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 20 of my favorite State Parks for fall foliage viewing.
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.
The 3,400 acre State Park is surrounded by 43,000 acres of the Moshannon State Forest, meaning LOTS of fall foliage viewing opportunities!
2. Canoe Creek State Park
Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County is a fantastic area for fall foliage viewing in a historic industrial region.
The Limestone Trail is one of the easiest and most popular fall foliage hikes at Canoe Creek State Park.
This one mile hike leads to the abandoned lime kilns at Canoe Creek State Park, six massive remnants of a once-thriving lime-producing operation that operated here in the early 1900s.
3. 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.
Most of the overlooks at Colton Point State Park require very little hiking to reach, or very flat trails if hiking is involved.
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.
4. Denton Hill State Park
The Abandoned Ski Resort at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County is quite possibly the most unique fall foliage destination in all of northcentral PA!
Last operated in 2014, the ski resort may be abandoned, but the state park is still open to visitors.
5. Greenwood Furnace State Park
Greenwood Furnace State Park covers 423 acres in northeastern Huntingdon County, and contains the popular 6 acre Greenwood Lake.
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.
6. 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!
The stone retaining wall which helps define the overlook at Hyner View was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s.
7. 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.
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.
8. Kinzua Bridge State Park
If you’re unfamiliar with this Kinzua Bridge State Park, the Kinzua Viaduct was once the longest and tallest railway bridge in the entire world.
Partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003, the state repurposed the remaining, still-standing 600 feet of bridge and built the Kinzua Skywalk, which opened in 2011.
9. Kooser State Park
Kooser Run and man-made Kooser Lake are the highlights of 250 acre Kooser State Park 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.
10. 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.
Laurel Hill Creek, which passes through Laurel Hill State Park, is one of the finest trout fishing stream in western Pennsylvania.
The man-made Jones Mill Run Dam is another popular hiking destination for fall foliage viewing at Laurel Hill State Park.
11. 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.
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.
12. Leonard Harrison State Park
Leonard Harrison State Park in Tioga County forms part of the eastern rim of the PA Grand Canyon.
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.
The Turkey Path passes a series of waterfalls before reaching the banks of Pine Creek at the bottom of the trail.
13. Lyman Run State Park
Lyman Run State Park is a 595-acre park, located in northern Potter County, just west of the PA Grand Canyon.
Lyman Lake Vista is just a 5-minute drive from the park office, and offers fantastic fall foliage views.
14. McConnells Mill State Park
40 miles north of Pittsburgh you’ll find breathtaking fall foliage at McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County.
One of my favorite fall foliage hikes there is to Grindstone Falls along Grindstone Run, a tributary of Slippery Rock Creek.
15. 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.
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!
16. 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.
The 4 mile long Falls Trail Loop is challenging but extremely rewarding at the same time.
17. Shawnee State Park
Shawnee State Park in Bedford County is highlighted by man-made, 451 acre Shawnee Lake.
Besides offering boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities, Shawnee Lake creates exceptional reflections of the fall foliage along its banks.
18. Sinnemahoning State Park
Sinnemahoning State Park spans parts of Cameron and Potter counties, and is a fantastic place to check out fall foliage in the heart of PA Elk Country!
At the heart of the park is the 145-acre George Stevenson Reservoir, a popular spot for fishing, boating, AND leaf peeping.
19. 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.
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!
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.
20. Worlds End State Park
I’ll end my list, conveniently enough, at Worlds End State Park in Sullivan County.
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!
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.
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!
“22 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!
If you love waterfalls AND fall foliage, then you MUST check out “35 PA Waterfalls for Fall Foliage Lovers”!
In this write-up you’ll find directions to 35 of the best PA waterfalls for fall foliage viewing.
Looking for a sneak preview of what comes next?
Then be sure to check out 12 Must-See PA State Parks for Winter Weather Lovers!
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