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Fall is an amazing time to be in Pennsylvania, thanks to the beautifully colored leaves and all of the fun outdoor activities to get involved with. There’s certainly no shortage of fall fun around this state, which is packed with pumpkin patches, apple orchards, scenic hikes, and themed festivals to keep you busy for several months. Here are our top picks for fun fall activities for a weekend trip in Pennsylvania.
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Pumpkinland is open from mid-September to early-November and is one of the best places to celebrate fall in the Delaware Valley. Here you can find pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, fall decorations to buy, pick your own apples, take a hayride, and see the jack-o-lantern exhibit. Hayrides are offered for $8 per person, and you can also take a hayride to a friendly witch’s house in the woods for kids’ story time and Halloween treats. The apple orchard is open for picking every day from 8am to 4pm (4:30pm on weekends). Try to find your way through the corn maze on weekends, shoot the apple sling shot, ride a pony or a train, and browse the farm store for apple cider doughnuts and caramel apples.
Fall apples and pumpkins take the spotlight at Highland Orchards Fall Apple Festival in West Chester. The farm market and bakery are open every day, and there are 200 acres of crops growing here so you can either pick your own or shop at the store. The pumpkin patch opens in mid-September for picking in the field, and this is also when the fall festival weekends kick off with apple picking, hayrides, a cow miler, and kid maze. Hop on a hayride on weekend afternoons for $5 per person, or perhaps an evening hayride by the moonlight for $7 on Fridays and Saturdays.
But of course, it’s not all about festivals and farm events this fall in Pennsylvania. One of the best ways to get outside and enjoy the season is to simply go for a hike. The Allegheny National Forest is a wonderful place to find scenic trails and view the fall foliage up close. One recommended route is the Kinzua Valley Trail, which extends about seven miles and offers lovely views of the trees. The North Country National Scenic Trail is 96.3 miles if you’re up for an epic backpacking trip. It’s well-marked with signs and a great way to truly immerse yourself in the colorful forest. If you’re not up for a long hike, consider driving along the National Longhouse Scenic Byway. This is a 27-mile loop that travels through the forest and offers some excellent overlooks for all your fall photography shots.
Another fall farm worth visiting is this one in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The Fall Harvest Festival here runs from mid-September to Halloween, creating fun for the whole family. The big attraction here is the Aerial Adventure Park, which is fun for adults and kids ages seven and up. There are four different courses of varying heights and difficulty levels, so you can experience the excitement of ropes courses, zip lines, and free fall quick jumps. You can pick your own apples and pumpkins and get all the fall decoration you need to make your home more festive. The farm is open daily in the fall from 10am to 6pm. General admission is $12.99, the aerial adventure park is $37.50 per person, and kids under three are free.
Head to the Pennsylvania town of Clarion this fall to join the fun at the Autumn Leaf Festival. This is a nine-day festival that takes place from October 2nd to 10th, 2021. This is the festival’s 68th year. This festival usually attracts more than 500,000 attendees to take part in the carnival rides, pageants, tractor show, cultural night, parade, and other fun activities. A full schedule of events is posted on the city’s website.
The Poconos Mountains is a premier destination for viewing the fall foliage, and you don’t want to miss the colors this year. Local groups publish Fall Foliage Forecasts online so you can determine where the best leaf peeping areas are during the time of your visit. Big Pocono State Park spans 1,306 acres of rugged terrain and offers scenic views of three states. This is a popular spot for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, picnicking, and hunting. There are about 8.5 miles of hiking trails, most of which have steep grades and are only recommended for experienced hikers. If you visit before Columbus Day, you can hop on the ski lift to reach the Summit House restaurant at Camelback Resort for a meal.
The Great Pocono Pumpkin Festival at Country Junction takes place from September 25th through October 24th from 9am to 6pm and Sundays from 9am to 5pm. This is another great venue to take a hayride, experience a Big Foot adventure, dig for buried treasure, roll in bumper-balls, and even play an escape room game. On Friday and Saturday nights in October, you can also experience Waldorf Estate of Fear here at Country Junction. Country Junction is the world’s largest general store and worth a visit all its own.