The Poconos region is one of the top outdoor destinations in Pennsylvania, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also a fabulous place to see fall foliage in PA.
Fall colors in the Poconos can be seen throughout the region, typically peaking sometime between the first and third weeks in October, depending on the weather and elevation. So, whenever you visit during this time frame, you should be able to see some incredible Poconos fall foliage.
Having visited the region many times, both during autumn and other seasons, I’ve seen a ton of beauty in this part of northeastern PA. So, I decided to put together this list of some of the best places to check out fall foliage in the Poconos.
Hickory Run State Park
Of all the places I’ve experienced fall foliage in the Pocono Mountains, I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere more beautiful than Hickory Run State Park.
This incredibly diverse park on the southeastern portion of the region features an incredible natural waterfall (Hawk Falls), several dam waterfalls, a scenic lake, and much more. However, for me, the best fall foliage can be found around the Boulder Field, as well as on the forested road leading to and from.
Trust me, that’s a drive you don’t want to miss. (See the photo at the top of this article for proof.)
Raymondskill Falls is the tallest waterfall in PA, which makes it a great spot to visit any time of the year. However, when I’ve visited in the autumn, I’ve always been incredibly impressed with the beauty of the trees here.
Raymondskill Falls is located in the northern portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and is only a short walk from the parking area, making it an easy spot to visit when exploring the Poconos.
Promised Land State Park
There are two lakes in the park that are popular spots for fall foliage in the Poconos, but if you want to explore the woodland here, the Little Falls Trail is a great choice.
This trail follows a beautiful stream with lots of small cascades creating great views, as well as the 10-foot Little Falls at the end of the trail.
Of course, there are 50 miles of trails in the park, so there are a lot of places to explore here.
Named for author Washington Irving, who is said to have visited this spot, this overlook offers fantastic views over the town and the surrounding forests in Pennsylvania’s northeastern corner.
While I haven’t actually visited this spot during peak fall foliage, having been there for an early autumn sunset, it’s obvious that this spot truly comes alive when the forest is blanketed in autumn colors.
Jim Thorpe is a quaint community that is definitely among the best places to visit in Pennsylvania in the fall.
Nestled in a narrow valley between several mountains, the town is surrounded by incredible fall foliage, which perfectly compliments the many great activities, shops, and restaurants in town.
Take the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad from town or do something spooky this October and check out the Old Jail Museum. Just note that this town gets very busy on October weekends as it is home to one of the most popular fall festivals in PA. Visit on a weekday if you can.
Lake Wallenpaupack is the largest lake in the Poconos and is a great place to explore in the fall, either from land or the water.
Those wanting to explore from the water can put in a boat at one of several launches on the lake. There is also a boat tour that leaves from the northwestern end of the lake that offers cruises for much of the fall foliage season. (Sorry, “Office” fans, it’s not a booze cruise.)
From the land, most of the publicly-accessible spots are also on the northwestern end of the lake including the area around the dam and Shuman Point Natural Area.
Cliff Park Vistas
Cliff Park is located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area just south of Milford, PA.
There are a total of nine miles of trails in this area, including access to a beautiful waterfall. However, during the fall, the most beautiful spots here are the vistas along the Cliff Trail.
The four vistas here each offer fantastic views of the Delaware River Valley and the forested hillsides that surround them. The best of the bunch, though, is Milford Knob, which also offers commanding views over the town below.
Tanners Falls is a unique waterfall located a few miles north of Honesdale, PA within state game lands (So make sure to wear some orange if visiting in the fall).
This waterfall features a series of drops below a historic iron bridge, which creates a really unique scene. There are also several foundations remaining from the area’s industrial past, which gave the waterfall its name.
Given this spot is surrounded by towering trees, it’s definitely an incredible spot to see in the autumn.
Lehigh Gorge State Park
Lehigh Gorge State Park follows the Lehigh River through Carbon County with its southern end just north of the aforementioned Jim Thorpe. In fact, if you take the train ride from town, you’ll spend most of your time within the park.
Those looking to really experience fall foliage in the Poconos will definitely want to take some time to explore the park by foot or bicycle on the D&L Rail Trail or put in a kayak or other unpowered watercraft for a float down the river’s rapids.
Indian Ladder Falls
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is home to many incredible waterfalls, some of which I’ve already mentioned. Of these, one of my favorites is Indian Ladder Falls.
Indian Ladder Falls can be accessed from the trails at the Pocono Environmental Educated Center and is relatively easy to reach. What makes this spot so special is the many cascades down the rocks, especially when the leaves above the falls are bright with beautiful fall foliage.
Where are your favorite places to visit in the Poconos for fall foliage? Let me know in the comments below.
Looking for more places to visit nearby? Check out the top waterfalls in the Poconos, my favorite places to see fall foliage near Philly, and the best things to do in Scranton.