Insta Vistas: Where to Find Pennsylvania’s Most Instagrammable Fall Foliage

Insta Vistas: Where to Find Pennsylvania's Most Instagrammable Fall Foliage

Kinuza Viaduct (Photo: Getty Images)

By Lena Pothier

September 19, 2023

The commonwealth offers plenty of locations to snap that perfect pic of autumnal reds, oranges, and yellows for your Insta.

While New England seems to garner much of the notice when it comes to fall foliage tourism and social media buzz, plenty of leaf-peepers from all over the country travel to Pennsylvania to view the equally-stunning fall colors dotting our landscape. The dazzling, bright canopies of reds, oranges, and yellows that drape Pennsylvania trees in the fall are absolutely breathtaking and well worth the trip.

Read on to find out about some of the best spots in the state to snap that perfect fall foliage pic for your Insta.

Kinzua Viaduct – Mt. Jewett

McKean County’s Kinzua Bridge State Park is one of the best spots to see Pennsylvania’s fall foliage. The Kinzua Viaduct is a 600-foot skywalk that overlooks the Kinzua Gorge. If you stand on its edge, you’ll get magnificent views of the gorgeous crimson leaves on black cherry trees, sugar maples that span Mt. Jewett. To get a view of the bridge itself, there are hiking trails that go down to the bottom of the valley with three vantage points. It can be rather difficult to navigate, so wear the right shoes and come prepared. 

Bowman’s Hill Tower – New Hope

Located at Washington Crossing Historical Park in Bucks County, Bowman’s Hill Tower offers a dazzling view of the countryside and Delaware River. Standing 125-feet-tall, you can get a 14-mile view on a clear day. In the fall, the tower sits perfectly nestled in a sea of yellow and orange foliage, peeping out just above the tops of the trees. The leaves seem like they go on forever, bringing a feeling of peace and serenity when you gaze across them.

Camelback Mountain – Tannersville

All 1,306 acres of Big Pocono State Park have a lot to offer when it comes to finding the perfect viewpoint for fall foliage, but Camelback Mountain may be our favorite. As the highest peak in the Poconos (2,000 feet), you can take in views of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York from its summit. Pro tip: Looking out over Tannersville presents quintessentially autumnal Insta photo opps.

Bucktail Overlook – Driftwood

Nicknamed the “top of the world,” the Bucktail Overlook in Elk State Forest offers one of the most beautiful views in all of Pennsylvania. When you gaze out across Bucktail Overlook, you’ll see rolling meadows, plateaus, and the stunning Sinnemahoning Watershed. Get there in the morning to watch the dawn fog begin to clear, revealing diverse Pennsylvanian terrain wrapped up in autumn’s embrace. If you’re patient and hang out for a little bit, you may get lucky and see the elk that roam the park in search of something to eat.

Pine Creek Gorge (aka, Pennsylvania Grand Canyon) – Wellsboro

Insta Vistas: Where to Find Pennsylvania's Most Instagrammable Fall Foliage

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Located within Tioga State Forest, the Pine Creek Gorge, commonly referred to as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, is a picturesque spot for leaf peeping in the first couple weeks of October. The canyon runs 47 miles long and 800 feet deep, offering absolutely breathtaking views of the forest and trees. A kaleidoscope of colors completely envelops the canyon, appearing almost oceanic in its peaks and valleys. Top spots for Insta shots within the canyon include Leonard Harrison State Park (located on the eastern rim of the canyon), and, below the canyon is Pine Creek Trail, offering a view of many waterfalls.

Ricketts Glen State Park – NEPA

Insta Vistas: Where to Find Pennsylvania's Most Instagrammable Fall Foliage

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Spanning Luzerne, Sullivan, and Columbia counties, Ricketts Glen State Park offers more than 12,000 acres to take in fall foliage. The park is home to more than two dozen waterfalls; viewing them against a backdrop of towering yellow and orange trees looks like something straight out of a fairytale. The Falls Trail is a popular hiking destination to catch these sights, with more than seven miles to explore. The most Insta-friendly draw is the 94-foot–tall Ganoga Falls—watching the water cascade down the rocks in the forest is truly gorgeous.

Wissahickon Valley Park – Philadelphia

Insta Vistas: Where to Find Pennsylvania's Most Instagrammable Fall Foliage

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Philadelphians don’t have to travel far to view the fall colors. Wissahickon Valley Park in the northwestern section of the city offers some of the Insta-ready spots to check out the fall foliage. Thomas Mill Covered Bridge is one of the most popular locations with the park, which spans nine miles and boasts enchanting trails like the popular Forbidden Drive Trail, located between the Andorra and Chestnut Hill neighborhoods. 

The Laurel Highlands – Fayette/Somerset/Westmoreland counties

Insta Vistas: Where to Find Pennsylvania's Most Instagrammable Fall Foliage

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Ranked by USA Today as one of the best spots for fall foliage in 2022, the Laurel Highlands is undoubtedly one of the most premier spots to see the autumn colors in the state. These dazzling hills can be seen from Ohiopyle State Park, Laurel HIll State Park, and Forbes State Forest. Encompassing Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties, the Laurel Highlands provide an autumn aesthetic that photographs extremely, no matter how old your phone or camera is.

Scenic Route 6 – statewide, northern Pa.

Can’t settle on just one location? You don’t have to. Driving Pennsylvania’s scenic Route 6 which spans the northern part of the state from the New Jersey to Ohio borders is one of the best ways to check out the fall foliage this autumn. On this 400-mile drive, you can explore plenty of Pennsylvania foliage at places like Allegheny National Forest, Pine Creek Gorge, and Kinzua Bridge State Park. Locations like the Marie Antoinette Lookout in Bradford County or Oil Creek State Park in Venango County offer some of the best spots to see the trees. Just be sure to keep your phone and/or camera charged—there’s a lot to see!

 

READ MORE: Meet the Nature-Loving Pennsylvanians Pursuing Their Passion for Snakes, Big Cats, Mushrooms, and More

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