A relaxing, scenic drive is the best kind of drive, and the winding roads of the Poconos are particularly breathtaking in the fall. Exploring back roads all around the region is a great way to unwind amidst the flaming foliage. Our three distinct color zones include over 120 tree and plant species plus picturesque small towns perfect for pit stops.
The Pocono Mountains was recently ranked the third best fall foliage destination in the nation by USAToday, so what are you waiting for? Hop in the car, buckle up and take an autumnal cruise along the seven stunning routes below.
Northern Color Zone
1. Route 6
Route 6 is ranked among the “Top Scenic Routes in America” by Car and Driver Magazine and was recognized by the Harley-Davidson Company as “Pennsylvania’s Best Tour Road.” This drive is a major access route through many Pocono towns and areas. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery while driving through Honesdale, Hawley and Milford.
2. Route 402
On this drive, it's just you and the splendor of the trees: Cherry, Sassafras, Black Gum and Aspen. Take your pick from the trailhead pull offs by the side of the road to stretch your legs and see the colors up close. This byway stretches past Pecks Pond and Porters Lake into Marshalls Creek.
3. Route 507
Another turn off of Route 6, this time heading into Pike County, Route 507 travels around Lake Wallenpaupack and was ranked one of the "Best Fall Foliage Road Trips" by Travel. Trust us, the foliage around the Big Lake is a must see during the fall! Continue down Route 507 into Greentown to experience the scenery of the central color zone.
Central Color Zone
4. Route 390
Winding from Lake Wallenpaupack in the north down to Mountainhome and Cresco, Route 390 can be accessed from Route 507. You'll pass between Promised Land State Park's two lakes surrounded by the stunning hues of beech, oak and maple trees, punctuated with towering, majestic hemlocks. Curve around the mountainside to find the lake and extensive grounds of the iconic Skytop Lodge. Feeling hungry? Stop by Callie's Candy Kitchen to sample their pumpkin fudge!
5. Route 209
Starting from Milford, Route 209 is one of the main thoroughfares through pristine and peaceful Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This stretch of road follows the twists and turns of the Delaware River, passing through Dingmans Ferry and Bushkill before reaching the historic borough of Delaware Water Gap. Named one of the best places to view fall foliage by CNN, Delaware Water Gap is a great place to break up your drive and enjoy the crisp autumn air with a stroll through town.
Southern Color Zone
6. Route 209
There's more autumn beauty to discover on Route 209! Stretching south and west from the central region, this section of road skirts past vibrant Stroudsburg before heading into the rolling farmlands of Monroe and Carbon counties, blanketed in fall hues.
Plan a detour onto Pohopoco Drive to see the foliage reflected in the sprawling and sparkling reservoir at Beltzville State Park. Another must-stop in the area is Country Junction World's Largest General Store in Lehighton, which hosts The Great Pocono Pumpkin Festival late September through late October. Drive on a few more miles to discover the old world charm of Jim Thorpe.
7. Route 903
Route 903 also travels to Jim Thorpe, a historic small town known as the "Switzerland of America," and the surrounding slopes and cliffsides of Lehigh Gorge are covered in brilliant shades every autumn.
The community's annual Fall Foliage Festival brings live music and seasonal fun for the whole family to Jim Thorpe's picture-perfect Victorian streets. This part of the region is home to beautiful birch, maple, oak and hickory trees that light up the landscape with autumn colors.
Check out all the scenic drives throughout the Pocono Mountains for even more inspiration for your fall getaway. Be sure to reference our fall foliage forecast, updated each week through the end of October, to plan your trip when the trees will be at their peak. Rest up at one of our places to stay before embarking on more fall adventures, and don't forget to check out more fall fun and special deals while visiting the region.