville, Sullivan County. 
  • Fall Foliage Weekends, Oct. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21 in Jim Thorpe. 
  • Sno Mountain Fall Foliage Festival, Oct. 13 in Moosic, Lackawanna County. 
  • Pennsylvania State Flaming Fall Foliage Festival, Oct. 14-16 in Renovo, Clinton County.
Vertical15
by Vanessa on Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Foliage train rides

Most of the tourist railroads in Pennsylvania also offer special fall foliage trains, including: 

  • East Broad Top Railroad at Rock Hill Furnace, Oct. 7-9. 
  • Kiski Junction Railroad at Schenley, Armstrong County, mid-October through the end of the month. 
  • Lehigh Gorge Scenic Byway at Jim Thorpe throughout October. 
  • New Hope and Ivyland Railroad at New Hope, Bucks County, every weekend in October. 
  • Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad at Titusville, Crawford County, weekends throughout October. 
  • Strawbridge Line at Honesdale, Wayne County, Oct. 1, 2, 8 and 9. 
  • Tioga Central Railroad at Wellsboro, Tioga County, throughout October.
courtneyann29
by Silver Member on Oct. 2, 2012 at 11:11 AM
1 mom liked this

Awesome!  I will have to remember this post for the weekend. :)

TerriC
by Terri on Oct. 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM

This is awesome Vanessa!  Thanks for posting all the info!!

la_bella_vita
by on Oct. 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM
1 mom liked this

 We go to state parks and hike often : )

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