If you’re looking for the best Pennsylvania State Parks for viewing fall foliage in 2023, you’re in the right place!
Pennsylvania’s state parks are home to some of the most magnificent fall foliage displays anywhere in the United States!
And while visiting any of the Keystone State’s 124 state parks is bound to be a wonderful experience in October, here are 31 of my favorite PA State Parks for fall foliage viewing.
I’ve listed the parks in alphabetical order – click on the blue text links to view a more in-depth article about each park, complete with maps and directions.
I’ve also plotted all 31 state parks on the interactive map below, to make it as easy as possible for you to find and enjoy the amazing autumn views!
1. Bald Eagle State Park
Bald Eagle State Park is a 5,900 acre recreational area in Centre County, approximately 25 miles northeast of State College.
At the heart of Bald Eagle State Park is 1,730-acre Sayers Lake, built by the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1969 as part of a flood control project.
Fishing, hiking, and boating are popular October activities at Bald Eagle State Park, in addition to “leaf peeping.”
2. 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!
3. 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.
4. Clear Creek State Park
Clear Creek State Park spans 1,901 acres in Jefferson County.
The park occupies a scenic portion of the Clear Creek Valley, a tributary of the nearby Clarion River.
5. 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 feature rather 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.
6. Cook Forest State Park
Cook Forest State Park covers an 8,500-acre expanse across portions of Clarion, Jefferson, and Forest counties in northwestern PA.
Seneca Point at the park is a rock outcropping that serves as a scenic overlook high above the Clarion River valley.
Located just a short hike from the park office along Route 36, the Swinging Bridge at Cook Forest State Park is one of the most popular attractions at the park.
7. Cowans Gap State Park
Cowans Gap State Park is a fantastic 1,085 acre park located in Fulton County (with a small portion extending into neighboring Franklin County as well).
At the heart of the park lies 42-acre Cowans Gap Lake, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the mid 1930’s.
The park also features 13 miles of hiking trails, including a portion of the famed Standing Stone Trail.
8. Denton Hill State Park
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 abandoned ski resort at the park makes for an eerie yet beautiful setting to view the amazing fall colors there.
And while the ski resort sits idle and decaying, the park is open to visitors.
9. 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.
10. Hickory Run State Park
Hickory Run State Park is a magnificent 15,990-acre recreational area in the western foothills of the Pocono Mountains.
Featuring more than 40 miles of hiking trails, picturesque waterfalls, unique natural areas, and spectacular scenic overlooks, Hickory Run State Park has a LOT to offer!
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. Keystone State Park
The 1,200-acre Keystone State Park is a great place for day-trips and fall foliage viewing in Westmoreland County.
Featuring a beautiful 78 acre lake as its centerpiece, Keystone State Park provides an ideal setting for camping, wildlife watching, hiking, fishing, and leaf peeping.
Keystone State Park features 8 miles of hiking trails, open year-round for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. Linn Run State Park
Linn Run State Park is a 612 acre park in Westmoreland County, popular with hikers, campers, and picnickers.
20. 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.
21. McConnell’s Mill State Park
40 miles north of Pittsburgh you’ll find breathtaking fall foliage at McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County.
McConnell’s Mill Covered Bridge is a particularly popular spot for “leaf peepers.”
Cleland Rock Scenic Vista is another exceptional fall foliage spot here, looking out over the Slippery Rock Gorge, which forms the heart of McConnell’s Mill State Park.
22. 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 Pennsylvania.
Waterfalls – check.
Mountain vistas – check.
Bike trails – check.
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!
23. Ole Bull State Park
Ole Bull State Park is a 132-acre Pennsylvania state park in Potter County, named in honor of Ole Bornemann Bull, a famous Norwegian violinist who toured the United States in the 1850s.
Five miles of hiking trails are available at the park, including the Castle Vista Trail, one of the most popular hikes at the park.
24. Parker Dam State Park
Parker Dam State Park is a 968-acre expanse in Clearfield County featuring a tranquil lake, a beach area, scenic vistas, and miles of hiking trails.
Parker Lake is a 20-acre man made lake in the heart of the park, created by the damming of Laurel Run.
There are 13 miles of hiking trails within the boundaries of Parker Dam State Park, but many of these trails continue into the Moshannon State Forest and/or the Quehanna Wild Area.
25. Prince Gallitzin State Park
Prince Gallitzin State Park is a 6,249-acre recreational area in Cambria County.
At the heart of the park you’ll find 1,635-acre Glendale Lake, with 26 miles of shoreline.
Hikers will find 32.65 miles of trails at the park, traversing a variety of habitats and provide many different views of the lake.
26. RB Winter State Park
RB Winter State Park is a 695 acre recreational area located in western Union County.
The focal point of the park is Halfway Lake, a seven acre lake which is filled by spring-fed mountain streams.
The park is a middle trailhead for central Pennsylvania’s Mid State Trail, which stretches 327 miles from Bedford County in the south to Tioga County in the north.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. 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 one HERE.
31. 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!
So there you have it – 31 PA state parks where you can experience breathtaking fall foliage in 2023!
Be sure to check out my PA Fall Foliage page to find all the best fall foliage viewing spots across Pennsylvania in 2023.
Not only will I show you WHERE to find the best fall foliage destinations in Pennsylvania, I also tell you WHEN the best times are to visit each location!
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Where to Find the Best Fall Foliage Views in the PA Grand Canyon will show you some of the best spots in experience autumn in Tioga County.
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 16 Must-See PA State Parks for Winter Weather Lovers!
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