Leaf-Peeping Hot Spots
Suggestions for Stellar Seasonal Scenery
Leaf peepers anxious for dazzling displays of brilliant reds and oranges can explore the 3,500-acre Valley Forge National Historical Park in the fall months to capture its magnificent maples and oaks.
Recognized by the National Park Service as one of the nation's top 10 parks for fall foliage, Valley Forge, located just 18 miles outside Philadelphia, is an autumnal oasis. Here are a few suggestions for creating your own leaf-peeping adventure in park.
- Wayne's Woods picnic area and the maple trees behind its Mad Anthony Wayne statue, on South Outer Line Drive, provide the perfect backdrop for this bronze monument to a storied General and the Pennsylvania troops who encamped at Valley Forge.
- Just around the corner to the left is a gorgeous must-see vista dotted with authentically replicated log soldiers' huts. Continue to Rt. 252, drive over the covered bridge, park and hike downstream to capture the beauty of the area along the Valley Creek between Mt. Misery and Mt. Joy. The trees and even the vines here take on breathtaking deeper colors.
- Stop off at Washington's Headquarters, the original stone structure where Washington planned training for his troops and strategies for battles to come, during the Continental Army's six-month encampment here. The house is flanked by deciduous trees and, therefore, enveloped in color every fall.
- Straight ahead, along Route 23, marvel at the splash of colors that is the Grand Parade. The expanse is safeguarded by a statue of the Baron Friedrich von Steuben, the Prussian who forged Washington's rag-tag army into the fighting force that went on to win American independence. Within walking distance is the fieldstone Varnum's Quarters, surrounded by trees to create a stunning seasonal scene.