EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — According to the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains consistently rank as one of the nation’s top fall foliage destinations.
With around 2,400 square miles and four counties to explore, the popular “Fall Foliage Forecast” is back to help residents and visitors alike plan their ultimate Pocono Mountains adventure.
Put together by the PMVB, the online report is split into three distinct color zones and updated every Thursday through early November, showing when and where leaves are expected to be at their peak colors across the region.
“Autumn is one of the best times to visit the Pocono Mountains. Experts project vibrant views thanks to recent weather patterns, and we look forward to another strong season for tourism,” said Chris Barrett, President/CEO of the PMVB.
There are many ways visitors can enjoy the changing leaves and colorful landscapes of the Pocono Mountains. From taking a ride on the fall foliage train or chairlift to boarding a historical trolley or strolling a small town, there is something do to for everyone.
There are plenty of fall-related events hosted in the Pocono Mountains as well, such as Fall Fest at Yensers Tree Farm, The Great Pocono Pumpkin Festival, Quiet Valleys Harvest Festival, Harvest and Heritage Days, and the Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival.
New for 2023, visitors to Jim Thorpe`s Fall Foliage Festival are encouraged to reserve parking in advance on the Carbon County website and use the shuttle service to avoid issues with limited parking.
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is making its experts available to serve as regional advisers, offering tips and resources to highlight some of the world’s most beautiful and diverse fall foliage and to assist residents and visitors in experiencing a colorful autumn in a variety of ways across the Commonwealth.
Beginning September 28, weekly fall foliage reports can be found online on the DCNR website, which will be updated every Thursday.
Fall foliage typically peaks for several weeks throughout October across Pennsylvania. Visitors can get suggestions about the best spots to view fall foliage on the Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage story map which can be found on the Pennsylvania Tourism Office website.
“Pennsylvania is a large state with more than 130 native tree species, which gives residents and tourists plentiful opportunities to see a wide array of colors, ensuring every autumn is special “Whether the plan is to hit the trails or drive to scenic vistas across the Commonwealth, we encourage everyone to take in the beautiful sights of our amazing fall foliage,” explained DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn.
Dunn encourages visitors to experience Keystone State Park as it was recently named Best Destination for Fall Foliage in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
Foliage viewers can visit Keystone State Park and the Laurel Highlands, as well as the rest of the 124 state park system, 2.2 million acres of state forestland for some of the best views, recreation trails, and park experiences.
Pennsylvania’s commonsense 2023-24 bipartisan budget signed into law by Governor Josh Shapiro, provides $112 million to maintain and improve infrastructure in parks and forests, which is the single largest investment in decades. Additionally, the budget designates $2.8 million to support operating needs for the management and safety of our public lands and the creation of a new Office of Outdoor Recreation.
Pennsylvania also boasts an abundance of great festivals, pick-your-own farms, and unrivaled haunted attractions that make the state the obvious choice for autumn, to pair with fall foliage viewing. These tourist activities bring approximately 192 million travelers to the Commonwealth and inject about $66.3 billion into Pennsylvania’s economy. Tourism generates more than $5 billion in tax revenues and is responsible for more than 540,000 jobs related to or benefitting from tourism.
“Regardless of whether you are partial to brilliant oranges, dazzling yellows, or deep, rich reds, Pennsylvania’s fall season is always a showstopper. Fall is also big business. Pennsylvania hotels alone add between $350 million to $450 million to the state’s economy during the month of October, according to data from STR, Inc.,” added Carrie Fischer Lepore, Deputy Secretary for Tourism, with the Department of Community and Economic Development.
State foresters and park personnel are available to recommend the best times and locations to experience the beautiful vistas of the season.
Check out DCNR’s Calendar of Events for events on public lands.