Sylvan Pennsylvania

Fall Fun in the Forest
Map indicating Pennsylvania Fall Foliage Zones

With a name that contains the Latin word for woods (sylva), and 108 species of native trees, Pennsylvania is a natural destination for people eager to enjoy the outdoors amidst rich, autumn colors. In October, the state's red maples flare with vibrant scarlet, its sugar maples brighten with yellows, oranges, and reds, and the white oaks' leaves turn purplish-red—all against the backdrop of evergreens like the eastern white pine and the eastern hemlock (Pennsylvania's state tree). More than half of Pennsylvania, whose name is Latin for "Penn's Woods," is covered by forests, and fall is one of the best times to visit.

For fall foliage purposes, Pennsylvania divides into three zones. The northern zone, along the New York border, changes colors during the first two weeks of October. The central zone, which stretches from New Jersey to West Virginia and includes most of the western part of the state, peaks during the middle two weeks of October. The southern zone, which encompasses Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Dutch country, shines during the last two weeks of the month. And every one of these areas offers a variety of activities for the outdoor enthusiast.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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