In autumn, few places can compare to the Northeastern United States for sheer abundance of colorful scenery. This time of year is ideal to walk or drive around the countryside and marvel at all the natural hues and shades of the trees. Most people don’t imagine Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as an iconic autumn destination, but this place is home to some truly magnificent rural views. Pack some snacks, a thermos of hot cocoa, your snugly scarf and a map as you travel along these stunning routes that feature the best fall foliage throughout the Philadelphia region’s Bucks and Montgomery County as well as the City of Brotherly Love itself. Please remember that since this scenery can be quite distracting, it is your responsibility to stay focused while behind the wheel so that everyone can continue to enjoy these beautiful sights.
City of Philadelphia
• Fairmount Park – at over ten times the size of New York’s Central Park, Fairmount Park is loaded with great autumnal photo ops along with numerous bike trails, jogging paths, wilderness routes and scenic drives. According to our injury lawyer Philadelphia contact, the abundance of slippery leaves on the roads can make driving a bit precarious after an autumn rainfall, so buckle up and stay alert to help prevent an unfortunate accident.
• Forbidden Drive (Wissahickon Gorge) – snaking along the parallel Wissahickon Creek and traveling through the center of Fairmount Park, Forbidden Drive got its name when it was closed to car traffic back in the 1920s. The area is full of picturesque walking routes and now features Wacky Walks, a program for guided family tours on the weekends.
• Schuylkill River Trail – great for both walking and scenic drives, this twisting path along the Schuylkill River also features views of Boathouse Row, the Philadelphia skyline and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Serious accidents can occur in areas like this where the road is winding and the surroundings are distracting, so pay attention to your speed and be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists.
• Washington Crossing Historic Park – the site of George Washington’s epic crossing of the Delaware River in 1776, this park is home to a wide array of wildlife and several outdoor trails sure to keep autumn leaf-peepers busy.
• Covered Bridges – There are only 12 covered bridges remaining in Bucks County, but you can drive over them all by starting your journey at the Memorial Building in Washington Crossing State Park and following the circular countywide pathway. While driving through covered bridges it is important to realize there may be children on the other side that could dart in front of your vehicle. Always be sure to stop and then continue slowly when you come to the end of the bridge.
• Valley Forge National Historic Park – boasting biking and jogging trails along with 3,600 acres of rolling hills in vibrant fall colors, this tranquil park was once the headquarters for General George Washington’s army during the American Revolution. The park is quite a popular location in the fall and they take the safety and security of guests very seriously. Park rangers have full police authority and may issue citations and arrest violators so be sure to stay within the speed limit and watch for pedestrians.
• Hot Air Balloon Tour – If you’d rather see fall foliage from above, get a bird’s eye view from a hot air balloon as it soars over the hillsides bursting with ambers, golds and fiery reds. Drive on out and visit the United States Hot Air Balloon Team or Lollipop Balloons, Inc. to see autumn from a whole new perspective.
Going for a scenic drive or brisk walk is great chance to breathe some fresh air, explore and appreciate nature and discover new parts of this great nation. Unfortunately, with so many other people sharing the same idea this fall, it’s also a time when road accidents can increase. To stay safe, always watch for distracted or other unsafe drivers on the road. Also, stay focused and pay attention to speed limits while wearing a seat belt at all times. Attempting to take pictures while driving poses a great danger to you and everyone on the road so pull over to a secure spot before picking up your camera. By following these simple rules you will reduce your chances of being involved in an accident and will come home from your trip with nothing but wonderful memories and a refreshed spirit.
Shelby Warden is a legal researcher and a regular contributing author for the expert personal injury lawyer Philadelphia team at the Law Offices of McMahon, McMahon & Lentz. They have been representing accident victims in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases since 1962.