Kinzua Bridge

The leaves at the Kinzua Bridge State Park are showing some autumn colors, as this drone’s eye view of a fallen tower shows.

Autumn is associated with many things, such as Halloween, bonfires and pumpkin spice everything, though for many, the best part about the season is observing the gorgeous array of colors the changing fall foliage has to offer.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the best place for fall foliage viewing is currently north central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The cool, dry conditions in the upcoming 10-day forecast predict improving foliage color for the majority of the state.

It’s a perfect time to view the changing leaves in McKean and Potter counties this weekend, as the northern hardwood species reach peak color. Foliage is particularly beautiful along U.S. Route 6 and 144 through Kettle Creek Valley, with some reported elk sightings in the area.

This is also a great weekend for leaf watchers at Kinzua Bridge State Park, according to the Allegany National Forest Visitors Bureau. Color along Route 6 and Longhouse National Scenic Byway is reportedly at 30-50%, depending on the elevation of the area.

The northern hardwood forests of Elk and Cameron counties are just nearing peak color, with maple and birch trees most colorful throughout the region. Oak trees are lagging, with a projected peak in about two weeks.

Carla Wehler, operations manager for the Elk Country Visitors Center in Benezette reported leaves are just starting to change in the area.

“They are certainly not full color yet, but we are starting to see some reds and yellows. They should reach peak color by the end of next week,” she explained. “There are a lot of scenic overlooks in Benezette with beautiful views of the foliage.”

While elk sightings are currently on the downswing, Wehler said those wishing to see the majestic creatures in the area will be graced by their presence soon, as the cow elk go back into estrus.

Those wishing to view foliage at Sinnemahoning State Park still have a little longer to wait, as foliage is expected to peak in color by the end of next week or the beginning of the following week.

“The leaves just started changing color and there is still a lot of green,” explained administrative assistant Stephanie Nonnemaker. “The best places to view the foliage is down at the lake and the 40 Maples Day Use area.”

Fall foliage observers will have cool, clear weather over Columbus Day weekend, with the exception of some rain showers this morning. Today will be mostly cloudy, with the sun making an appearance Sunday and Monday.

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