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The Best Places to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Erie County

Friday Sep 15th, 2023

Fall in Erie is a magical time filled with crisp air, pumpkin patches, fall events, and spectacular colors. The Erie region is one of the best places in Pennsylvania to experience fall’s beauty up close, especially when reflected in the waters of Lake Erie. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, Pennsylvania will be at its peak from October 5 to October 21, however, watching the month-long transformation from verdant green to vibrant reds, oranges, and golds can be just as fascinating.  

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Presque Isle State Park

Perhaps the best place for the most stunning fall foliage in Erie County is Presque Isle State Park.  For fantastic views, walk or drive among the 13 miles of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants flanked by Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.  The sequence of warm sunny days and chilly nights provides the perfect scenario for the leaves to shine in a brilliant display of fall colors. The best places for memorable photo opportunities are at the Presque Isle Lighthouse, Perry Monument, “The Feather” bird observatory platform (pictured), and everywhere in between.

Asbury Woods

The winding trails and towering trees that call Asbury Woods home set the scene for a perfect fall foliage adventure.  Some of the most beautifully colored trees on Asbury Woods’ 200-acre property can be found just inside the main entrance in front of the Andrew J. Conner Nature Center. The oaks, maples, beech, and tulip trees are bursting with color and are ready to be part of your fall photo collection. The wooden boardwalk trail, Walnut Creek, and Brown’s Farm also serve as excellent photo backdrops. 

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Erie Cemetary Fall Leaves and Path by Curtis Waidley WEB Crop

Erie Cemetery

One of the city’s oldest burial grounds, dating back to its opening in 1851, stands out as the most scenic cemetery in the region. Erie Cemetery is situated on 75 acres in the heart of the city at 21st and Chestnut Streets and features a diverse collection of tree species, many of which are deciduous. That means that in the fall, these trees undergo a beautiful transformation as their leaves change color before falling to the ground. Different types of trees exhibit different colors, creating a stunning tapestry of reds, yellows, oranges, and browns. With its hills and meandering pathways, there are many vantage points for admiring the changing foliage. Photo by Curtis Waidley.

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail

Driving through Lake Erie Wine Country along Route 5 in Erie County, also known as the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, will fill your senses with spectacular vistas and the tantalizing aromas of ripening grapes on the vine. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a 518-mile National Scenic Byway stretching from the Ohio/Pennsylvania border through Erie County to Sackets Harbor, NY along the Lake Erie coastline. Numerous stops along this scenic route are perfect for picture taking, from sprawling acres of vineyards to commercial and estate wineries including Johnson Estate Winery and Yori Wine Cellars.   

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Frontier Park 4 from LEAF

Frontier Park/LEAF

Wander among the hundreds of deciduous trees, shrubs, and flowers found at the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park to see a striking showcase of fall colors.  Frontier Park is a viable and sustainable green space located in the heart of Erie featuring more than 1,000 trees. Winding your way through the park’s elaborate labyrinth, strolling streamside along Cascade Creek, or sharing a walk with your four-legged friend on the multi-purpose pathway are great ways to immerse yourself in the season.      

Wintergreen Gorge

Delight the senses with the crunch of leaves underfoot, the babbling sounds of Four Mile Creek, the smell of fresh forest soil, and the breathtaking views along the six-mile expanse of Wintergreen Gorge in Harborcreek, PA.  Wintergreen Gorge is part of the Greater Erie Regional Trail Network, a system of more than 15 trail venues across Erie County. The gorge was carved from shale and sandstone by the creek and is a partially mature forest featuring large quantities of its namesake American Wintergreen plants with bright red berries.  Grab the best fall foliage shots from atop the gorge’s overlook or its tranquil waterfall.

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Harrington Covered Bridge

Historic PA Route 6

Amidst an amazing sea of color winds historic Pennsylvania Route 6, the perfect route for a fall foliage road trip through southern Erie County. Erie County’s portion, Route 6N, leads visitors through the charming towns of Edinboro and Corry as well as Albion, PA where covered bridge enthusiasts will find the picturesque Harrington Covered Bridge. This well-maintained, still functional bridge was originally built in 1870 and rebuilt in 1962.  Following Route 6 from one side of Pennsylvania to the other is a leaf peeper’s dream, traveling through endless forests of ever-changing leaves, friendly small towns, overlooks, shops, restaurants, and parks.

Partner Spotlight

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Mazza Vineyards and the South Shore Wine Company

The Mazza family welcomes you to explore 3 unique locations in Lake Erie Wine Country. Sip and savor award-winning wines at Mazza Vineyards and the historic South Shore Wine Company, both located in North East, PA, and be sure to visit their combination winery, distillery and brewery, Mazza Chautauqua Cellars/Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing, in nearby Westfield, NY.

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Poverty Knob Farmhouse Ales

Stop by Port Farms to check out the newest addition, Poverty Knob Farmhouse Ales. We offer hand-crafted beers and delicious sharable food year-round. The brewery is family and dog friendly with both indoor and outdoor spaces. We offer games, music and entertainment for all ages!

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UPMC Hamot - See What Makes Us Different

UPMC Hamot is a 458-bed hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services. The hospital serves as a regional referral hub and is the only accredited trauma center in the region.

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814 Photo

Showcasing the incredible year round beauty of the City of Erie and its surrounding areas, commonly referred to as its area code "the 814". Explore some of Erie County's most breathtaking landscape photography.

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ASCEND Erie - Climbing | Fitness | Yoga

NOW OPEN! ASCEND fosters a community-centered climbing, fitness, and yoga experience by serving individuals and groups of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Located in Downtown Erie, ASCEND welcomes Erie visitors to stop in and give climbing a try!

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Two45 Waterfront Grille Now Open!

Savor an exquisite waterfront dining experience at Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, where culinary excellence meets panoramic views. This signature restaurant invites you to indulge in a delectable journey with a menu showcasing locally sourced ingredients and global inspirations while overlooking the serene waters of Lake Erie.

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Tia Book Cellar

Tia Book Cellar is an independent bookstore offering new and bargain books, unique gifts, puzzles, and games for all interests and ages. Located across from Gibson Park in North East, their brand embodies the local business model and the local grape heritage. Tia's believes that "there is always … local, an alternative, and a story." They look forward to helping you discover your next read or gift here.

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The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern

The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern is sure to give you an unforgettable and care-free dining experience. Enjoy a nautical atmosphere with a beautiful view of Presque Isle Bay.

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Dobbins Landing

Located on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, the Port of Erie has been promoting industrial, commercial, and recreational opportunities on the waters of Lake Erie since 1959.

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U Pick 6 Craft Beer Pubs & Restaurants

Erie’s own local craft beer pubs are a must-visit! With 4 great locations, just pick one that’s convenient for you! A casual, family friendly dining experience with something for everyone! To view our menu, check out what’s on tap, or get to directions to our pubs, learn more now!”

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Erie Events

Erie Events manages a four facility entertainment complex that includes the Warner Theatre, Erie Insurance Arena, Bayfront Convention Center and UPMC Park. These four venues host a variety of events that include world-class entertainment, family friendly shows and sporting events.

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Farmhouse Retreat

Your “Home Away from Home” short term rental sleeps 8 and is in a great location close to Erie Sports Center, Splash Lagoon, shopping and restaurants, as well as Steelhead Fishing. This restored 1881 Farmhouse is located on 10 private acres. Reminisce about bygone days when life was slower and simpler. With a long driveway and large yard, kick back by the firepit, watch wildlife or enjoy a beautiful Erie sunset from the back patio.

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The Cork 1794

Open for Lunch and Dinner. Get ready for an experience like no other. An atmosphere where uncommon style, comfort and service seamlessly meld. Where food and beverages are expertly crafted to be beautiful, satisfying and truly special. A place that makes every day feel like a reason to celebrate.

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Millcreek Mall

The Millcreek Mall features more than 160 stores, restaurants, and fun for the whole family on Upper Peach Street, Erie’s most popular shopping district! Shopping in Erie means no sales tax on clothing or shoes. Choose from a variety of hotels located on the Mall property and just minutes away at the intersection of Peach Street and Interstate 90.

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Ante-up, Erie.

Find true action with slots, table games, sports book, and horse racing.

One stop convenience.

Fill your tank, pick up fresh food from local brands, and a six-pack to go in 40 regional locations.

Award-Winning Compassionate Care

Voted Erie’s Choice Best Hospital for eight years in a row

Just for fun!

Experience family summer fun on more than 100 great rides, slides and attractions at Waldameer!

Soak in the fun!

Experience 84 degrees all year at one of the top water parks in the country.

One stop convenience.

Fill your tank, pick up fresh food from local brands, and a six-pack to go in 40 regional locations.

Ante-up, Erie.

Find true action with slots, table games, sports book, and horse racing.

Award-Winning Compassionate Care

Voted Erie’s Choice Best Hospital for eight years in a row

Just for fun!

Experience family summer fun on more than 100 great rides, slides and attractions at Waldameer!

Soak in the fun!

Experience 84 degrees all year at one of the top water parks in the country.