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Here’s When the Philly Area Will Reach Peak Fall Foliage

We were a little sad to say goodbye to summer. Until now.


fall foliage philadelphia philly

Fall foliage at Independence Hall. | Photo via yenwen/iStockphoto.com

Get ready, leaf-peepers.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has released the first fall foliage report of 2018 — and, of course, it includes a (rough) estimate of when trees in the Philly area will turn all our favorite shades of yellow, orange and red.

As you have probably observed, our trees aren’t yet showing signs of change (for the most part). But according to the state DCNR, we can expect peak fall foliage to occur in approximately one month. So, if we’re thinking ahead to a tentative time window, that likely means anywhere between October 19th and November 3rd.

It’s not an exact science, of course. But here’s the good news: as fall continues, the DCNR will provide weekly fall foliage updates. Those check-ins will include maps with more information on when to expect the best leaf-peeping in each of the state’s counties, like this week’s:

https://twitter.com/DCNRnews/status/1045330398312648704

So far, only the state’s northernmost Erie, Crawford and Warren counties are showing signs of fall — particularly with staghorn sumac and dogwood leaves. Plus, there are localized areas of early leaf drop on maple, cherry and oak trees — but that’s due to an “excessively wet summer” (which everyone in Philly can attest to) and related outbreaks of fungi, according to the DCNR. But the organization doesn’t expect the rain to ruin our leaf-peeping this fall.

“Despite these setbacks, commonwealth forests are still well-stocked with leaves of over 100 tree, shrub, and vine species,” the report reads. “With cooler, seasonal temperatures in the forecast, Penn’s Woods remain poised to deliver some great fall color!”

Trying to get in on some fall foliage action early — and ready for a road trip? The annual Autumn Leaf Festival in Clarion (about 70 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, as the crow flies) will be held between September 29th and October 2nd. And the Applefest in Franklin (slightly north of there) will run between October 5th-7th.

Otherwise, when the time’s right, Michaux and William Penn state forests are much closer to us (though still require a day-trip). And if you don’t want to venture too far from Philly, you don’t have to — we’ve put together a list of nearby woods for optimal leaf-peeping.

In the meantime, keep checking in with the DCNR — and happy fall!