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Best Places to See Fall Leaves in Erie and Beyond

Want to go leaf peeping? Here are spots you won't want to miss in Erie and the tri-state area

By Kara Murphy September 23, 2020

Are you looking for the best spots for fall foliage in Erie County? We are lucky in the Erie area to have so many great spots for leaf-peeping! We've listed our family's favorite places to see autumn leaves in northwestern Pennsylvania and beyond! We love hiking, visiting parks and short road trips, so included all of those in our list of where to see fall leaves in northwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.

Want to know when our fall colors will be at their peak? Check out this fall foliage prediction map from  SmokyMountains.com. Simply move the slider at the bottom of the map to get an idea when leaves will be at peak colors in Erie County, northwestern Pennsylvania and across the United States. No map like this can be 100 percent accurate, of course, but it can give you a good idea that fall colors will peak in early October in our area.

Ready to go find some beautiful fall leaves in Erie County, Chautauqua County and even Ohio?

Here are my family's 7 favorite spots for leaf-peeping in the Erie region and the tri-state area:

 



Asbury Woods

4105 Asbury Road, Erie, PA

This beautiful park has so many great hiking trails carpeted with red and gold leaves in the fall. Asbury Woods is also beginning to host events again, which means you can join in a fall campfire, a hike to find owls, and the Scary Creature Feature, an annual tradition for local families. Check our Macaroni Kid Erie calendar for all the details!





Erie Bluffs State Park

11100 W Lake Rd, Lake City, PA 

There are about five miles of trails to explore at this state park, near the Ohio line. Wooded paths lead to vistas with scenic vistas of Lake Erie from atop the 90-foot bluff wall. Some take you right down to the water's edge. All give you a great view of the changing leaves as fall progresses.




Frontier Park 

1501 W. Sixth St., Erie, PA

Frontier Park is home to more than 1,000 trees and fall is incredibly picturesque in this park! I snapped the above picture on a late fall day in 2019 when my son was decked out in his Harry Potter Halloween costume.




Presque Isle State Park

301 Peninsula Drive, Erie, PA

Of course we have to include Presque Isle on our list! Every season on Presque Isle is magical, and fall is certainly no exception. Take your bicycles and pedal the 13-mile loop around the peninsula to see fall in all its glory here.


Want to get out of town? Here are three easy road trips from Erie where you can see amazing fall foliage:





Holden Arboretum

9550 Sperry Rd, Kirtland, OH

We just visited Holden Arboretum for the first time in a few weeks ago and decided it would be worth a trip back this fall just to see the changing leaves. The best spot has to be from the top of the 12-story tower in the arboretum. Drive time: Approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes.


Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau


Chautauqua County, N.Y.

There are a bazillion places in Chautauqua County, N.Y. to see brilliant fall foliage. Three of our family favorites: Chautauqua Institution, which you can enter for free in 2020; Panama Rocks State Park where kids an explore to their heart's content; and Luensman Overview Park, which offers an overlook of Lake Erie and the surrounding wine country. Bring cash and stop at an Amish roadside stand or two for fresh local produce, blooms, and baked goods!  Want more ideas? Check out Tour Chautauqua's list of a dozen spots to see fall foliage.Drive time: Approximately 40 minutes, depending on your destination.


Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau

Kinzua Sky Walk

296 Viaduct Rd, Mt. Jewett, PA

The Kinzua Sky Walk is an engineering marvel with breathtaking views of the Kinzua Gorge and was recently selected as “One of the World’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Skywalks and Viewpoints in the World” by the Culture Trip, U.K. The skywalk is 225 feet high and was constructed on six of the historic Kinzua Viaduct massive steel towers remaining after the tornado of 2003. It extends out 624 feet into the Kinzua Gorge offering panoramic views and a partial glass floor. The skywalk features a walkway with a set of railroad tracks leading to the end of the overlook which has a partial glass floor. Drive time: Approximately 2 hours


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Looking for fall family fun? 

Check out Macaroni Kid Erie's Fall Fun Guide for all of Erie's fall and Halloween events!