15 PA State Parks Perfect for Fall Foliage Lovers

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Boating at Greenwood Furnace State Park in October.
Boating at Greenwood Furnace State Park in October.

Pennsylvania State Parks are home to some of the most magnificent fall foliage displays anywhere in the United States!

And while visiting any of the 121 PA State Parks is bound to be a wonderful experience in October, here are 15 of my favorite State Parks for fall foliage viewing.

Hyner View State Park sign in Clinton County.
Hyner View State Park sign in Clinton County.

I’ve listed the parks in alphabetical order – click on the blue text links to view maps/directions to each park.


1. Black Moshannon State Park

At the heart of Black Moshannon State Park in Centre County lies Black Moshannon Lake, a 250 acre glassy mirror that reflects the brilliant fall foliage that appears here every October.

Fall foliage reflected off the lake at Black Moshannon State Park.
Fall foliage reflected off the lake at Black Moshannon State Park.

The 3,400 acre State Park is surrounded by 43,000 acres of the Moshannon State Forest, meaning LOTS of fall foliage viewing opportunities!

Fall foliage at Black Moshannon State Park.
Fall foliage at Black Moshannon State Park.

2. Colton Point State Park

Forming the west rim of the PA Grand Canyon, Colton Point State Park is a 368 acre Tioga County attraction offering visitors stunning overlooks of the Pine Creek Gorge.

PA Grand Canyon fall foliage in October.
PA Grand Canyon fall foliage in October.

Most of the overlooks at Colton Point State Park require very little hiking to reach, or very flat trails if hiking is involved.

Looking out over Pine Creek from Colton Point State Park
Looking out over Pine Creek from Colton Point State Park

For those advanced hikers looking for off-trail adventures, you’ll find plenty of waterfalls and fall foliage along Fourmile Run, near the western edge of Colton Point State Park.

Fourmile Run Falls on an autumn afternoon.
Fourmile Run Falls on an autumn afternoon.

3. Greenwood Furnace State Park

Greenwood Furnace State Park covers 423 acres in northeastern Huntingdon County, and contains the popular 6 acre Greenwood Lake.

A fisherman surrounded by fall foliage at Greenwood Furnace State Park in Huntingdon County.
A fisherman surrounded by fall foliage at Greenwood Furnace State Park in Huntingdon County.

Those that enjoy fishing flock here year round, but Greenwood Furnace is an especially popular destination in October when the fall foliage is at its peak.

Fall foliage at Greenwood Furnace State Park in Huntingdon County.
Fall foliage at Greenwood Furnace State Park in Huntingdon County.

4. Hyner View State Park

The 6 acre Hyner View State Park in Clinton County offers an outstanding view of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River 1,300 feet below!

Fall foliage views for miles at Hyner View State Park.
Fall foliage views for miles at Hyner View State Park.

The stone retaining wall which helps define the overlook at Hyner View was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s.

Civilian Conservation Corps statue at Hyner View State Park.
Civilian Conservation Corps statue at Hyner View State Park.

5. Kettle Creek State Park

The 1,793 acre Kettle Creek State Park was formed as part of a flood control project in Clinton County by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Kettle Creek Vista overlooking Kettle Creek State Park in Clinton County.
Kettle Creek Vista overlooking Kettle Creek State Park in Clinton County

When the Alvin Bush Dam was constructed on Kettle Creek, it created the Kettle Creek Reservoir which is now used for recreational purposes as well as for flood control.

Fall foliage at Alvin Bush Dam at Kettle Creek State Park.
Fall foliage at Alvin Bush Dam at Kettle Creek State Park.

6. Kooser State Park

Kooser Run and man-made Kooser Lake are the highlights of 250 acre Kooser State Park in Somerset County.

Fall foliage at Kooser Lake n Somerset County.
Fall foliage at Kooser Lake in Somerset County.

This park is popular for fishing, cabin rentals, and picnicking most of the year.

Come October, it is also a marvelous spot to view the fall foliage the Laurel Highlands is so famous for.

Fall foliage at Kooser State Park in Somerset County.
Fall foliage at Kooser State Park in Somerset County.

7. Laurel Hill State Park

At the heart of the 4,062 acre Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset County lies 63 acre Laurel Hill Lake, one of the best spots to view fall foliage by boat in the entire state.

Kayakers on Laurel Hill Lake at Laurel Hill State Park.
Kayakers on Laurel Hill Lake at Laurel Hill State Park.

Laurel Hill Creek, which passes through Laurel Hill State Park, is one of the finest trout fishing stream in western Pennsylvania.

Fall foliage along Laurel Hill Creek at Laurel Hill State Park.
Fall foliage along Laurel Hill Creek at Laurel Hill State Park.

The man-made Jones Mill Run Dam is another popular hiking destination for fall foliage viewing at Laurel Hill State Park.

Fall foliage at Laurel Hill State Park near Somerset Pennsylvania.
Fall foliage at Laurel Hill State Park near Somerset, Pennsylvania.

8.Laurel Ridge State Park

The 13,625-acre Laurel Ridge State Park spans Cambria, Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties and is home to the 70 mile-long Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.

Fall foliage at the Laurel Run Overlook at Laurel Ridge State Park.
Fall foliage at the Laurel Run Overlook at Laurel Ridge State Park.

Laurel Run Overlook is one of the many outstanding fall foliage vistas along the trail, and can be found at GPS coordinates 39.98266, -79.35177, a little over 2 miles north of the Route 653 trailhead.

Fall foliage along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail as it passes through Laurel Ridge State Park in Somerset County.
Fall foliage along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail as it passes through Laurel Ridge State Park in Somerset County.

9. Leonard Harrison State Park

Leonard Harrison State Park in Tioga County forms part of the eastern rim of the PA Grand Canyon.

A view of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon from the Turkey Path.
A view of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon from the Turkey Path.

Aside from the views of the canyon itself, the most popular activity here is hiking the Turkey Path from the rim of the canyon to Pine Creek some 750 feet below.

Fall foliage around the tallest waterfalls along the Turkey Path.
Fall foliage around the tallest waterfalls along the Turkey Path.

The Turkey Path passes a series of waterfalls before reaching the banks of Pine Creek at the bottom of the trail.

Pine Creek as viewed from the bottom of the Turkey Path.
Pine Creek as viewed from the bottom of the Turkey Path.

10. McConnells Mill State Park

40 miles north of Pittsburgh you’ll find breathtaking fall foliage at McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County.

Fall foliage surrounding Grindstone Falls at McConnells Mill State Park
Fall foliage surrounding Grindstone Falls at McConnells Mill State Park.

One of my favorite fall foliage hikes there is to Grindstone Falls along Grindstone Run, a tributary of Slippery Rock Creek.

Grindstone Run at McConnells Mill State Park
Fall foliage along Grindstone Run at McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County.

11. Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County may offer the most extensive and diverse fall foliage viewing opportunities of any state park in PA.

Waterfalls?

Check.

Fall foliage at Ohiopyle Falls in Fayette County.
Fall foliage at Ohiopyle Falls in Fayette County.

Mountain vistas?

Check.

A sunny autumn afternoon at Baughman Rock Overlook.
A sunny autumn afternoon at Baughman Rock Overlook.

Bike trails?

Check.

Fall foliage around the High Bridge at Ohiopyle State Park.
Fall foliage around the High Bridge at Ohiopyle State Park.

Ohiopyle State Park has a little bit of everything for everyone when it comes to seeing incredible fall foliage the way YOU want to see it!

Fall foliage at Upper Jonathan Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.
Fall foliage at Upper Jonathan Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

12. Ricketts Glen State Park

Ricketts Glen State Park in Luzerne County is without a doubt one of the busiest and best fall foliage viewing destinations in PA.

Tuscarora Falls at RIcketts Glen State Park in PA
Autumn at Tuscarora Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

The 4 mile long Falls Trail Loop is challenging but extremely rewarding at the same time.

Mohican Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park
Mohican Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

13. Shawnee State Park

Shawnee State Park in Bedford County is highlighted by man-made, 451 acre Shawnee Lake.

Fall foliage reflected off the lake at Shawnee State Park.
Fall foliage reflected off the lake at Shawnee State Park.

Besides offering boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities, Shawnee Lake creates exceptional reflections of the fall foliage along its banks.

Fall foliage near the fishing pier at Shawnee State Park.
Fall foliage near the fishing pier at Shawnee State Park.

14. Trough Creek State Park

Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County offers miles of trails with some phenomenal scenic overlooks, like this one along the Ledges Trail.

Fall foliage at the Ledges Trail Overlook at Trough Creek State Park.
Fall foliage at the Ledges Trail Overlook at Trough Creek State Park.

When the weather cooperates and we have rain during the fall foliage season, few waterfalls in PA can match Rainbow Falls at Trough Creek for sheer natural beauty!

Fall foliage at Rainbow Falls in Pennsylvania
Fall foliage at Rainbow Falls at Trough Creek State Park.

Trough Creek State Park is adjacent to 8,300 acre Raystown Lake, the largest lake that lies entirely within Pennsylvania.

There are numerous vantage points to view the fall foliage surrounding the lake – you’ll find directions to 4 of the best overlooks in my write-up HERE.

Fall foliage at Raystown Dam near Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County.
Fall foliage at Raystown Lake near Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County.


15. Worlds End State Park

I’ll end my list, conveniently enough, at Worlds End State Park in Sullivan County.

High Rock Overlook at Worlds End State Park.
High Rock Overlook at Worlds End State Park.

Home to numerous waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and miles of trails, Worlds End State Park is one of my absolute favorite state parks in all of Pennsylvania!

Fall foliage at Cottonwood Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Fall foliage at Cottonwood Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

The surrounding Loyalsock State Forest is home to numerous scenic overlooks, the most famous being High Knob Overlook, another excellent (and roadside) fall foliage viewing area.

The High Knob Trailhead at High Knob Overlook in the Loyalsock State Forest.
The High Knob Trailhead at High Knob Overlook in the Loyalsock State Forest.

Can’t get enough fall foliage views?

“Where to Find Incredible Fall Foliage Views in the PA Grand Canyon” will show you some of the best spots in Tioga County to experience October in a whole new way!

Rusty Glessner at Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County Pennsylvania
The author at Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.

“20 Fabulous Fall Foliage Destinations in the Laurel Highlands” will show you why USA Today ranked this region of PA as one of the best fall foliage spots in the entire United States!

An October morning at Beam Rocks in the Forbes State Forest.
An October morning at Beam Rocks in the Forbes State Forest.

If you love waterfalls AND fall foliage, then you MUST check out “35 PA Waterfalls for Fall Foliage Lovers”!

An autumn view of Lewis Falls on State Game Lands 13 in Sullivan County, PA.
An autumn view of Lewis Falls on State Game Lands 13 in Sullivan County, PA.

In this write-up you’ll find directions to 35 of the best PA waterfalls for fall foliage viewing.

An autumn scene from the fifth waterfall on Miners Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.
The author at Miners Run in Lycoming County.

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