The Allegheny National Forest region of Pennsylvania lets you take in the crisp autumn air, get away from the hustle and bustle of life, and catch fall foliage early this year.
Because of the upper elevations in the Alleghenies, prime “leaf peeping” time is late September and the first two weeks of October. And in this region, there’s no shortage of beautiful spots to catch a perfect fall view.
Here’s a few of our favorites:
Kinzua Sky Walk
Why look at fall foliage from the car, when you can walk out over it? Once the world’s largest railroad bridge, the Kinzua Viaduct was first constructed in 1882 and reconstructed in 1900. But, the bridge partially collapsed during a 2003 tornado.
Now, the viaduct has been reinvented as a spectacular walkway that allows the public to “walk the tracks across the sky,” according to the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau. A partial glass-bottomed observation deck enables visitors to look down at the remaining towers supporting the historic structure — and see fall colors in all their glory.
Make a day out of your visit by packing for a picnic and enjoying one of the state park’s pavilions, explore the area on a hiking trail, or stop by the Visitors Center, featuring interpretive programming and interactive displays on engineering, energy and the environment.
Foliage stops on the Longhouse National Scenic Byway
Start your fall foliage scenic drive in Kane, Pa., on scenic Route 6, then circle the Allegheny Reservoir for more spots along the way.
“The Longhouse National Scenic Byway circles the Kinzua Creek Arm of the Allegheny Reservoir through some of the most beautiful scenery on the Allegheny National Forest,” the visitors bureau says. “It is a 36-mile loop from Kane.”
Hike a piece of the North Country Trail to be surrounded by fall beauty. The North Country Trail stretches 4,600 miles over eight states, with 97 of them running through the Allegheny National Forest alone. The trail passes through majestic old growth forests.
While you’re on the trails, make sure to peek at the foliage from Rimrock Overlook, overlooking the Allegheny Reservoir, then hit up Jake’s Rocks and your way back to Kane.