View Full Version : Peak PA fall colors?

Gambit McCrae
08-25-2014, 11:24
I am trying to overlap a 7-8 day section hike with PA's fall color peak. Or at least some color changing. Right now the trip is scheduled for oct 3rd thru 9th

08-25-2014, 11:40
Sounds about right, give or take a week. If I had to put an X on the Ocean....I'd go with those dates, though later would hurt either, if anything it would clear away some foliage to afford some nice views that may not be seen otherwise.

08-25-2014, 13:40
That's a little early for the PA A.T., which generally turns and falls the 2 weeks after Columbus Day in a normal year. In the Michaux State Forest (i.e. A.T. south of Boiling Springs) you might not even see much color change by 10/9. In a late year peak in southern/southeast PA even near the A.T. might not be until Halloween. That 10/3-9 week would be great for north-central PA (NOT the A.T., but, say, Mid State/Great Eastern Trail north of I-80) though - about half the time in (say) Tioga County, PA Columbus Day is past peak.

08-27-2014, 20:58
It's so hard to predict...Where in PA? I'm in central PA, State College, and typically we see peak colors the 2nd week of October. That being said, I definitely think it's gonna be earlier this year. From what I gather, the two main indicators are rain and temperature. It's been a very mild summer, and there's supposed to be that polar vortex hitting in September. That being said, the colors should pop a little early; however, we have been getting rain here and there...it's kind of hard to say if the rain is "normal" 'cause we'll get a lot of rain in a very short amount of time (enough to cause flash flooding), but it doesn't last very long. I was driving home today and saw some leaves already changing, which is crazy! I actually got 2 weeks off in October to get outdoors, but it's the last 2 weeks, so hopefully I didn't screw myself. Last year, just north of here, it was getting bare by the second week in October. The year previous though, we had that summer heat wave and lower rainfall. I think the leaves were actually scorched, so it kind of muddled it. I don't know. Typically it's 2nd week peak, but it could probably go 7-10 days either way. If the trees are bare when I get my vaca, I"m probably gonna head to SNP in VA and do a kayak trip.

08-28-2014, 08:18
State College area (a bit further north, a bit higher elevation) is at least a week sooner on average than the A.T. route thru PA. "Central PA" is a problematic term because two different areas (State College area which is truly central, and Harrisburg/Lancaster/York which hasn't found itself a good moniker so sometimes adopts it http://www.thepamediagroup.com/brands/central-pa-magazine/ ) call themselves that.

Gambit McCrae
08-28-2014, 08:46
With others dropping out of my trip, and the new PA permit regs im considering starting in HF, EV and hiking SOBO into Virginia for 7-8 days, Knocking WV off the list as well as hopefully a fourth of VA.

08-28-2014, 09:33
With others dropping out of my trip, and the new PA permit regs im considering starting in HF, EV and hiking SOBO into Virginia for 7-8 days, Knocking WV off the list as well as hopefully a fourth of VA.

FYI the new regs will NOT affect hikers in PA state game lands, so enjoy enjoy the great outdoors of Pennsylvania anytime. PS: "Enjoy Enjoy" was the catch phrase of District Forester Manny Gordon in NEPA he love the wood and wanted everyone to visit then often and so do I.

08-28-2014, 12:57
From leafpeepers.com:

Central Pennsylvania October 8-14
Southern Pennsylvania October 22-28

08-28-2014, 13:03
We will be camping at French creek campground in PA, from the 4th to the 7th in the big aluminum tent. Going to the Conestoga Cabins open house Saturday Plan on stopping by the AT museum Sunday, and wonder around the woods some. Should be some nice scenery!

08-28-2014, 17:52
Yah, you probably won't see much for colors if you're south of central PA the first week of Oct. The first third of the trail in PA is north of where I'm at in State College. I thruhiked in 2012, and for some reason I remember the colors really popping in norther VA (near Front Royal, and SNP), and I "think" that was roughly Oct 10th or so. It's kind of hard to remember. Anyways though, the area around HF is nice and not overly difficult. If you plan on staying in a hotel in the area, though, I would reserve in advance. I got the last room available in Front Royal, and the town itself was insanely busy with the leaf peeper crews! Whatever you decide, it's beautiful country and you'll see crap-loads of deer!