The lush green forests of summer are gradually changing into a sea of red, orange, and yellow leaves. There are many ways to enjoy the awe-inspiring displays at Parks & Rec sites. Go for a hike, walk, bike ride, horse ride, or simply stroll along. Or, pack a picnic! Here are some sites where you’ll find fine foliage from October to mid-November.

1. Wissahickon Valley Park

This 1800-acre natural park in Northwest Philadelphia was established in 1867. The park has over 50 miles of scenic trails open to hikers, equestrians and cyclists. The trails lead along the Wissahickon Creek and through the steeply wooded gorge. Check out our list of fall hikes in the Wissahickon, including Houston Meadow, Andorra Meadow, the Lavender Trail, and Forbidden Drive.

2. Belmont Plateau

Located in the heart of West Fairmount Park, “The Plateau” offers the best view of the Philadelphia skyline. The view is especially nice when its framed by fall foliage. Enjoy a picnic, watch the sunset, and listen to the rustling of crunchy leaves.

Fall foliage begins to unfold at Belmont Plateau.

3. Fox Chase Farm

Just across from Fox Chase Farm, a beautiful hiking trail begins at the Pine Road picnic area. Along Pine Road is an old row of sugar maples which develop brilliant fall color.  This trail is perfect for scenic walking along farm fields and a forest’s edge. There is also a hard surface bike path that continues for over seven miles along Pennypack Creek. Although Fox Chase Farm is used for private events, the trail is open every day for public use.

4. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive trail

Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive trail stretches from the southeast corner of the Philadelphia Museum of Art northward to the Falls Bridge in East Falls. On weekends, MLK Drive is closed to traffic, providing more space for trail users. In the fall, the trail provides striking views of Boathouse Row, Fairmount Water Works, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Fall foliage behind Boathouse Row, as seen from MLK Drive.

5. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Within West Fairmount Park is the pristine Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens. Visitors love this destination because of the culture, history, and beautiful landscaping. The large maple trees in the gardens turn bright red in the fall.

6. Bartram’s Garden

This oasis of quiet fields and modest 18th-century farm buildings is where gardening first took root in America. Bartram’s Garden is a riverfront site that offers a beautiful view of the Philadelphia skyline. This site also has rolling meadows, flower gardens, and trails for walking.

Let us know your favorite!

  • Where is your favorite spot to view fall foliage at a Parks & Rec site?
  • Have you seen a tree that’s putting on a good show?
  • Is there a quiet corner of color we should know about?
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