The leaves are calling: it's time to take that autumn trip to savor the splendor of the fall foliage! The Pocono Mountains region covers four counties and 2,400 square miles of northeast Pennsylvania's beautiful hills, forests, lakes and rivers...meaning there are plenty of stunning scenic vistas for visitors to discover!
Take in the leaves from the side of a sprawling lake, hike to the heights for a panoramic view of the reds, oranges, and yellows, or hop in the car to wind along scenic fall drives that take you to local small towns where fall fun abounds. We've broken down five fantastic places to see in the Poconos in the fall to enjoy the changing colors.
1. Camelback Mountain
The summit of Camelback Mountain in Big Pocono State Park in Tannersville offers spectacular fall foliage views across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Let the car do the uphill work and park near a picnic area with a panoramic view along Rim Road. Rather work up your appetite first? Big Pocono has 8.5 miles of challenging hiking trails.
There's another trail near the mountain waiting to be explored: the Pocono Beverage Trail! Enjoy an autumnal meal and hand-crafted beverages at Barley Creek Brewing Company. Head to the nearby Pocono Premium Outlets to treat yourself to a new cozy scarf or sweater. Get a treetop view of the leaves from the aerial obstacle courses and zip lines at Camelback Mountain Adventures or stay overnight at Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark to experience even more seasonal fun including UTV fall foliage tours, fall tubing, and campfires complete with s'mores.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Bushkill Falls Fall Foliage
2. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Bushkill Falls Fall Foliage
Running through the heart of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA), the Delaware River winds between mountains blazing with russet and golden hues at this time of year, offering incredible foliage vistas from the water, from hiking trails high on the cliffs above, or deep in the forests, framing mighty waterfalls. Discover the two tallest cascades in Pennsylvania, Raymondskill Falls and Dingmans Falls, on the northern end of the recreation area. Plan a visit to Bushkill Falls, located just outside DWGNRA, to see eight beautiful waterfalls spread across 300 acres.
The Cliff Trail, not far from Milford, offers a breathtaking overlook of the river. Travel south to the historic borough of Delaware Water Gap to view the season's finery from Mount Minsi along the famed Appalachian Trail. Celebrate the season with Pocono Environmental Education Center, located within DWGNRA, during their annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
Lakeside Leaves and Best Fall Hikes
3. Lakeside Leaves and Best Fall Hikes
There's magic to be found on the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack in all four seasons, but the flaming colors reflected in the water every autumn are something no lake lover should miss. With 52 miles of shoreline and a surface stretching 5,700 shimmering acres, there are plenty of different viewpoints to discover. Get out on the water with a rental from local outfitters like Rubber Duckie Boat Rentals. See the sunset from the Wallenpaupack Lake Trail, or tee off with views of the lake in the distance at The Golf Course at Paupack Hills. Looking for even more fall lakes to enjoy? Discover peaceful scenery as well as environmental programs and guided fall foliage walks at Lacawac Sanctuary on the northern side of the lake or explore the two lakes and miles of hiking trails at Promised Land State Park located about a 15-minute drive south of Lake Wallenpaupack.
Best Fall Hikes in Lehigh Gorge and Jim Thorpe
4. Best Fall Hikes in Lehigh Gorge and Jim Thorpe
Fall is all about the foliage in Carbon County, where the mountains and rocky outcroppings rising above the Lehigh River in Lehigh Gorge State Park harbor plenty of autumn outdoor adventures. The small town of Lehighton is a perfect base for a fall day trip, offering plenty of parking, and easy access to the D&L Trail for hiking, biking, or fall whitewater rafting trips with outfitters like Jim Thorpe River Adventures.
Located minutes up the road from Lehighton, the Victorian splendor of Jim Thorpe is set off perfectly by the seasonal colors and drifting leaves. The popular Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival is held the first four weekends of October, bringing vendors and fun family activities to the historic streets. Be sure to plan ahead to secure parking. Hop aboard the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway for an Autumn Leaf Train Excursion running daily throughout October.
Scenic Route 6 through the Northern Poconos
5. Scenic Route 6 through the Northern Poconos
On the northern end of the Poconos region in Wayne County and Pike County, scenic Route 6 has been called one of the top fall drives in the country. Starting from the Delaware River, the road winds west past Shohola Marsh Reservoir before turning north at Lake Wallenpaupack and following the Lackawaxen River. If your ideal way to view the fall foliage is from a sidewalk cafe with a freshly-brewed coffee, you'll want to make sure you plan a few pit stops! Route 6 connects the charming small towns of Milford, Hawley and Honesdale, and all three communities boast picturesque and historic downtown districts lined with colorful trees plus fun harvest celebrations.
Peak Fall Foliage in the Poconos
Make sure you consult our fall foliage forecast, updated every Thursday through the end of October, to plan your leaf peeping Pocono getaway for when the trees will be at their peak in the three distinct color zones across the Poconos region. For even more inspiration, check out more than two dozen ways to see the leaves, browse local autumn activities and events and find ideas for fall fun.
The perfect way to end a crisp autumn day soaking in the sights of the season is with a relaxing stay at welcoming Poconos accommodations. Be sure to browse special offers or visit midweek to save on your fall foliage getaway!