Last updated: 8/10/20 -- Check back October 1, 2020 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 among the colors, and ascend to the top of the region for a breathtaking view of the Pocono Mountains.

This post features hikes in our central and southern color zone regions, and this week’s fall foliage forecast shows those color zones are closing in on peak color! The central region is at 80-85% with 85% of the leaves on the trees, and the southern zone is showing 40-50% with 85% 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: Bushkill, PA - 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.

2. Raymondskill Creek Trail
Location: Dingmans Ferry, PA - Just south of Milford off Route 209 in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (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 a 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: Take it easy on the trail. With a somewhat-steep grade, watch your step as you view the falls among the fall foliage. Learn More

3. Mount Tammany “Red Dot” Trail
Location: Dunfield Creek Natural Area, Columbia, NJ
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

4. Dingmans Creek Trail
Location: Dingmans Ferry, PA - 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. Learn More

5. Lehigh Gorge Trail
Location: Lehigh Gorge State Park, Jim Thorpe, PA
Distance: 26 miles; access points throughout the trail
Terrain: Packed gravel with boardwalks and bridges
Difficulty: Moderate
Approved Uses: Hiking and biking
Scenery: Thick vegetation, the Pocono Plateau, Lehigh Gorge, and the Lehigh River
Pet Friendly: Yes
Our Take: As an intersection of the D&L Rail Trail, this trek has one of the most beautiful views in the region. The trail can be completed in its entirety or picked up at different access points to shorten the trip. Located in Jim Thorpe, this is a great trail for families, couples and groups. The park has ample parking in multiple parking lots, and well-maintained walkways with benches. 
Our Advice: Start at the Rockport access point and walk towards Jim Thorpe. The 15-mile downgrade makes for a nice, relaxing walk. Learn More

6. Shohola Falls Trail
Location: Route 6, Shohola, PA
Distance: 0.6 miles round trip
Terrain: Slick, rocky creekside
Difficulty: Easy
Approved Uses: Hiking
Scenery: Shohola Falls, woods, creek
Pet Friendly: Yes
Our Take: Looking for a quick hike with gorgeous scenery? You’ll find it here! This short trail parallels the waterfall on a declining rock path. If the falls are running with ample water, the excess water splashes the trail making it slippery. This hike brings you head-on to the falls, so don’t forget to bring the camera for a photo-op. The trailhead can be hard to see from the road, so slow down as you approach the location as not to miss the trail.
Our Advice: Use caution when walking down to the waterfall. The trail gets trickier the lower you go. Learn More

All the trails featured in today's blog are free! 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!

For safety reasons, the Glen Onoko Falls Trail is closed to hikers as of May 1, 2019