Skip to the content

Pennsylvania Experts Offer Fall Foliage Tips for Residents and Travelers

DCNR fall foliage report to be released weekly beginning Sept. 28.

Pennsylvania Experts Offer Fall Foliage Tips for Residents and Travelers

by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)

Photo courtesy of Tommy Kwak on Unsplash

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 Sept. 28, weekly fall foliage reports can be found online on the DCNR website. The report 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 and 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,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “Whether the plan to hit is the trails or drive to scenic vistas across the Commonwealth, we encourage everyone to take in the beautiful sights of our amazing fall foliage.”

USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards recently named Keystone State Park the nation’s Best Destination for Fall Foliage. Dunn encouraged foliage viewers to visit Keystone 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,” said Carrie Fischer Lepore, Deputy Secretary for Tourism, with the Department of Community and Economic Development. “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.”

State foresters and park personnel are available to recommend the best times and locations to experience the beautiful vistas of the season. Regional forestry experts can also discuss the physiology of fall foliage color, as well as the projected outlook for fall foliage in their region of Pennsylvania.

State experts include:

Northeast Pennsylvania

Julian Maza, service forester: Pinchot Forest District, North Abington Township

Northwest Pennsylvania

Cecile Stelter, district forester: Cornplanter State Forest District, Warren

Southeast Pennsylvania

Rick Hartlieb, assistant district forester: William Penn State Forest District, Elverson

Southcentral Pennsylvania

Ryan Reed, natural resource program specialist: Harrisburg

Southwest Pennsylvania

Dave Planinsek, forester: Laughlintown

Northcentral Pennsylvania

Chris Firestone, wild plant program manager: Tioga State Forest District, Wellsboro

For fall-inspired festivals and experiences, go to or follow Visit PA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Pursue your happiness and join the conversation using the hashtag #FallinPA. Check out DCNR’s Calendar of Events for events on public lands.