The Ultimate Centre County Fall Foliage Driving Tour

The Ultimate Centre County Fall Foliage Driving Tour

Here’s a terrific Centre County fall foliage road trip that takes you along 79 miles of Happy Valley’s prettiest backroads to 4 of the regions most scenic autumn destinations!

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

Following the map below, this road trip utilizes all two-lane roads, avoiding major highways like Interstates 80 and 99.

Centre County fall foliage driving tour road map.
Centre County fall foliage driving tour road map.

I’m going to describe the trip leaving from State College and driving in a clockwise direction, but you could drive it counterclockwise as well and enjoy all 4 destination just the same!

The 107th Field Artillery Memorial at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Fall foliage around he 107th Field Artillery Memorial at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg.

1. Black Moshannon State Park

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

Stop number one on this road trip is Black Moshannon State Park, comprised of 3,394 acres of forests and wetlands in Centre County, and is further surrounded by 43,000 acres of the Moshannon State Forest.

Fall foliage along the Star Mill Loop Trail at Black Moshannon State Park.
Fall foliage along the Star Mill Loop Trail at Black Moshannon State Park.

At the heart of the park is the 250 acre Black Moshannon Lake, a fantastic spot for swimming, boating, fishing, and bird-watching.

First signs of autumn at Black Moshannon State Park.
First signs of autumn at Black Moshannon State Park.

2. Bald Eagle State Park

Fall foliage along the beach at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County, PA.
Fall foliage along the beach at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County, PA.

Stop number two on this Centre County fall foliage road trip is Bald Eagle State Park, the largest of the 5 state parks near State College, at 5,900 acres.

Fall foliage views from the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County, PA.
Fall foliage views from the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County, PA.

The centerpiece of Bald Eagle State Park is Foster Joseph Sayers Lake, a 1,730 acre lake that was formed by damming Bald Eagle Creek and a few smaller streams, providing the perfect setting for gorgeous fall foliage views.

Fall foliage around Sayers Lake at Bald Eagle State Park.
Fall foliage around Sayers Lake at Bald Eagle State Park.

3. Pennsylvania Military Museum

Pennsylvania Military Museum entrance along BUsiness Route 322 in Boalsburg.
Fall foliage around the Pennsylvania Military Museum entrance along Business Route 322 in Boalsburg.

A military museum may seem like an odd choice for a fall foliage tour stop number three, but the Pennsylvania Military Museum grounds in Boalsburg are awash in color every October.

Vietnam-era Duster on display at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
Vietnam-era Duster.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Centre County honors the service of Pennsylvanians in all branches of the military, from colonial times to the present day.

M4 Sherman Tank at the Pennsylvania Military Museum.
M4 Sherman Tank.

There is no fee to walk the grounds, and only a small fee if you want to take it indoors and explore the 18,000 square-foot museum, which houses an impressive collection of weapons, uniforms, vehicles, and photographs of Pennsylvania’s citizen-soldiers answering the call of duty in all of America’s major armed conflicts.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, PA.

4. Centre Furnace Mansion

Fall foliage at Centre Furnace Mansion in Centre County.
Fall foliage at Centre Furnace Mansion in Centre County.

Centre Furnace Mansion on the eastern edge of State College is the fourth and final stop on this Centre County fall foliage road trip.

Fall foliage at Centre Furnace Mansion in State College.
Fall foliage at Centre Furnace Mansion in State College.

Centre Furnace Mansion is not only linked to the birth of the iron industry in this region, but it’s also the birthplace of the Farmers High School of Pennsylvania in 1855, now better known as Penn State!

An October afternoon at Centre Furnace Mansion in State College.
An October afternoon at Centre Furnace Mansion in State College.

So there you have it – a 79-mile fall foliage road trip through Centre County, stopping off at both beautiful natural attractions and historic landmarks as well.

Fall foliage starting to appear at Black Moshannon State Park.
Fall foliage starting to appear at Black Moshannon State Park.

The 5 Best Scenic Overlooks Near State College is your guide to some of the best mountaintop views of Happy Valley.

Lions Valley Vista overlooking State College and Penn State.
Lions Valley Vista overlooking State College and Penn State.

Whether you are a Penn State student, State College local, or just visiting Happy Valley, here are the 5 best State Parks near State College.

Beach facilities at Poe Valley State Park.
Beach facilities at Poe Valley State Park.

Exploring the Arboretum at Penn State is your guide to this peaceful oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Penn State’s main campus in State College.

Springtime blooms near the Greenhouse at the Penn State Arboretum.
Springtime blooms near the Greenhouse at the Penn State Arboretum.

Exploring Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center Near State College is your guide to a Penn State owned and operated nature and wildlife learning center, located just 12 miles outside of State College in rural Huntingdon County.

Red-tailed hawk enclosure at the Aviary at Shaver's Creek.
Red-tailed hawk enclosure at the Aviary at Shaver’s Creek.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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