It's almost time for the return of fall season in the Poconos! Mother Nature puts on a stunning show in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, and the fall colors that cloak our hills are the perfect backdrop for a wide variety of different outdoor adventures and fall happenings.
Take time to make memories and soak in fall in the Poconos this year! Admire the brilliant foliage on foot, on wheels or even up in the air. Gather your friends or bring the whole family along for fall festivals and harvest fun. There are great events in the Poconos in September, events in the Poconos in October, and events in the Poconos in November. Keep reading to discover 14 autumn experiences to catch in the Poconos before the leaves fall.
Reconnect with nature and breathe in the fresh mountain air on a fall hike. Over 260 miles of Pocono trails feature spectacular views and incredible seasonal colors. Crunch through the leaves, discover a beautiful waterfall framed by flaming foliage, or get a glimpse of local wildlife preparing for winter.
Choose from 13 miles of trails with convenient loop routes at Lehigh Gap Nature Center in Slatington, PA or enjoy the woods, wildflowers, and wetlands at Van Scott Nature Reserve of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy. Wind up the hill above Honesdale to Irving Cliff for a small town view which once charmed the author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Washington Irving. Famed Bushkill Falls is open (weather permitting) through November, featuring eight waterfalls along four hiking trails varying in length and difficulty.
Roll beneath branches loaded with vibrant leaves: autumn is an ideal time for biking in the Poconos! Two national and nine state parks, totaling over 100,000 acres, offer trails for every skill level.
Rent a bike or bring your own and pedal through beautiful Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area along the McDade Recreational Trail. Stay on the mostly flat part of the trail from Hialeah to Owens trailheads, or take the switchbacks up the ridge north from Owens Trailhead and continue past the park's headquarters through rolling hills.
Another amazing spot for a fall cycle is Lehigh Gorge State Park. Spend a day exploring the 24 scenic and historic miles of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor running through the Gorge alongside the Lehigh River. Get some help from technology with an electronic bike rental from Bronson Ebikes and Trikes.
Trolley Trips and Train Rides
3. Trolley Trips and Train Rides
A scenic trolley trip or train ride through our region’s eclectic small towns is the perfect opportunity to view the red, orange, and gold hues covering the hillsides. Try an old-fashioned form of transportation and learn about the history of the Poconos Mountains during your tour. The Jim Thorpe Trolley Company and The Pocono Historic Trolley Tour offer classic trolley rides, harking back to Victorian vacations of the past.
From couples to families, everyone will love an autumn ride on the train! Hop aboard the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway for a 70-minute round trip excursion winding north along the Lehigh River from Jim Thorpe through Lehigh Gorge State Park. The Stourbridge Line chugs along 25 miles through the Poconos, passing the Lackawaxen River and incredible views of the region’s fall finery in picturesque towns like Hawley and Honesdale, the birthplace of the American railroad.
4. Horseback Riding
Giddy up! Hit the trails and discover the fiery hues while horseback riding. Mount a friendly horse from local stables and canter through forests, over streams, and across fields! Wherever you venture, beautiful scenery awaits.
Never ridden a horse? No problem! This is the perfect opportunity to try riding for the first time. At local stables like Bushkill Riding Stables, Happy Trails Stables, and Mountain Creek Stable, no experience is required, and beginners are welcome. If you'd rather let someone else take the reins, Daisy Field Farm offers carriage, hay wagon and pony rides. Be sure to call ahead to make your riding appointment in advance.
5. Adventure Park
Can’t get enough of the trees? See how the foliage looks to the squirrels as you play up amongst the branches! Balance on a tight rope stretched over the forest floor, cross a swinging log bridge suspended up in the air, or glide down the mountainside with foliage on every side at a local adventure park. Take on a treetop ropes course, rock climbing, zip lining and more!
Summit Adventure Park at Blue Mountain Resort offers five levels of difficulty with a course perfect for young children and first-time treetop adventurers, while Pocono TreeVentures features different configurations and an advanced course that's 40 feet off the ground. Challenge family and friends to the 87 elements at Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventures or enjoy 3,000 feet of in-air obstacles at Adventure Center at Skytop Lodge.
6. Scenic Drive
From the red maple to the golden hickory, over 120 varieties of plants, trees and shrubs put on their fall foliage finery throughout our region's four counties. Destinations in the Pocono Mountains consistently take top rankings in USAToday's Top 10 Fall Foliage Destinations: you'll want to see this bright palette of seasonal shades for yourself!
Pull up a playlist of relaxing road trip music and roll along beneath the autumn branches. Car and Driver Magazine ranked PA Route 6, which runs through the charming towns of Honesdale, Hawley and Milford, as one of the “Top Scenic Routes in America.” Follow the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack along Route 507, hailed by the Travel Channel as one of the “Best Fall Foliage Road Trips.”
CNN named beautiful Delaware Water Gap one of the best places to view fall foliage, and Route 209 is a great byway to take through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Stop in Stroudsburg for lunch, continue west on 209 past Beltzville State Park and wind up the day in historic Jim Thorpe and Lehighton. One of the best things about a scenic drive in the Poconos is that whenever you're feeling like a snack or a stretch of the legs, there are lots of small towns in the area to explore.
7. Zip Line
Fly through the foliage! Ride solo or race a friend on a mountain zip line! See the leaves while zooming down on the 900-foot zip line at Whitewater Rafting Adventures or climb up the Adventure Tower at Summit Adventure Park at Blue Mountain Resort and soar across 500 feet of zip lines. Pocono Zip Racer in East Stroudsburg reaches speeds of 35 miles per hour from launch to landing. Feel your adrenaline pumping as you zip past the trees on the 4000' Zip Rider or the 1000' Double Barrel Zipline at Camelback Mountain Adventures.
Battle it out in a paintball game beneath the trees for bragging rights. Play a round at Skirmish Paintball, a world-class, 700-acre facility in Albrightsville, PA with over 50 playing fields. Pocono Mountain Paintball in Nesquehoning offers scenario fields like Fort Courage, Trench Warfare, and Combat Creek. Head to The Paintball Asylum in Tannersville to try woods ball, speedball, airlift and gel blasters.
There's nothing like seeing the fall colors reflected in the serene surface of a peaceful lake. Plan a day of boating and float over Poconos waters to enjoy breathtaking views. Bring your own boat to public launch ramps at Gouldsboro State Park or along the Lackawaxen River Trails. Looking for a rental? Rubber Duckie Boat Rentals offer boat rentals on Lake Wallenpaupack until late October.
10. River Trips
Canoe or kayak down the Delaware River for unmatched views of the autumn leaves. Take a trip with one of our many outfitters like Edge of the Woods Outfitters, Shawnee River Trips, or Chamberlain Canoes.
Looking to kick things up a notch? Sign up for a Big Day Out with Pocono Whitewater Adventures to pack three big adventures into one epic outing. Raft, bike and hike your way through bright fall foliage on the Lehigh River. Equipment and meals are provided. This is one fall day you won’t forget. Try it in 2023 on September 4, 16, 30 or October 14.
When it's time to rest, pitch a tent beneath the beautiful leaves at a campground. Hemlock Campground & Cottages in Tobyhanna is open through mid-October, offering everything from activities to tent sites to full-service cottages to full hookups. Enjoy a stay amidst the 60 wooded acres of Cranberry Run Campground in East Stroudsburg or the 50 acres of Peaceful Woodlands Family Campground in Blakeslee through the end of October. You'll find RV sites and cabin rentals available year-round at centrally-located Pocono Vacation Park. Spend a night under the stars and around the crackling fire, a perfect cozy fall evening.
Wake up early to watch an autumn sunrise and get an early start at area golf courses. Hitting the links is a great way to enjoy the cooler temperatures surrounded by beautiful fall colors. Plan an autumn outing and savor majestic views at Split Rock Golf Club in Lake Harmony or The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort on the shores of the Delaware River.
Play a round on a pristine local golf course or buy our Golf-A-Round Card and play more than one! There are five participating Pocono Mountains courses, including the beautiful Country Club of the Poconos Municipal Golf Course, set against the Allegheny Plateau.
Visit Big Brown Fish & Pay Lakes to fish two stocked ponds through the end of October, no fishing license required. If you have your own equipment and are out fishing public Pocono waterways, you'll want to make sure you have purchased a state license.
- 40 South Lake Drive
- (484) 886-8258
Guided fishing, fly fishing, rod rentals and more located on the beautiful Lake Harmony. Operated out of Lake Harmony PA and the surrounding bodies of water, including the Lehigh river and its tributaries, Captain Joe's will provide you…
- 2668 Route 115
- (570) 629-0427
Family fishing fun, as well as a great meal to take home and cook! With three well-stocked ponds for fishing, the fish are always biting. Two ponds are stocked with trout (rainbow, brown, brook, and golden) and one pond is stocked with bass…
14. Air Tour
What better way to marvel at the fall foliage than from a bird’s-eye view? Take in the beauty of fall in the Pocono Mountains with an air tour! Soar over waterways and mountains bursting with brilliant colors.
Moyer Aviation and Pocono Helitours offer air tours year-round! Catch aerial views of popular beauty spots like the Delaware Water Gap and Lake Wallenpaupack, or choose your own customized sightseeing excursion. Ready to take it to the next level? See the sights of the region like never before during a jump with Pegasus Skydive Center!
The Pocono Mountains covers 2,400 square miles, roughly the size of Delaware, and wonderful properties and attractions are spread across the region. Looking for the latest on the season? Visit our fall foliage forecast starting September 7, 2023 for weekly updates about each of the three zones' peak colors! Check out our leaf peeping FAQs and more adventures to experience fall fun, plus ideas for fall day trips. Don't forget to browse special offers to find beautiful places to stay during your fall getaway.