Last updated: 7/10/18 -- Check back on October 11, 2018 when this blog will be updated! You’re in luck: it’s almost peak color time in the Pocono Mountains! And trust us, you’ll want to see this. We’ve got just the hikes to view this astounding foliage

Our 67,000-acre outdoor playground is ablaze with bright reds and oranges waiting to be explored. The Poconos welcomes all things fall with adventurous day trips and numerous ways to view the foliage. Want to experience the foliage up close and personal? Hike amongst the colors, and ascend to the top of the region for a breathtaking view the Pocono Mountains.

This week’s fall foliage forecast shows all three of the Pocono Mountains' color zones are closing in on peak color! In the north, peak color is at 100%, with 75% of the leaves on the trees. The central region is at 60-70%, with 70-80% of the leaves on the trees, and the southern zone is showing 50%, with 80% of the leaves on the trees. You’re just in time to catch optimum autumn scenery!

Ready to hit the trails? Read on for six of the top hikes in the Pocono Mountains to catch the foliage before it falls! We’re covering everything you need to know from distance and difficulty to scenery and pet-friendliness. 

1. McDade Recreational Trail
Location: Parallel to the Delaware River from Milford to Shawnee on Delaware
Distance: 31 miles; access points every few miles
Terrain: Packed gravel with some sturdy bridges and a few steep hills
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Approved Uses: Hiking and biking
Scenery: Delaware River, farm fields, woods, historic buildings
Pet Friendly: Yes
Our Take: The McDade Recreational Trail is ideal for leisure seekers. We hiked the southern end from the Hialeah parking lot to Smithfield Beach and back. Access points every few miles permit easy on/off/turnaround. The trail is well-maintained and clearly marked. It is bordered by the Delaware on one side and trees and farm fields on the other. Smithfield Beach is a picturesque place to stop and take in views of fall foliage along the river. Learn More
Our Advice: Map your route in advance. Grab trail maps and information at a National Park Service Visitors Center.

Fall Hiking Along the McDade Trail in the Pocono Mountains

2. Hornbecks Creek Trail
Location: South of Chestnut Hill Road off Route 209 in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA)
Distance: One mile one way; trail requires turnaround and travel to upper falls
Terrain: Packed gravel and stone trail with bridges and one narrow, steep ascent
Difficulty: Easy to moderate; difficulty depends on turnaround point
Approved Uses: Hiking
Scenery: Woods, creek bed, waterfalls
Pet Friendly: Yes
Our Take: For the most part, this trail is easy and scenic. It winds through the woods along Hornbecks Creek and up to a lovely waterfall. The thin cascade flows through rock cliffs and into a large, round pool. Above the falls, though, the trail turns steep and hits a washout point. You can reach the upper “Indian Ladder” falls from a roadside trailhead on Emory Road.
Our Advice: We suggest a spin around after the first waterfall. You can hop in the car and head up Emory Road for an easier route to Indian Ladder. Look for a pull-off past Hornbecks Creek. A quarter-mile walk will take you to the upper falls.

Indian Ladder Falls in the Pocono Mountains

3. Mount Tammany “Red Dot” Trail
Location: Dunfield Creek Natural Area, Columbia, New Jersey
Distance: 1.2 miles one way or approximately 3 with the Blue Blaze Trail Loop
Terrain: Steep, rocky mountainside
Difficulty: Difficult
Approved Uses: Hiking
Scenery: Woods, Dunfield Creek, breathtaking views of the Delaware Water Gap and Pocono Mountains
Pet Friendly: Yes
Our Take: This is one tough trail! You’ll have to leave the Pocono Mountains to take it, but from the summit, you’ll see views of the region you’ll never forget. We suggest parking at the Dunfield Creek Access (first exit in NJ from the Delaware Water Gap) and climbing up the steps on the Red Dot Trail. The trail leads to three scenic overlooks, the last of which has panoramic views of the Pocono Mountains. Red Dot connects to the Blue Blaze Trail for an easier way down to Dunfield Creek. The loop is only about three miles, but the ascent is over 1,200 feet!
Our Advice: Wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. Don’t forget a dollar for the toll bridge! Learn More

Scenic Views of the Pocono Mountains from Mount Tammany

4. Dingmans Creek Trail
Location: Adjacent to the Dingmans Falls Visitors Center, before the intersection of Routes 209 and 739 in the DWGNRA
Distance: 0.4 miles one way; turnaround at Dingmans Falls
Terrain: Packed gravel with boardwalks and bridges
Difficulty: Easy; a handicap and stroller-accessible boardwalk permits views of both falls
Approved Uses: Hiking
Scenery: Silverthread Falls, Dingmans Falls, Rhododendron thickets
Pet Friendly: No
Our Take: Must-see scenery on a short, pristine path. This is a great trail for families with small children. The grounds have ample parking, a visitors center, restrooms, and even, well-maintained walkways with benches. Silverthread Falls is just steps from the trailhead, and the stunning Dingmans Falls is not far beyond. This is one of the finer free things to do in the Pocono Mountains.
Our Advice: Stop by the Dingmans Falls Visitors Center for maps and information. It’s open to the public on weekends. 

Dingmans Falls in the Pocono Mountains

5. George W. Childs Park Trail
Location: South of Milford, a few turns off Route 209 in the DWGNRA (Follow signs from the intersection of Routes 209 and 739)
Distance: Varies by route; approximately 1.5 miles round trip
Terrain: Packed gravel with boardwalks and bridges and a few rocky hills by the falls
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Approved Uses: Hiking
Scenery: Deer Leap Falls, Fulmer Falls, and Factory Falls; old stone structures and woods
Pet Friendly: No
Our Take: George W. Childs Park is a well-maintained recreation area with picnic tables and clean wooded trails. Multiple viewing platforms let you catch the cascades from different angles. Our favorite spot was the base of Deer Leap Falls. 
Our Advice: Use caution when walking down to the waterfalls. The trail gets trickier the lower you go. Learn More

Fulmer Falls at George W. Child's Park in the Pocono Mountains

6. Raymondskill Creek Trail
Location: Just south of Milford off Route 209 in the DWGNRA (a few miles past the intersection of Routes 209 and 739)
Distance: 0.3 miles one way; turnaround at Raymondskill Falls
Terrain: Gravel and stone with some steep steps and rocky spots
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Approved Uses: Hiking
Scenery: Stone steps, woods, a rock cave, and Raymondskill Falls—the tallest waterfall in the state
Pet Friendly: No
Our Take: This is another brief hike with a big payoff. Raymondskill Falls is only a few feet shorter than Niagara! You can walk in on a sloped gravel path from the Hackers Falls parking lot, or come down the stone steps from the top of the falls. That way’s a bit challenging, but you get a bonus view.
Our Advice: Dingmans Falls, Childs Park and Raymondskill Falls are very close together. We visited all three in less than three hours’ time. We suggest you do the same and spend the day enjoying falls and fall foliage in the Pocono Mountains. Learn More

Raymondskill Falls in the Pocono Mountains

All the trails featured in today's blog are located in or around the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. For additional resources, check out our other hiking trails. We hope these guides inspire you to hit the trails before the leaves hit the ground. Find a place to stay so you can rest up before completing all six of these hikes! Find fall offers and events during your stay!

For weekly updates on the leaves, check out our fall foliage forecast! This way, you can get the most out of autumn in the Pocono Mountains. Feeling ambitious? Discover more fall fun with our fall adventure bucket list! Watch our Instagram video below for an inside look at number five on our list, George W. Childs Park!