The fresh colors of the fall foliage that wash over us as we move through our region’s landscapes are a sure sign of the seasons changing. Take advantage of the beautiful reds, yellows, and oranges and get outside to play in the leaves and take some pictures this fall. Whether you’re looking to post the perfect Instagram pic or you have a professional shoot coming up, there are lots of spots to get photos of the fall foliage in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Here are 10 of our favorites!
For a photoshoot that has a bit of history behind it, visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, a stunning 1930s architectural masterpiece that’s set deep in the woods of the Laurel Highlands. Get a classic shot in front of the building, but then take a tour and peek out at the foliage through one of the home’s tall glass windows.
McConnells Mill State Park
McConnells Mill, a state park that’s about a 45-minute drive from Pittsburgh, is a beloved outdoor destination in the fall. The Slippery Rock Gorge provides the perfect opportunity to get photos of the leaves that line the sides of the gorge, while the historic gristmill and red covered bridge should certainly be captured on camera too. You can also hike up to the Cleland Rock Overlook for a higher vantage point.
You don’t have to go far from the city to experience fall; in fact, you don’t have to leave it at all! Several overlooks and the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines pepper Pittsburgh’s most well-known mountaintop, giving you some of the best views of the city from Mount Washington. With these views comes the opportunity for a colorful autumn photo shoot, as you’ll be able to capture most of the valley and tree-covered rolling hills in your photos.
Centre County & State College
State College and the surrounding areas in Centre County offer some of the best fall foliage sights in the country. Drive up to State College for the weekend and take in the stunning valleys and high hills along the way…just don’t forget to stop and pull over for a pic!
Three Rivers Heritage Trail
Three Rivers Heritage Trail is a multiuse trail system that runs parallel to Pittsburgh’s rivers. Flowers and foliage peak out from the sides of the trail in every direction, and the city’s skyline and rivers will give you a unique backdrop. Look for one of Pittsburgh’s yellow bridges (which shouldn’t be too hard to find!) to add an extra pop of color to your pictures.
Allegheny National Forest
Allegheny National Forest is a large national forest about two hours north of Pittsburgh. Of course, you can enjoy the park’s autumn leaves from the ground level by foot or on your ATV, bike, or kayak. However, if you have a penchant for high heights, visit the Kinzua Sky Walk at the neighboring Kinzua Bridge State Park. Standing at 225 feet above the valley, the Sky Walk will give you an aerial view of the forest through its glass floor, along with breathtaking sights of the region’s finest fall foliage.
Oil Creek State Park
Don’t forget to make a stop at Oil Creek State Park on your trip up to the Allegheny National Forest. Oil Creek State Park is home to the world’s first commercial oil well. Along with the trees, waterfalls, and trails that always make for great photo ops, there are also some interesting remnants and buildings to see that are leftover from the oil industry. Take the train through the park on the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad for an informational tour while you experience autumn in all its glory.
Moraine State Park
Moraine State Park is a large park just north of the city with an accompanying body of water called Lake Arthur. Rent a boat to take photos with reflections of the fall foliage across the water or take a walk through the wooded trails to get a closer look at the leaves.
Another leaf peeping spot that’s even closer to Pittsburgh is South Park, where the natural scenery will make you forget that you’re just a 30-minute drive from downtown. Go for a hike on one of the paved or wooded trails, frolic in the dog park and get pics of your pup rolling around in the leaves, or attend the park’s annual Hay Day festival.
Raystown Lake, located near Juniata College and the town of Huntingdon in Pennsylvania, is an 8,300-acre reservoir with plenty of flowers, shrubbery, and trees encircling it to observe during your photography outing. From Sept 4th to October 27th, you can take a Fall Foliage Sightseeing Cruise on the Proud Mary Showboat, so get your camera (or phone) ready for Raystown Lake.This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.