Pennsylvania Experts Offer Foliage Tips for Residents and Travelers

pennsylvania forestImage by David Mark

HARRISBURG, PA — To highlight some of the world’s most beautiful, diverse fall foliage, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is making its experts available to serve as regional advisers, offering tips and resources to help residents and visitors experience a colorful autumn in a variety of ways across the commonwealth.

Beginning September 30, weekly fall foliage reports can be found online on the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation of Natural Resources (DCNR) website and will be updated every Thursday. Fall foliage typically peaks for several weeks near the beginning of October across Pennsylvania. Visitors can get suggestions about the best spots to view fall foliage on the Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage story map and on the Pennsylvania Tourism Office website.

“Pennsylvania is a large state with more than 130 native tree species, which gives residents and tourists plentiful opportunities to see a symphony of colors this fall,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Visitors can check out one of our 121 state parks and more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland for some of the best views, recreation trails and park experiences. Our dedicated state foresters and park personnel look forward to recommending both the best times and locations to experience the beautiful vistas of the season.”

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While the leaves are the star of the show, Pennsylvania also boasts an abundance of great festivals, pick-your-own farms, and unrivaled haunted attractions that make the state the obvious choice for autumn. In a typical year, Pennsylvania’s approximately 200 million travelers inject about $45 billion into Pennsylvania’s economy, generate more than $5 billion in tax revenues, and are responsible for more than 500,000 jobs related to or benefitting from tourism.

“From the Lehigh Valley to the Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania’s autumnal landscape is second to none,” said Carrie Fischer Lepore, deputy secretary of the Office of Marketing, Tourism and Film in the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). “Locals and visitors alike are encouraged to grab your camera, a pumpkin spice latte at a local coffee shop, and head to one of our state’s scenic locations to experience the wonder for yourself.”

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Regional forestry experts can discuss the chemistry of fall foliage color, as well as the projected outlook for fall foliage in their region of Pennsylvania. State experts include:

Northeast Pennsylvania

Tim Latz, forester: Pinchot Forest District, Dalton

Northwest Pennsylvania

Cecile Stelter, district forester: Cornplanter State Forest District, Warren

Southeast Pennsylvania

Rick Hartlieb, assistant district forester: William Penn State Forest District, Elverson

Southcentral Pennsylvania

Ryan Reed, environmental education specialist, Harrisburg

Southwest Pennsylvania

Joe Planinsek, forester: Forbes State Forest District, Laughlintown

Northcentral Pennsylvania

Chris Firestone, wild plant program manager: Tioga State Forest District, Wellsboro

For fall-inspired festivals and experiences, go to visitPA.com.

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