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Leaf peeping season about to begin; here's how to see the best colors this year

Pennsylvania boasts some of the best fall color with many great spots for fall foliage viewing.

YORK, Pa. — As the days get shorter and the weather cools down, leaves are starting to change colors across the state. 

Typically, fall foliage color peaks in Pennsylvania around mid- to late October, but where can you get the best views of these vibrant colors?

Dr. Christopher Hardy, Professor of Biology and Plant Science at Millersville University, says that finding unobstructed views with some variation in elevation is key to good leaf peeping.

“What makes for a very scenic autumn is some topography and some relief," Hardy tells FOX43. "So if it’s flat you don’t get that. 

"I think the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, up in the north, is really the most exciting because it’s beautiful.”

In fact, the Grand Canyon of PA, also known as Pine Creek Gorge, is one of the top 10 places that visitPA.com suggests when it comes to leaf peeping across the state. Also included in their list is Gettysburg National Military Park in Adams County.

Credit: WPMT Fox43
Some of the best leaf peeping locations across Pennsylvania.

Hardy also suggests visiting areas around the Susquehanna River. 

“Around here I think the Susquehanna River Valley is wonderful or maybe getting up towards the northern end of Lancaster County where it joins with Lebanon County and to the state game lands where you have some relief and some hills," Hardy says.

According to Ryan Reed, Natural Resource Program Specialist at DCNR, Pennsylvania sits at the perfect latitude where both southern and northern forests meet. 

“And that gives us a tremendous amount of forest diversity and a consequence of that is that we have one of the longest and most varied fall foliage seasons in the world," says Reed.

Our rainy and mild weather could possibly delay peak leaf colors, nonetheless a colorful season is still expected for some people’s most favorite time of year. 

The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will begin releasing their weekly fall foliage reports online starting at the end of this month.