The rolling hills are ablaze with color in Pennsylvania during the autumn months. September chauffeurs in Indian summer with crisp mornings and warm afternoons. The sweet smell of apple cider fills the air. Fall is the perfect time to take a break and indulge in the history and hospitality Pennsylvania has to offer.
In Pennsylvania's northern region, Mansfield hosts an 1890s Weekend (1890sweekend.com) in late September complete with Civil War reenactments and balloon rides over forests turning amber and orange. Canton celebrates autumn with an Annual Apple 'n' Cheese Festival (paapplecheese.com) the first weekend in October featuring apple butter making, free entertainment and wine and cheese tasting.
In western Pennsylvania, the town of Clarion celebrates Cook Forest's glorious fall foliage with the Farmers National Bank Autumn Leaf Festival (clarionpa.com/event/66) the first week in October. Visitors can enjoy the "Tournament of Leaves" parade, carnival, fireworks and craft fair. Old-fashioned train rides, antiques and free entertainment abound. Nestled in Northwest Pennsylvania's Alleghany State Forest, Sheffield hosts an annual Johnny Appleseed Festival (johnnyappleseedfest.net) in early October. There is something for all kinds of interests: an antique tractor and draft-horse pull, a lumberjack competition, wine tasting, an apple-pie baking contest, chain-saw carving, antiques, crafts and music.
Since 1949, Renovo in central Pennsylvania has paid homage to nature's changing colors with the Pennsylvania State Flaming Foliage Festival (clintoncountyinfo.com) in mid-October. Visitors can enjoy the local fall scenery with a round-trip train ride from Catawissa to Northumberland (itourcolumbiamontour.com). Outdoor enthusiasts can uncover central Pennsylvania's covered bridges with a bike tour (dutchwheelman.com) in early October. Bike rides of 25, 62 or 100 miles showcasing covered bridges of Columbia and Montour Counties start and end in Bloomsburg's town park.
In eastern Pennsylvania, the Fall Festival on the Avenue in West Reading (westreadingmainstreet.org) hosts a German-style beer garden, children's activities and artists while local restaurants offer up specialty foods in mid-September. Fall foliage seekers enjoy early autumn in the Poconos as the city of Stroudsburg (stroudsburg.net) rolls out "Autos in Autumn," featuring antique and classic cars, music and food. Picturesque Jim Thorpe (jimthorpe.org) hosts three fall foliage weekends with train rides, artists and entertainment.
In southern Pennsylvania, the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival (bedfordfallfestival.com), set in the Allegheny Mountains, features an antique car parade, artists and scarecrow making in early October. Since 1971, Arendtsville, near historic Gettysburg, has hosted the National Apple Harvest Festival (appleharvest.com), which features six stages for entertainment, contests and demonstrations of chainsaw carving, Native American dancing and apple syrup making the first two weekends in October. Lancaster County travelers flock to Harvest Fest at Cherry-Crest Farm (cherrycrestfarm.com) in Ronks, Saturdays in October. The mum farm features pumpkin slinging, a 5-acre walk-through corn maze, scarecrow making, face painting, pony rides and pumpkin painting for the kids.
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