How to Find the Most Beautiful Fall Foliage in the Poconos

Nestled within the scenic state of Pennsylvania, the Pocono Mountains offer an enchanting display of nature’s vibrant colors during the fall season. As summer fades away, a mesmerizing transformation takes place as forests and mountainsides are painted with hues of red, orange, and gold.

Join us in a fall foliage Poconos 2023 edition as we explore the captivating beauty and endless outdoor adventures that await you amidst this autumn wonderland.

Where to see the best fall foliage in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains. Plan your Poconos fall vacation here! #poconos #pennsylvania #fallcolor #fallvacation

We are always on a mission this special time of year to uncover spectacular displays of nature’s colors. I’m talking about following forecasts, checking feeds, stalking websites, and searching for scenic areas. 

Did I mention fall is mine and my husband’s favorite season? We cannot get enough of it! Spiced cider, colorful leaves, fresh doughnuts, plump pumpkins, crisp air, sweatshirts, and campfires. I’m so glad we both share a love for autumn and the colors it ushers in. 

Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area
Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area is just one of the places to explore during fall foliage peak in Pennsylvania.

The Pocono region is home to 127 varieties of trees, shrubs, and plants, and covers a wide area with zones in the north, central, and south sections of Pennsylvania which makes it a perfect fall road trip destination.

Continue below to find out when to visit and where to see all the best fall foliage in Poconos. 

Bushkill Falls, one of the best things to do in Poconos in summer or fall!
Bushkill Falls, one of the best things to do in Poconos in summer or fall! It is often called “The Niagara of Pennsylvania” with its eight stunning waterfalls.

Interested in road-tripping? Check out this New England Itinerary for an unforgettable adventure to charming villages, historic lighthouses, fantastic seafood restaurants, seaside hamlets, and must-do hikes. 

Best Time to Visit Poconos in Fall

When can you see fall colors in Poconos? To make the most out of your fall foliage experience in the Poconos Mountains, plan your visit between late September and late October when nature unveils its full glory. 

Take advantage of mild temperatures and crisp air while immersing yourself in this natural masterpiece. During this time, temperatures begin to cool down slightly while daylight hours gradually diminish – triggering Mother Nature’s captivating transformation.

Fall Foliage Pocono Mountains
The best time to visit Poconos in fall is usually late September to late October.

How to Find the Most Beautiful Fall Foliage in the Poconos

1. Start with the Visitors Bureau Website

When searching for fall foliage peak in Pennsylvania, start with the visitor’s bureau.

For example, during the fall season, the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau website publishes a peak fall foliage Pennsylvania 2023 forecast every Thursday through the end of October.

Promised Land State Park is just one of the places to visit for fall foliage peak in Pennsylvania.
Poconos fall color at Promised Land State Park.

It is broken up by area and reports on the types of trees that are changing and what color they produce, what percentage toward peak, specific locations to see good color for that area, and a projected date for peak season.

If you’re looking for other fall foliage locations, here are the Best Places to Visit in October in the USA.

Poconos fall color at Childs Park in Pennsylvania.
Poconos fall color at Childs Park in Pennsylvania.

The Bureau also has live webcams set up all over the Poconos. If you are searching for more ideas of where to go or want to see specifically what colors are on display, take a look at the live feed.

Tip: It’s live so don’t do your research at night!

Raymondskills FallsFall Foliage Pocono Mountains
Raymondskills Falls

2. Search Instagram for #PoconoMtns

I will let you in on a little secret of mine. I use Instagram to research things to see and do when we visit new places. I usually find off-the-beaten-path places, new ones that are gaining momentum or long-time staples that are worthwhile.

It’s nice to get a local’s perspective on where to go and what to experience. A simple search of the location, #poconos, led me to other popular hashtags for the area like #poconomtns, #poconomountains, #pastateparks, and #fallinpa. While searching through the photos, I found a few places to visit that I did not have on our original itinerary.

Childs Park
Childs Park
Dingmans Falls
Dingmans Falls is a handicap-accessible short 0.4-mile trail. 

3. Visit the Best Places to Catch Fall Foliage in the Poconos

  1. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Bushkill. Spanning over 70,000 acres, this natural gem is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
  2. Lehigh Gorge State Park in Weatherly. One of the defining features of Lehigh Gorge State Park is undoubtedly the stunning gorge carved by the mighty Lehigh River. Over millions of years, this powerful waterway has sculpted a deep and narrow chasm through layers of rock, creating an awe-inspiring landscape that draws nature enthusiasts from near and far.
  3. Bushkill Falls in Bushkill. The area is one of the most popular attractions in the Poconos with numerous trails and waterfalls. The trails vary in difficulty levels, accommodating both beginners and seasoned hikers. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike up steep inclines, there is a trail for everyone.
  4. The town of Jim Thorpe exudes historic ambiance while being surrounded by breathtaking scenery—a perfect combination for capturing postcard-worthy photographs amidst golden leaves.
  5. Promised Land State Park in Greentown. Paddle, check out the observation station, or take a hike around the lake. 
  6. Dingman Falls in Dingmans Ferry. A flat easy boardwalk trail leads you to the second-highest waterfall in Pennsylvania.
  7. Tobyhana State Park in Tobyhanna. This 5,440-acre park is a peaceful and scenic place. 
Fall foliage poconos in Promised Land State Park.
Promised Land State Park
Tobyhanna State Park
Tobyhanna State Park

4. Book a Poconos Fall Foliage Train Ride

Don’t do any research and just hop on a train! One of the best things to add to your Poconos fall itinerary is a scenic train ride. 

From leisurely rides through rolling hills to exhilarating journeys across stunning vistas, here are some delightful Poconos fall foliage train rides you can experience in the Pocono Mountains.

  • Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway: This 16-mile round trip takes you along the picturesque Lehigh River and through lush forests adorned with golden leaves. Marvel at cascading waterfalls, charming bridges, and majestic mountain views as you relax in vintage coaches dating back to the early 1900s.
  • Stourbridge Line Excursions: Embark on a nostalgic excursion with Stourbridge Line Excursions’ seasonal fall foliage train rides departing from Honesdale or Hawley stations. As you traverse Wayne County’s countryside, admire panoramic views showcasing colorful foliage that blankets rolling hills and valleys. Experience history coming alive while passing by restored rail towns and landmarks – a treat for both nature enthusiasts and history buffs.
  • The Delaware Lackawaxen & Stourbridge Railroad Company: Located near Hawley, this railroad company offers memorable trips during autumn aboard their elegantly restored passenger cars pulled by vintage locomotives. Enjoy a relaxed pace as you meander alongside Lake Wallenpaupack’s shores and pass through dense forests painted in hues of red, orange, and yellow — truly capturing Mother Nature’s artistic touch.
  • Steamtown National Historic Site: Immerse yourself in a unique combination of steam-era history and captivating fall scenery at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton. Join their special “Fall Foliage Express” train rides, where you’ll journey through the Pocono Mountains aboard vintage diesel locomotives. Pass through lush countryside, charming villages, and panoramic vistas while surrounded by a tapestry of vibrant autumn foliage.
  • The Honesdale Fall Foliage Excursion: Experience a true fall adventure on the Stourbridge Line’s Honesdale Fall Fall Explorer. Delight in the beautiful Lackawaxen River and Wayne County country scenes. The three-hour experience includes a 90-minute stopover in the lovely town of Honesdale where you can enjoy the idyllic Main Street. 
Lehigh Gorge State Park is one of the Pocono fall foliage must-see destinations.
Lehigh River near Jim Thorpe – Fall foliage in the Poconos.

5. Check Facebook

Once you have a few places in mind, don’t forget to check Facebook. Most businesses and/or places share pictures, events, festivals and other local places to visit.

Tip: You can use hashtags to search Facebook too, but it usually spits out tons of unrelated posts. In the search box type in two hashtags so it brings up more relevant information like #poconomtns and #fallfoliage.


6. Drive and Drive Some More

You won’t find information on every pretty road or picturesque view online. So, get outside and start exploring.

Embark on picturesque drives along winding roads that meander through dense forests bursting with fall colors. Popular routes such as Route 209 or Route 6 will lead you to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking valleys blanketed by foliage-draped hillsides.

Even though we were a little early for peak, we managed to find some color on our quest. Take a Poconos fall foliage tour with us below!

Scenic Road in Pocono Mountains
US Route 6 is one of the scenic fall drives in the Pocono Mountains.

For those seeking more active pursuits amidst nature’s masterpiece, hiking trails abound where you can explore miles upon miles of wooded terrain while being surrounded by cascading waterfalls and tranquil lakes reflecting autumnal colors back at you.

Promised Land State Park
Conservation Island in Promised Land State Park
Tobyhanna State Park
Fall foliage just starting in Tobyhanna State Park in Pennyslvania.
Promised Land State Park
A peaceful place for fall foliage Poconos 2023 is Promised Land State Park.
Lehigh Gorge State Park
Lehigh Gorge Bike Trail near Jim Thorpe – fall foliage Poconos.
Tobyhanna State Park
Include the Lake Trail at Tobyhanna State Park in your Poconos fall itinerary!

Now that you know how to find the best Pocono fall foliage, let’s talk about where to stay.

Best Place to Stay in Poconos in Fall

For Couples

For Families

Glamping Experience

We hope you enjoy your fall trip to the Poconos as much as we did! 

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, if you book through our link we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for helping to support the blog!

Other Helpful Links

Have you experienced fall foliage Poconos? If not, where is your favorite fall destination?

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Looking for amazing fall color in Pennsylvania? Follow this guide to autumn fall foliage in the Pocono Mountains. #poconos #pennsylvania #fallcolor #fallfoliage



Looking for fall foliage in the Pocono Mountains? Find the best places to discover autumn in Eastern Pennsylvania.

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Angela E. is a travel writer from the Chicagoland area who has visited all 50 states in the US and has traveled extensively around the world. She is passionate about exploring the great outdoors and hiking in particular. Her love for nature has taken her to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. She has written extensively about her travels on her own website, Dang Travelers, and has been published in collaboration with other travel websites and multiple visitor bureaus around the country.

14 Responses

  1. Chris Travels

    You guys sure know how to “chase your dreams”…or should I say “chase the leaves”! What a great bunch of fall color photos from your recent trip!

  2. Trevor Thorpe

    Looks like a lovely little trip! Your tips are exactly the same strategy I use (and in the same order), when looking up a new place. I often at TripAdvisor into the mix, but since you were interested in what the color was like RIGHT NOW, that probably wouldn’t have been useful.

    • Dang Travelers

      Thanks Trevor! We use TripAdvisor and Foursquare as well, but like you said we were looking for the current conditions. Sometimes people put up to date photos, but not so much with nature type things. Restaurants, yes.

  3. Mindi Hirsch

    The Poconos are pretty at any time of year, but especially during the autumn season. Your beautiful photos make me feel homesick for Pennsylvania.

  4. Gale Walton

    Oh how I loved your fall foliage tour. We were scheduled to visit some of the same places in mid October. Unfortunately Hurricane Matthew interrupted our plans – maybe next year! Thanks for the hints.

  5. Tammyonthemove

    I love your photos. The colors are gorgeous. Looks like a great trip!

    • Dang Travelers

      We’ve been saying the same thing for a few years now! We were happy we got as far as Pennsylvania. The colors are amazing and the are was fun to explore.

  6. Sindhu

    Autumn is my favorite season of travel to national parks, especially because of the myriads of colors I get to see and the great photography opportunities it provides for the shutterbugs. I loved every picture in this post. Thanks for sharing such a visual treat.

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