ON TWO WHEELS
With nearly 60 miles of trails in Montgomery County, Pa., October is prime time to pedal through our impressive pathways. Two of the standouts are the Perkiomen Trail and the Schuylkill River Trail. On the former, cyclists can enjoy the sight of a flurry of brilliant maple leaves landing gently on the flowing Perkiomen Creek. On the latter, the wide vistas of Valley Forge National Historical Park — from its open grassland to its hilly rises — are transformed into real-time picture postcards of fall beauty.
The Secret Valley describes the former industrial railway between Boyertown and Pottstown, which was once crucial to the bygone iron industry. Now, however, its charms and beauty have been revived by the Colebrookdale Railroad, which offers scenic weekend train rides through a feast-for-the-eyes landscape.
FROM THE AIR
As beautiful as the foliage is when viewed from the ground, it is nothing when compared to seeing it from above on a balloon ride from the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team. From the basket of the balloon, the entire landscape spreads out, enabling breathtaking views for miles. Back on the ground, each flight ends with a champagne toast. Here's to the spectacular scenery.
In a Trolley
The Encampment Store at Valley Forge National Historical Park is the start of an adventurous tour on a festive trolley. This outing has just as much to offer fall foliage fans as it does to history buffs. The tour includes the impressive scenery and the moving story of our nation's quest for independence. Through October 26, tours are available weekends at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
FROM THE WATER
Viewing a tree line that hugs a waterway in the fall doubles the spectacle, as the leaves are reflected in the calm, glassy surfaces. Paddle your own kayak or canoe on any of our picturesque passages and enjoy the panorama. Boating is encouraged at Green Lane Park, Evansburg State Park and the Perkiomen Creek. Port Providence Paddle offers kayak, canoe and tube rentals for trips down the Schuylkill River, the longest trips taking you to Valley Forge National Historical Park and back.
Red Buffalo Ranch provides guided trail rides on horseback through the 3,500 acres of Evansburg State Park. Trails are custom chosen to suit riders of all experience levels, but all routes feature the sound of hooves clip-clopping through crunchy fallen leaves. Green Lane Park (pictured) and Valley Forge National Historical Park also offer scenic trails for self-guided rides.
At High Speed
It may be difficult to appreciate gold-tinged poplar leaves when they speed by in a blur, but there's no denying the thrill of ziplining in autumn. The canopy tours at Spring Mountain Adventures send visitors flying through the forest alongside a 535-foot mountain, with challenging obstacles along the way to really bump up the cardio.
Here's a recipe for a fallish fantasy: Take 12,000 plants, trees and flowers, dress them up in their autumnal best and spread them out over 92 acres of historic ground. Connect them with winding pathways and top with a cool, sunny afternoon, and the result is the Morris Arboretum. A birds-eye view of fall can be enjoyed at the new "Out on a Limb" experience, which raises the game on leaf watching 50 feet off the ground.
From a Golf Cart
Duffers who lose a shot in a pile of reddish-brown oak leaves may not cheer the change in seasons, but despite the effect on a score, the colorful view from a golf cart is a pleasantry unavailable any other time of year. The layout of Raven's Claw Golf Club and Turtle Creek Golf Course are particularly recommendable from the viewpoint of autumn's awe; the fairways and greens are nestled among lush groves of trees that turn fiery in the October sun.
From the Top of a Castle
The tower at Glencairn Museum rises seven stories above the Bryn Athyn Historic District, and on a clear day, the Philadelphia skyline is visible in the distance. In between are miles and miles of trees in their best fall dress, turning the landscape into a patchwork quilt of vibrant hues.