As the days grow cooler and autumn settles in, Philadelphia’s hills, parks and tree-lined streets are ablaze with the deep reds, vibrant oranges and bright yellows of the season. Fall colors and crisp, fresh air ring in the harvest – a time that’s perfect for pumpkin carving, apple picking, hay rides or just strolling through one of these top spots for taking in the fall colors. Whether you choose to embrace the beauty of the city and its suburbs or venture out into the countryside, Philadelphia has a number of top spots to take in the fall colors.

CBK Mountain Adventures
243 Resort Drive
Tannersville, PA 18372
(570) 629-1663

Fall just isn’t the same without a trip to the nearby Pocono Mountains. Visitors to CBK Mountain Adventures, nestled in the heart of the rolling mountains, are provided with a treetop adventure course complete with thrilling zip-line rides over a colorful canopy of treetops. Admire autumn in all her splendor as you soar from the summit of Camelback Mountain on a 4,000-foot-long tandem zip-flyer, the longest, fastest in North America. Not up for thrill rides? No worries, simply soak up the scenery with a hike and picnic in a spot that offers some of the most splendid landscapes you’ll find.

Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
(610) 388-1000

In Kennett Square just outside of Philadelphia, Longwood Gardens includes more than 1,000 acres of arboretum and botanical gardens. In autumn, the foliage – alive with the brilliant colors of swirling falling leaves – is the star, enticing thousands of visitors each season. While hiking the three miles of trails that meander through the woods and meadows, guests are delighted by sweeping vistas of color. Make sure you don’t miss anything by checking out the website, which notes the weekly garden highlights.

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Morris Arboretum
100 E. Northwestern Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 247-5777

Located near Philly’s historic Chestnut Hill College, Morris Arboretum boasts 100 acres of gardens, streams and winding paths that are alive with brilliant color in the fall. A Victorian landscape garden and a number of interactive displays entice visitors throughout the year. The arboretum includes a historic public garden and provides numerous educational and informational programs designed to nurture the relationship between people and nature. After exploring the gardens, visitors can dine and shop along the equally picturesque Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill.

Valley Forge National Historical Park
1400 N. Outer Line Drive
Valley Forge, PA 19406
(610) 783-1099

The scenic and historic Valley Forge National History Park is located in King of Prussia just outside of Philadelphia. Fall is the best time for exploring the extensive network of hiking trails on the western side of the park, where Mount Joy and Mount Misery trails are perfect for taking in spectacular views of the fall foliage. You can access these trails easily from Washington’s Headquarters, where you’ll also find easy access to restrooms and parking. This living history museum can be enjoyed for a couple of hours or an entire day – there is that much to see. Wander the museum and get lost in history, or find yourself amid the beauty of nature that abounds throughout the grounds of this national gem.

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Wissahickon Valley Park
300 Northwestern Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 685-9285

The trails surrounding Forbidden Drive beckon droves of hikers, cyclists and riders to explore all that fall has to offer. The spectacular views include a collage of the skyline, a covered bridge and the picturesque river gorge – all amid a backdrop of colorful autumn splendor. Stroll the easily navigated Forbidden Drive trail, a flat, seven-mile gravel road that hugs the Wissahickon Creek, or head to the other side of the water to explore the winding series of footpaths. Make sure your trek includes a stop by Council Rock, where you’ll find the towering statue of a Native American Lenape Chief who keeps watch over the valley.

Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on