Fall Colors & Leaf Peeping in PA
So much fall color. So many ways to fall in love with it in the Laurel Highlands
Each fall, the Laurel Highlands burst into a blaze of brilliant fall color. And thanks to our friends at PA’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, we know why.
We have trees… lots and lots of trees
But mostly, we have Oak-Hickory in our forests. Peppered among them is a healthy dose of Sugar Maples and Red Maples –– along with a host of other varieties. The result of this wonderful blend is a blanket of breathtaking hues that proliferates quickly across our hills and mountainsides, gorgeous vistas, and pretty much everywhere you look.
For many, our fall color is all the enticement needed to prompt a visit. Others, however, prefer to be immersed in our picturesque pastoral while engaged in a venturous outdoor activity. Either way, our colorful landscape will greet you, uplift you, and make you feel at home.
See the wonders of our region by car
Drive along almost any road in our region. Go ahead, get behind the wheel, start the engine, and simply drive. What you’ll discover is that no matter where you go, there’s a fabulous view of our fall color awaiting your arrival. Three routes in particular afford an unforgettable excursion.
The National Road/Route 40, the nation’s first federally-funded highway, is a 45-mile stretch that offers a scenic drive that’s simply spectacular. The east/west drive along Lincoln Highway/Route 30 puts on quite a “firework display” of its own. And for those heading north/south, the 68-mile Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway certainly won’t disappoint, either –– taking you all the way to the Historic National Road. You can also enjoy a leisurely drive around Somerset County. With its magnificent countryside and ten historic covered bridges, it’s a road trip brimming with beauty, charm, and radiant fall color.
Try one of these two scenic drives to experience the splendor of fall in the Laurel Highlands while learning a bit about the unique geology and local attractions.
How about by horseback
Of course, in the Laurel Highlands, there are a lot more vantage points to view our fall foliage from than a car window. For instance, perhaps you’d prefer a mode of transportation that uses oats, instead of gas, as fuel. If that’s the case, then a visit to Horizon View Farms to enjoy a little horseback riding on winding trails alongside streams and ponds, over fields and meadows, around a magical pine forest while taking in the scenery of the farm.
Tour the scenic beauty of the Laurel Highlands the way the first settlers did...on horseback. A ride designed for anyone. The Backwoods Trail Ride begins at the Wildlife Academy, where you will meet your horse. Your Trail Guide will then lead you throughout two miles of wooded trails by many of the animal habitats on property. Some fascinating animals you may see on this excursion include: white grey wolves, a black leopard and other exotic creatures. It's fun for the whole family.
How about 300 feet
in the air
Want an even more exciting point of view? How about zip lining 300 feet in the air, reaching speeds up to 60 miles per hour? Sound like fun? Then check out Nemacolin Woodlands Resort’s new 1,060’ Fatbird Flyer Zip Line.
And we didn't forget the bird watchers
Another way to soak up the splendor of our fall color is by walking through it while indulging in some bird watching. From the tinniest finches to the most majestic eagles –– the Laurel Highlands isn’t just home to a wide variety of native and migratory species –– it’s downright heaven.
Over 10,000 birds pass through and are banded at the Powdermill Nature Reserve, home to the world renown Avian Research Center.
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