Updated: Dec 2
As the leaves begin to turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, Central PA comes alive with the magic of fall. This season offers a perfect blend of cool weather, breathtaking foliage, and an array of autumn-themed events that make it an ideal time for outdoor exploration. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a fan of all things spooky, or simply looking for a scenic drive to witness the changing leaves, Central Pennsylvania has something for everyone. In this guide, we'll take you on a journey through the heart of the region, highlighting the best places to enjoy the beauty of fall and the many fall festivals in Central PA that come along with it.
Spectacular Scenic Drives
Route 322 Fall Foliage Drive
Begin your fall adventure with a scenic drive along Route 322, known for its captivating fall foliage. Starting in Harrisburg, head west towards State College. The route takes you through picturesque landscapes, charming small towns, and rolling hills adorned with colorful trees. Be sure to make stops along the way to savor the beauty and capture Instagram-worthy photos.
Bald Eagle State Park
Nestled in the Bald Eagle Valley, this state park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning lake, hiking trails, and picnic areas, it's the perfect spot for a fall day trip. The park's hardwood forests put on a brilliant display of autumn hues, making it an ideal location for leaf-peeping.
Ricketts Glen State Park
For a more adventurous experience, head to Ricketts Glen State Park. Famous for its waterfalls, the park offers a challenging hike that takes you past 22 stunning cascades. During the fall, the surrounding forest becomes a kaleidoscope of colors, creating a mesmerizing backdrop for your outdoor escapade.
Fall Festivals in Central PA
The Great Pumpkin Fest at Hersheypark
Hersheypark transforms into a fall wonderland during The Great Pumpkin Fest. Perfect for families, this event features pumpkin-themed activities, a hay maze, live entertainment, and, of course, thrilling rides. Don't forget to sample some delicious fall treats like caramel apples and warm cider.
Halloween Haunt at Dorney Park
For those seeking a spine-tingling experience, Dorney Park's Halloween Haunt is a must-visit. This annual event turns the amusement park into a hauntingly fun destination. Brave haunted mazes, scare zones, and exhilarating rides as you embrace the spooky spirit of Halloween.
Quaint Fall Towns
Experience the charm of historic Gettysburg during the fall season. Stroll along the town's cobblestone streets, visit the Gettysburg National Military Park, and explore haunted ghost tours that recount the town's eerie past. The combination of history and fall foliage is simply enchanting.
Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, Jim Thorpe is another delightful fall destination. The town's Victorian architecture provides a picturesque backdrop to the fall foliage. Enjoy scenic train rides, browse quaint shops, and savor a meal at one of the charming restaurants.
Central PA comes alive with the magic of fall, offering a blend of scenic drives, outdoor adventures, and festive events. Whether you're taking in the breathtaking foliage, exploring charming towns, or getting your adrenaline pumping at Halloween attractions, there's no shortage of ways to embrace the autumn spirit in this beautiful region. So, grab your sweater, a warm drink, and get ready to create lasting memories during this enchanting season in Central Pennsylvania.
Thank you for reading!