Top Spots to View Fall Foliage in Philadelphia
Our picks for the best spots in the Philly region to see vivid fall foliage
All across the Philadelphia region, the leaves are turning from summer green to a vibrant palate of fall reds, oranges and yellows. Grab the family and a picnic lunch and head out to make the most of the colors of the season.
Explore our favorite parks, trails, off-the-beaten-path roads, wineries, museums to view the picturesque fall foliage the Philadelphia region, below.
Timing of Peak Colors for 2013
On account of a wet summer and a warm autumn this year, peak colors for fall foliage are projected to commence during the first weekend in November and will last for approximately two weeks. So make your plans accordingly.
Fall Foliage Getaway
There are many trees to see and beautiful acres to explore in the Philadelphia region, so turn your leaf-watching adventure into a fall weekend getaway. Warm up in the city’s top hotels with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package and your car stays free.
Explore participating hotels by clicking the button below.
Philadelphia’s answer to the Champs-Elysées features vibrant fall foliage steps away from Center City. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is lined with trees, forming a canopy of red, orange and yellow over your head in the autumn months. During your stroll, explore some of the world’s most renowned museums including the Barnes Foundation, Franklin Institute, Rodin Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Franklin Square park in Old City is a great place to take in some fresh fall foliage. The 7.5-acre green is one of five original squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan of the city in 1682.
Forbidden Drive runs parallel to Wissahickon Creek, through the heart of Fairmount Park, and got its name when it closed to cars in the 1920s. It offers amazing walking and foliage viewing without leaving the city proper.
With 92-acres of gardens to explore, Morris Arboretum is a spectacular setting for the beautiful colors of autumn. The historic grounds are home to thousands of plants, including gorgeous maples, dogwoods and oaks.
The twisting, turning pathway along the Schuylkill River is a fantastic spot for a brisk fall walk. In addition to great fall foliage, the river trail features spectacular views of Boathouse Row, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the city skyline.
Not only does Wissahickon have the only covered bridge in any major city, the picturesque river gorge offers incredible views of the skyline while it surrounds you in the colors of the fall. Surround yourself with nature along Forbidden Drive, a gorgeous riverside trail available for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians.
The University of Pennsylvania campus in West Philadelphia is framed and subdivided by canopy trees, lawns and meadows. Locust Walk in particular, the main thoroughfare across the campus, is beautiful in the fall. The stately architecture throughout the property adds to the visual display.
The drive along Route 32 from Washington Crossing to New Hope is an excellent day trip that takes you to Bowman’s Hill Tower, from the top of which you get a magnificent vista of stunning fall foliage in every direction. Don’t miss the gazebo nestled among the tall trees of Penn’s Woods arboretum and remember the moonlit walk, which is open to kids as well as adults.
Revel in the brilliant fall colors while strolling the historic towpath that runs from Easton to Bristol, PA. Once trod by mule teams pulling cargo-laden boats along the canal, the 60-mile towpath is used today by people looking for exercise and recreation.
Meaning “Deer Bone Creek” in Lenape, Tohickon Creek in Tohickon Valley Park is one of the cleanest in the state and is great for fishing and rafting. Enjoy fall foliage on the water or on land. Also be sure to check out High Rock where 200 feet of shale rise above the creek to offer a gorgeous scenic lookout — great for rock climbers, too.
Why not rent a canoe and experience fall out on the water? You can do that and more at Tyler State Park, located off the Newtown Bypass. Or go for a stroll and find the old covered bridge — just follow the signs along the path.
George Washington and his troops turned the tide of the American Revolution by crossing the Delaware River here in 1776. In addition to its extensive historic significance, Washington Crossing is also known for its wonderful outdoor trails and wildlife habitat.
Clocking in at more than 1,000 acres in the heart of the beautiful Brandywine Valley, Longwood Gardens is easily one of the biggest and best places in the region to view fall foliage. The lush gardens, woodlands and meadows are a welcome sight for fall color lovers and Longwood’s special Autumn’s Colors programming runs through November 24 outdoors. Indoors, the breathtaking Chrysanthemum Festival takes place in the Conservatory through November 24.
Hopewell Lake at French Creek State Park is famous for fall scenery, but the 40 miles of trails make it the perfect fall getaway for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.
More than a mile of paved walkways run through the woods of this majestic botanical garden, making it the perfect fall foliage spot for all ages. For those looking to get a little more exercise, Jenkins Arboretum also offers free self-guided tours with maps throughout the property and the nearby conservation woodlands.
The 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake is a popular destination for boaters, but the surrounding forests, fields and wetlands are packed with fantastic trails perfect for a fall excursion.
The artistic talents of the Wyeth family are on full display at this picturesque museum seated along the Brandywine River. Venture outside and see the beautiful countryside that inspired Andrew Wyeth to paint his signature landscapes.
Nestled in the Brandywine Valley, the Chaddsford Winery is a wonderful spot for a fall excursion. Explore the lush landscape then warm up with an award-winning bottle (or two) from the winery.
The creek is stocked for trout fishing and the trails are perfect for fall foraging at Ridley Creek State Park. Expect gorgeous views, waterfalls, epic views and vibrant fall colors.
Tyler Arboretum has been a refuge for tree lovers in the Philadelphia region since the days of William Penn. During autumn, its 650 acres are ablaze with seasonal color.
Mill Grove, the home to American naturalist John James Audubon, is a haven for wildlife with a sprawling 175-acres of trails, woods and history. The woodlands are a haven for bird and leaf watchers alike.
Take your pick of meadows, forests, farmland or fields for your fall foliage adventure at Evansburg State Park. Heads up to golf enthusiasts: check out the 18-hole Skippack Golf Club located within the park.
Once the headquarters of General George Washington’s Revolutionary army, this wonderfully tranquil park offers trails for jogging and biking and 3,600 acres of rolling hills of autumn beauty.