Digital original: Best Midstate trails to hike and see the amazing fall colors


Fall has officially arrived in Pennsylvania and the leaves are starting to change. The colors that Pennsylvania offers during the Fall provide for some of the most breathtaking scenery that can’t be found anywhere else in the country.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources provides a map detailing which areas of the State are currently providing the best colors. Currently, most of the Midstate is approaching the best color.

DCNR Fall foliage report for the week of Oct. 15-21

The Fall season is one of the best times to take a hike in Pennsylvania. There are many trails just a short drive from many places around the Midstate. abc27 compiled a list of some of the best hiking spots in the area for you to visit before the weather gets too cold.

Hawk Rock – Duncannon, Perry County

View from the summit at Hawk Rock

Hawk Rock is one of the most rewarding hikes the area has to offer. The hike is only a little over a mile in length, but it is very steep and rocky, making the terrain a bit difficult to traverse. The rewarding part of this hike is the view it offers at the top. You will arrive at a gathering of rocks that overlooks the town of Duncannon and the Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers.

BONUS: Cove Mountain Overlook is a branch trail off of the path from Hawk Rock. This view is incredible and will provide amazing scenery for your trip. This trail isn’t an official trail, but it is fairly easy to access from the Hawk Rock trail. Once at Hawk Rock, continue on the Appalachian Trail approximately 100 yards. On the left, there will be an opening with a fire pit. Looking at the fire pit, go to the trail to your right and follow it to the opening. You will get rewarded with this view when you arrive.

Cove Rock Overlook – Branch trail off of Hawk Rock

White Rocks Trail – Boiling Springs, Cumberland County

White Rocks Trail is located on South Mountain in Boiling Springs. It features a roughly 1.3 mile climb, starting at Kuhn Rd. At the top of the hike, hikers will arrive at an overlook of the valley below. The valley is owned by the National Park Service, which bought it to maintain the open wilderness.

Chickies Rock – Columbia, Lancaster County

Chickies Rock in Lancaster County

Chickies Rock is located in Chickies Rock County Park between the towns of Marietta and Columbia. It is a huge trail towering 100 feet above the river. Hikers get rewarded with views of York County, Marietta, and northwestern Lancaster County. Remnants of old furnaces, canal walls, and trolley-line tracks are still available to be seen by hikers. Check out abc27 Digital Reporter Avery Van Etten’s story on Chickies Rock for more information.

Flat Rock Trail: Colonel Denning State Park – Newville, Cumberland County

Flat Rock Trail is about 2.5 miles long, which makes this hike one of the lengthier hikes on the list. The terrain isn’t very difficult to walk, but because of the length, this hike is recommended for more experienced adults. The summit provides a beautiful look across the Cumberland Valley and a nice resting place to catch your breath before you head back down. Bring plenty of water and snacks for this hike.

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