Best Places to See Philadelphia Foliage
We’re in one of the prime locations for the fall season. Here in the Philadelphia area, temperatures are just right (goodbye yucky humidity, not quite frigid freezing), football tailgating is back (don’t forget these sweet accessories) and the sights are just downright b-e-a-utiful. No, we’re not just referring to our gorgeous line of vehicles for rent – we’re talking about Philadelphia foliage.
With the peak of foliage season right around the corner (about October 25th according to Paul Meyer, Executive Director at Morris Arboretum), now is the best time to pack your picnic baskets and plan your trip to these great spots!
Wissahickon Valley Park – Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
This might very well be the best part of all 9,200+ acres of Fairmount Park. For my dogs and I, it makes a great trail to walk, hike and bike on alongside climbable rocks, flowing streams and tall trees. Located on Forbidden Drive just north of Roxborough and Manayunk, the Wissahickon trail and park sits on hundreds of acres of superior beauty in leaf color changing. To prove how walkable this park is, the name Forbidden Drive comes from a time in the early 20th Century where the road was closed to cars, and still is today.
Bowman’s Hill – New Hope, Bucks County
To get a full-blown foliage experience, you have to see it from 125-feet above the ground. The best way to do that in our area is visit Bowman’s Tower, located in Upper Bucks County’s nicest little town New Hope. On a clear day, you can get 14-miles of viewing pleasure above the Delaware River and Bucks County countryside. The tower itself was built in the early 1930s of 1,200 local stones from nearby hills and fences, which debunks any misunderstandings about it being used as a lookout tower for General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Nonetheless, this is a fall classic that can’t be passed up and is worth the 45-minute or-so drive. Access to the tower is available between 10am-4pm and costs $6 to walk the stairs or take an elevator to the top.
Valley Forge National Historic Park – King of Prussia, Montgomery County
Valley Forge might have been one of the most brutal locations during the Revolutionary War, but today it serves as a beautiful historic site to visit all-year round, especially in the fall. General George Washington chose the area as a place for camp during the winter of 1778, and over 2,000 soldiers died without a shot being fired due to hunger, disease, and fierce Mother Nature. Now, the 3,600 acres of autumn loveliness is filled with trails, trees, and fields for all types of use. Feel free to bring your dog and running shoes – this is one heck of an outdoor adventure!
Longwood Gardens – Kennett Square, Chester County
If you’re looking to get lost in nature, that can be taken quite literally at Longwood Gardens. Known for their incredible Holiday Season light shows and displays, these gardens are nestled into the Brandywine Valley on over 1,000 acres of land. I was there last year in December, and the amount of trails, things to do, and tours of buildings and greenhouses made it an amusing time. Year in and year out, Longwood Gardens is rated one of the top spots to view foliage of all kinds in the region for good reason. Get up-close and personal with flower gardens, meadows, and trees of many colors with many foliage fanatics. They even host a program called “Autumn’s Colors” every fall (September 10th-November 20th), where they really showoff bursts of fall colors in their landscape of flowers, grass and trees. Located south of Philadelphia in Chester County, it’s well-worth the drive and cost of admission.