From traditional pumpkin patches and corn mazes to unique botanical gardens and hard apple cider, your fall adventure in Pennsylvania will help remind you why it’s everyone’s favorite season. In between the fall fun, you’ll get to appreciate the last few days of nice weather and some amazing foliage on hikes, horse-and-buggy rides, and visits to some of America’s most important architectural gems.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1939, Fallingwater is a testament to the beauty of American architecture. The house appears to stretch over a 30-foot waterfall and is quite a sight to behold. Basic guided tours of the house cost $25, but the site offers a variety of other options, including a sunset tour, an in-depth tour, a brunch tour, and even a children’s tour. Indoor photography is only allowed on the more expensive tours, but outdoor photography is permitted. The grounds also offer a restaurant and gift shop.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is located in the heart of Pittsburgh, and makes for a perfect stop on a chilly fall day. The garden is inside a glass greenhouse that dates all the way back to 1893, and allows you to explore a dynamic display of various climates. The Fall Flower Show is a spectacular display of iconic harvest traditions, with chrysanthemums, scarecrows and hot apple cider. Children and youthful adults will enjoy the Garden Railroad, a miniature interactive railroad highlighting 200 years of Pittsburgh’s history.
Home of Slippery Rock Creek Gorge, McConnell’s Mill State Park is another great stop on your autumnal trip across Pennsylvania. The gorge was created thousands of years ago by the draining of glacial lakes, and is now a steep-sided masterpiece of a landscape, with boulders littered across the valley floor. One of the most popular visitor attractions is an 1800s-era gristmill, which is open for tours. The park also has nine miles of hiking trails, so you can bask in the beauty of the fall leaves that Pennsylvania provides each year. Make sure to visit at the end of September for the Heritage Festival, with craft vendors, corn grinding demonstrations, and a Civil War encampment.
Fall means apple season, so take advantage at Rocky Ridge Orchards. With a huge variety of apples, from Jonagold to Macintosh and everything in between. Whether you want to pick your own or grab a bag, or if you're looking for the perfect snacking apple, or need something you can bake into a crisp or pie, they can help you find the right apple. Plus, there's fresh cider, caramel apples, honeys, jams, pumpkins, and more.
Kinzua Bridge State Park is the perfect place to conquer your fear of heights! The park is home to the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk, a repurposed viaduct that allows guests to walk 600 feet out at a height of 301 feet. The end of the walkway offers a panoramic view of Kinzua Gorge, as well as a glass platform for those who are exceedingly daring. Make sure to wear a jacket or sweater, as the cold wind can get pretty strong at the edge of the platform.
Raymond B. Winter State Park is a hidden gem on your journey. The park is located in Bald Eagle State Forest in central Pennsylvania, which features an abundance of both oak and pine trees. The most popular area at the park is Halfway Lake, which is filled by a spring-fed mountain stream and has a cold-water fishery. The fishery is known for its varieties of trout, and is open to the public for fishing. The park is also home to seven miles of hiking trails, with one for every level of experience, from an easy stroll to a trail that can be extremely difficult to navigate.
Located in the valley of Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania is Maylath Farm and Orchard. A family-owned farm for over 40 years, Maylath is home to traditional fall fun. The farm’s biggest claim to fame is a giant 10-acre corn maze, which is fun for the whole family. The farm also has an extensive pick-your-own pumpkin patch, hayrides, pumpkin and apple slingshots, and a whole lot more. Admission to the farm is free, but each particular attraction has a separate price, with rates listed on the farm’s website.
True to its name, Mazezilla is an 11-acre corn maze located in Saylorsburg. The maze is designed differently every year, and visitors are encouraged to get “cornfused.” Those willing to conquer the maze are brought to the entrance on a tractor-driven wagon, then let loose to find their way out. The maze is so large that the attraction has aerial spotters to overlook the maze, as well as helpers located throughout the maze to assist lost guests. Admission is eight dollars during the day and 12 dollars at night. Plus, the maze is located on Klingel’s Farm, which has a variety of other activities, including a fresh produce stand, a giant pumpkin patch, and even a hay fort.
With over three generations of farming experience, Frecon Farms is the place to go for some delicious and fresh produce. Frecon is known for tree fruits: the family grows peaches, plums, cherries, apples, pears, apricots, and a whole lot more. They have a specialty shop with gourmet food and wine made from their products, as well as a fresh produce shop. The attraction also hosts seasonal picking events in the fall, and an annual PickFest Bluegrass Festival that the whole family will enjoy. For adults, the hard apple cider--created from Frecon apples--is one of the most popular products.
As the name implies, Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Rides is an opportunity to take a ride in an authentic Amish buggy. The buggy rides take you through Amish Country in Lancaster County, and Aaron and Jessica offer seven different routes for you to choose from. One of the routes takes you to a real Amish farm, where you will be able to try lemonade, cookies and pretzels. You will also have the opportunity to see an Amish school, Amish shops, and even a buggy factory. This is one of the most authentic ways to see Amish Country on your trip.
With more mazes than you can shake a stick at, Maize Quest Fun Park is the perfect way to end your trip. With a themed corn maze, a fence maze, a rope maze, a tile maze and even an obstacle course maze, you’ll find yourself lost and found time and time again at this attraction. Maize Quest also offers other activities, including an inflatable jump zone, a pumpkin patch, geocaching, and group campfires. Admission to the park is 12 dollars, and includes the maze, over 30 attractions, and a trip on the Pumpkin Express wagon.
Whether you’re snapping pictures of Fallingwater alongside stunning fall foliage, enjoying the crisp weather on a hike through a gorgeous state park, enjoying some of Pennsylvania’s freshly-grown autumn produce, or getting lost in an epic corn maze, the season offers loads of ways to have fun. The state is a veritable fall wonderland, so grab a pumpkin spice latte and get ready for an unforgettable road trip this autumn!
Banner Photo Credit: Image via Shutterstock/SNEHIT
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