Taste fall– bite into a crisp Solebury Orchards apple
See fall – hike the trails at High Rocks for a breathtaking view
Hear fall – as the leaves crunch beneath your feet at Peace Valley
Pack up the car, lace up the hiking boots or tie on the sneakers and join me as I explore 10 amazing places in and around Bucks County to see brilliant fall colors. I’ve included our chosen path – many of these places were new to us and so we just printed a map before arriving (good idea) and followed the markers.
1.Tyler State Park: Visiting this park brings back the best memories. As a youth we lived nearby to this park and walked the trails, bike on the paths, and canoe down the creek. And one of the most beautiful times to visit Tyler is Autumn. With plenty of paved trails and rolling hills this a perfect place to visit on a wet weekend when you have limited time and just want some amazing quick leaf peeping.
2.High Rocks/Ralph Stover State Park: This is was one of the most popular and well know places in Bucks County for seeing the beautiful fall leaves. At High Rocks one can look out over a 200 foot sheer rock face cliff overlooking Tohickon Creek. If you can find the parking lot and a place to park, then it is just a short stroll from your car to see this amazing view. However we prefer to park at Ralph Stover State Park at the base and hike up to High Rocks. The approach of first crossing the creek and climbing up the hill to the vista makes the view all the more spectacular and extends this to a good workout hike.
3.ChesLen Preserve: At the time of visiting this Preserve it was not yet fall, but it is such a wonderful place to visit that I included on the list and hope that we can make it out there again. I can only imagine how amazing the Peter O. Hausmann Trail would be at this time of year. Many families were out enjoying a moderate trail through rolling golden meadows. We felt like we were wandering through someone’s private property. At the time we did not realize this was part of Natural Lands Trust and only made the connection on a later hike. We now search out the other preserves found on site & have visited 2 others so far!!
4. Gwyneed Wildlife Preserve: The second preserve we visited that is part of the Nature Lands Trust. A perfect place to visit on a SUNDAY in November. I stress Sunday for other days hunting is permitted. Very easy trails through Tunnel Farm Woods on 1 side of the road & through meadows on the other. There is a total of 7.5 unpaved trails at this delightful little preserve.
5.Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary: The 3rd preserve we visited that is part of Natural Lands Trust. Because of the local, perched on the steep slopes of Bougher Hill overlooking the Delaware River, you can get in a strenuous 3 mile hike. We did not visit this one until just last weekend & at this point the leaves have almost all fallen from the trees. This provided spectacular scenery but slippery slopes! Next year I want to return earlier in the season. I’m just a hiker admiring the beauty however the blog on their site provides great info about what is growing at the park.
6.Pennypack Trust: We created a wonderful loop by starting at the beginning of the Pennypack Trail which bisects the park. We enjoyed wandering through trails found in the 812 acres of protected meadows, woodlands and floodplain forest and seeing the historic sites along the way which are listed on the park map. The park has expanded since I last visited over twenty years ago!
7. Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center: There are 18.5 miles of trails at this park. Due to hunting permitted in the park we decided to stay on the East side in and around the area where hunting is not allowed. There is a little bit of everything at this park: The rollings hills provided a good moderate hike, Jacobsburg National Historic District provides an opportunity to explore historic buildings and take a self-guided trail that interprets the life of the Henry Family and the Boulton Gun Works, and for wonderful leaf peeping on a family friendly trail a walk down Henrys Woods, an old growth forest surrounding Bushkill Creek is a must!
8. Trexler Nature Preserve: There is not much on their site and so visit google maps where you can see the trails before you head out. We decided to hike the east side of the park near the Education Center. The Elk Ridge Trail climbs high up on a ridge allowing you to see the Lehigh Valley Zoo (I never even knew the zoo existed) on your left and the Elk grazing on your right. It was a good strenuous hike and beautiful fall leaves especially down by Jordan Creek. (There is no admission to hike the preserve but if you want to enter the zoo there is a fee.)
9.Valley Forge National Park: I do not think of this place as somewhere to get a good walk in the woods but was surprised to find there is a series of trails tucked into the woods. I found this on a trail map online . We parked near Washington’s Headquarters, explored the historic area then crossed the street to hike the Mt Joy Trails not a full loop but there are a few different ways to go providing a strenuous uphill slope, variety by taking the smaller loops, and still a beautiful fall hike of around 3 miles.
10. Peace Valley: This is a wonderful place for either exploring either the Peace Valley Nature Center – 14 miles of nature trails in the woods and meadows at the eastern end of Lake Galena or for a rainy day walking the paved loop around Lake Galena. Although you can bike here, there are a lot more walkers. Keep in mind if walking it is about 6 miles to go all the way around the lake!