HARRISBURG — Highlighting some of the world’s most beautiful and diverse fall foliage, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources again is making its experts available to serve as regional advisers, offering tips and resources to help residents and visitors experience a colorful autumn in a variety of ways across the commonwealth.
Beginning Sept. 29, weekly fall foliage reports can be found online on the DCNR website. The report will be updated every Thursday. Fall foliage typically peaks for several weeks throughout October across Pennsylvania. Visitors can get suggestions about the best spots to view fall foliage on the Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage story map and on the Pennsylvania Tourism Office website.
“Each year we are blessed with the opportunity to view some of the world’s most beautiful fall foliage here in the commonwealth,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “It is important to remember that Pennsylvania is a large state with more than 130 native tree species. This gives residents and tourists plentiful opportunities to see a wide array of colors, ensuring every autumn.
Dunn encouraged foliage viewers to check out one of DCNR’s 121 state parks and more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland for some of the best views, recreation trails and park experiences. State foresters and park personnel are also available to recommend the best times and locations to experience the beautiful vistas of the season.
Pennsylvania also boasts an abundance of great festivals, pick-your-own farms, and unrivaled haunted attractions that make the state the obvious choice for autumn, to pair with fall foliage viewing. These tourist activities help fuel Pennsylvania’s economy, with approximately 200 million travelers injecting about $45 billion into Pennsylvania’s economy. Tourism generates more than $5 billion in tax revenues and is responsible for more than 500,000 jobs related to or benefitting from tourism.
“From the breathtaking shores of Lake Erie to the splendor of the southeast, our foliage season provides endless opportunities for those ‘wow’ moments,” said Carrie Fischer Lepore, Deputy Secretary for Marketing, Tourism and Film for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. “Plus, one can pack up the car and venture to a great fall festival while taking in the dynamic colors along the way.”
Regional forestry experts can discuss the physiology of fall foliage color, as well as the projected outlook for fall foliage in their region of Pennsylvania. State experts include:
Austin Noguera, forester: Pinchot Forest District, North Abington Township
Cecile Stelter, district forester: Cornplanter State Forest District, Warren
Rick Hartlieb, assistant district forester: William Penn State Forest District, Elverson
Ryan Reed, natural resource program specialist, Harrisburg
Rachael Mahony, environmental education specialist Laughlintown
Chris Firestone, wild plant program manager: Tioga State Forest District, Wellsboro