Best Fall Hikes in Pennsylvania (Part 2)

Earlier this week I shared Part 1 of the Best Fall Hikes in Pennsylvania. It included 7 hikes from different parts of the state. Today’s post includes 9 more of my favorite hikes which range from the Ohio Pyle area in western PA to those in the very north by the PA Wilds to waterfall hikes in the eastern part of the state. Similarly to the first post, most of these hikes have some feature that makes the hiking more enjoyable in the fall like a waterfall, view, tower, bridge, or tunnel.

#1 – Highland + Glen Leigh + Ganoga Glen Trails in Ricketts Glen State Park

A few years ago I took my first trip to Ricketts Glen State Park on a PA road trip with a friend which you can read about here. We hiked the Highland, Glen Leigh, and Gonoga Glen sides in the park. This is a 3.2 mile loop that takes you along about 20 waterfalls in the park. It is not a flat trail, so be prepared for some hiking up and down slippery rocks. There are great views the entire way and waterfalls that range from about 10 feet to up to 90 feet.

Park Map

#2 – Blue + White Trail at Rocky Ridge County Park

Rocky Ridge is located in York County, PA. It sits on top of a ridge and has quite a few trails within the park. I haven’t hiked them all but can recommend a hike I took a few months ago. We took the blue loop to the white loop so we could check out the observation deck. It’s about 2-2.5 miles round trip on that route, but there’s quite a few other trails you can add on as well. This park is dog friendly so a great one to take your pup with you!

Trail Map

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#3 – Governor Dick in Manheim, PA

I grew up hiking at Governor Dick as a kid. We would go with family friends each summer and race to the top of the tower once we spotted it. You can see for so many miles once you get up the ladders to the top of the (kind of ugly) tower. The trails we normally use are linked in the map below. We start on trail 2 or 3 until you meet a wider road like trail which is the fire road. Take that for a bit until trail 2 is off to the left again and this will take you to the tower. It’s about 2-2.5 miles round trip if you follow this route. There’s a lot of other trails in the area however that you can connect to to make a shorter or longer hike.

Trail Map

#4 -Scenic Vista Trail at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center

Believe it or not, this trail is the first trail I hiked solo back in 2017. Prior to that, I’d never been on a hike by myself. I’m not exactly sure why I chose here, but in the snow of March I decided to hike at King’s Gap. This trail is about 2.5 miles. When I hiked, I connected this trail to the Blue Ridge Trail for my way back which may make the total miles a bit more. I’m not sure how busy the trails are in the fall, but when I visited in the winter, there were only a few other people in the park on the trails.

Park Map

#6 – Kinzua Creek Trail at Kinzua Bridge State Park

This “hike” is about .4 miles directly downhill (and then back up). There’s switchbacks down the trail and it isn’t too hard to get down. There’s a bridge at the bottom over the creek at the bottom and some areas to take photos looking back on the Kinzua Bridge. The hard part is getting back up. It’s more of a climb than a hike. But it’s worth it. Imagine the photo below but with beautiful fall foliage across the mountains. It’s a stunner.

Trail Info

#7 – Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle PA

We hiked this trail in the winter as you can see in the photo below by the snow but I have seen photos of it in the fall and it’s beautiful then too. The trail down to the falls is short at .4 miles but steep. Bring hiking shoes, as the rocks and ground can get quite slippery.

Trail Map

#8 – Yost Run Falls in the PA Wilds

This hike is very much off the beaten path in the PA Wilds. We did the 3 mile portion of this hike since it technically connects to a much longer loop. Its entirely through the forest to get to the falls, so in prime foliage season, I’m sure the leaves on the trees look incredible during prime leaf peeping season.

Hiking Overview Here

#9 – Howard Tunnel on the Heritage Rail Trail in York, PA

The Heritage Rail Trail is about 21 miles long and goes through Southern York County. I’ve walked a few separate sections of it, but haven’t yet done the entire thing. One of my favorite spots so far is the walk to Howard Tunnel. It’s been miles 15 and 16 on the trail and you can park at either the Brillhart Station or Gladfelter parking lots. One is on either side of the trail. Getting to the trail from either lot is about 1-2 miles, so round trip is about 2-4 miles. It’s a beautiful trail to travel both on foot or by bike and is also dog friendly!

Trail Map

If you are looking for other hikes across the state that are beautiful in the fall (or really any season), check out Part 1 of the series. It includes trails like Middle Creek in south central part of the state, Hawk Mountain in the center, Bushkill Falls in the northeast, as well as a few others.

Thank you for reading this blog and happy hiking!

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