Back to School with Very Local, Destinations, Fall

Plan your fall foliage outings now

Selfies required.

The Farmer’s Almanac estimates that Oct. 5-21 will be peak fall foliage season across Pennsylvania. Not exactly sure how they figure that out so far in advance (and it is literally the same as last year’s date range). Regardless, here’s hoping that the weather gods bless us with some vibrant fall colors and that the black cloud of 2020 doesn’t mess up leaf peeping, too. Here’s some spots to check out.

Pine Creek Gorge

If you can’t get to the Grand Canyon, might as well go to “the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.” Both the Leonard Harrison and the Colton Point state parks offer scenic overlooks — the former is more family friendly with a playground and picnic areas, while the latter offers a 4-mile steep descent into the floor of the canyon. Choose your own adventure.

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Mount Davis

Mount Davis is the highest point in Pennsylvania. It’s well known with highpointers (folks who visit the highest point in each state so they can check it off their list), but don’t let that fancy term intimidate you. The Mount Davis observation tower offers a 360-degree view, but it is easily climbable. The Highpoint Trail is a 5.2-mile loop, so Mount Davis can be a short trip rather than a full day’s destination hike.

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Mount Davis is the highest mountain in Pennsylvania, 3,213 ft / 979 m. A boulder rock is summit point with tag of US Geological Survey. I climbed 65 steps up a tall observation tower, beautiful view in all directions. I fall off the tower, ahh (kidding). 😆 🍁⛰🍂 #rcmori #mountdavispa #forbesstateforest #elklicktownship #pennsylvaniamountains #pennsylvaniahighestpoint #highpointers #highpointersclub #ushighpointersclub #highpoint #rcmori #mountaineer #deafmountaineer #themountainsarecallingandimustgo #obversationtower #laurelhighlands_pa # #visit_pa #pennsylvania #pennsylvaniaisbeautiful #pennsylvania_wild #pennsylvania_life #keystonestate #thekeystonestate #autumn #autumnfoliage #fallfoliage #autumninpennsylvania #somersetcountypa @laurelhighlands_pa @visit_pa @highpointersclub

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Raystown Lake

Raystown Lake is the largest lake entirely in Pennsylvania. It’s 30 miles long and offers the opportunity for both hiking and water adventures. The Allegrippis Trails are popular with mountain bike enthusiasts. The lake offers camping spots and cabins for rent, with many options still available for fall.

Somerset’s Covered Bridges

Want something a little less strenuous than a hike? Check out some of the covered bridges in Somerset, Pennsylvania. Uncovering PA has an article that lists all 10 bridges, with some tips on how to see them all. If 10 seems to be a bit much, just choose the Packsaddle Covered Bridge. It is the only covered bridge in the state that is directly over a waterfall. While the waterfall is best viewed during times of high water (such as in the spring), the shortest bridge in Somerset County still looks impressive with fall foliage.

Kinzua Bridge State Park Sky Walk

Once the highest and longest railroad viaduct in the world, six of the Kinzua Viaduct’s remaining steel towers were transformed into the Sky Walk in 2011. It extends 624 feet into the Kinzua Gorge, offering panoramic views (and thanks to some glass-bottomed sections of the sky walk’s deck, the opportunity to look straight down below).

Coopers Rock, West Virginia

Want to technically leave the state so you can say you had a vacation this year? Take a short drive to the iconic views of Coopers Rock State Forest. Located 13 miles from Morgantown, this West Virginia State Park lists 20+ trails on its website; be sure to take a photo at the overlook.

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Turns out New England is not the only place with amazing fall foliage! Who knew? 🍁🍂🍁 We were just in West Virginia for the weekend and foliage seemed to be just peaking in the Morgantown area. This has been a really nice Autumn and we feel ready for the coming holiday season. Next up, Thanksgiving (Amy's favorite holiday 🦃) But first… Halloween is this week! What are you dressing up as? . . . . #westvirginia #visitwv #wildandwonderful #almostheaven #scenicview #seeyououtthere #travelwithfathom #usatravel #traveltoexplore #westvirginialivin #coopersrock #fallinwestvirginia #tlpicks #dreamingtravel #dirtybootsandmessyhair #hikingadventures #letsgoplaces #darlingweekend #fifty_shades_of_nature #getoutsideandplay #guardiantravelsnaps #liveyouradventure #adventureenthusiasts #adventureinspired #searchwandercollect #wanderout #explorewithus #prettylittletrips

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As a reminder, overcrowding is a possible issue for these outdoor spots. Practice social distancing, wear your mask and check the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website for updates on possible spots that might turn away visitors before you leave home.

Header Image: Ryan Neeven