Scenic drives in the Pocono Mountains can be found around just about every bend. The changing leaves of fall add another dimension to the natural beauty. When you plan a fall getaway, check out our picks for the best scenic drives in the Pocono Mountains for fall foliage. Whether you can spend all day sightseeing, or only have time for a quick trip, we’ve compiled a list of essential places to see that give you a taste of the wealth of historical significance, small town charm and awe-inspiring vistas that await. Don’t forget to download our free Northern Poconos Region Vacation Guide. It will help you find the area’s best restaurants, shops, attractions and services.
National Geographic named Pennsylvania’s Route 6 one of America’s most scenic drives. The 50 mile stretch of road through Wayne and Pike Counties certainly upholds that reputation. Route 6 here travels an area not only rife with natural beauty but steeped in history. Take some time to stop and explore the charming small towns along the way. You’ll drive right down the Main Streets of Honesdale, Hawley and Milford. All three boast a vibrant downtown with shops, museums, and restaurants housed in mid to late-19th century buildings.
Between towns the road winds along forests, farms and riverbanks. Remnants of the D & H Canal are visible at points. There’s even a park created around a former Canal Lock House. The 16-acre green space features trails and preserved sections of the canal. Other historic sites along this section of Route 6 include Dorflinger-Suydam Glass Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary in White Mills and Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford. The former residence of Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot is open to the public for tours of the mansion and grounds.
Several state parks offer opportunities to stretch your legs and explore the natural surroundings. Prompton State Park offers a 290-acre lake for boating and fishing, 26 miles of hiking trails and scenic picnic areas. Shohola Falls is located in State Gamelands 180. A trail leads to the 50-foot waterfall. Route 6 also skirts the northern shore of Lake Wallenpaupack. There are public access points for swimming and boating right off Route 6 as well as an elevated trail along the Observation Dike with panoramic views of Pennsylvania’s third largest lake.
Much of this scenic road hugs the eastern shoreline of Lake Wallenpaupack. At its terminus with Route 6 in Hawley you can park your car and walk the Observation Dike or just sit on a bench and take in the lake views. Silver Birches Resort and The Dock on Wallenpaupack face Route 507 on one side and Lake Wallenpaupack on the other. So, you can stay, play and dine right on the water. The road twists and turns offering glimpses of the lake.
Newfoundland is a charming village with places to eat and shop. Jam Room Brewing Company in Newfoundland is open Thursday through Sunday and offers craft brews and live music. Stop in I-84 Country Store in Greentown. It’s the largest country store and gift shop on Lake Wallenpaupack. Browse all sorts of souvenirs, jewelry, Amish furniture, crafts, homemade fudge and jelly.
Route 507 reaches its end point in the scenic village of Gouldsboro. Founded in 1871, this charming mountain community has two particular points of interest. A former railroad station is now a railroad museum that frequently welcomes excursions from Scranton. Gouldsboro State Park is 2,880 acres with multiple hiking and mountain biking trails. The 250-acre lake is popular for fishing and boating. There’s also a sand beach for swimmers and five wooded picnic areas.
This road is the main thoroughfare in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, often tracking the route of the Delaware River. With 67,000 acres of forested mountains operated by the National Park Service, there are endless opportunities for hiking, biking, boating and sightseeing. Park the car and take some short hikes to the area’s most visited waterfalls. Dingmans Falls and Raymondskill Falls are easily accessible and worth the brief walk.
As you travel south outside of the park, you will encounter several vintage Pocono tourist attractions. Bushkill Falls is the most well-known. It’s dubbed the Niagara of Pennsylvania and for an admission fee you can hike to eight waterfalls on well-maintained boardwalk trails. There are also shops, food, children’s activities, paddle boats, miniature golf and more. Other unique attractions along Route 209 include the Pocono Indian Museum and Pocono Snake and Animal Farm. Pocono TreeVentures is a fairly new attraction. Here you can get up close and personal with the trees on one of eight aerial obstacle courses or a zip line through the forest.
Big Pocono State Park
This is a short drive, but long on views! A paved 1.4-mile drive circles the summit of Camelback Mountain in Tannersville. Park and take in the vista of three states- Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Big Pocono State Park also offers over eight miles of hiking trails and limited mountain biking trails. Pack a basket and have a picnic with a view 2,000 feet above sea level.
Upper Delaware Scenic Byway
While this route is mainly in New York state, there are offshoots into Pennsylvania that make it worthy of our best scenic drives in the Pocono Mountains for fall foliage. This 71-mile stretch of road from Port Jervis, NY to Hancock, NY is one of 150 highways in the United States designated a National Scenic Byway. Known as Route 97, the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway parallels the Delaware River connecting centuries-old small towns and featuring spectacular scenery. Before you start out, a visit to the Tri State Monument in Port Jervis is a must. Here you can be in three states at one time- New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Route 97 begins to climb as you leave Port Jervis and heads to one of the most photographed sections of the road. Hawk’s Nest is a serpentine stretch of road offering a bird’s eye view of the Delaware River. Pull into a scenic overlook and enjoy the 180-degree views that offer awesome photo ops!
As you continue on, you’ll see several river outfitters that offer canoe, kayak and tubing adventures on the Delaware River. Pond Eddy is a popular spot for fishing and river sports. The town of Barryville, NY is a hot spot for artists. There are a number of restaurants and shops in town If you want to take some time to explore.
The area around Lackawaxen, PA is definitely worth a stop. Park your car and visit the Roebling Bridge. Built in 1847, it’s the oldest existing wire suspension bridge in the United State. John A. Roebling designed the structure as a forerunner to his more well-known project- the Brooklyn Bridge. Now a National Historic Landmark, the National Park Service oversees the bridge as well as some historical exhibits.
On the Pennsylvania side of the Roebling Bridge, you can also tour the Zane Grey Museum. Prolific western author Zane Grey built the home perched above the confluence of the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers in 1905. Grey penned his bestselling novel, “Riders of the Purple Sage,” here. Today visitors can tour the home-turned-museum, which features photographs, memorabilia, personal items, manuscripts and first-editions of Grey’s books. Across the river in New Jersey, visit Minisink Battleground Park. The historic site was the scene of one of the last battles of the American Revolution.
The next hub of activity is in Narrowsburg, NY. The charming hamlet sits at the narrowest and deepest part of the Delaware River. The earliest settlers arrived in the mid-1700s. Today Narrowsburg hosts a thriving arts scene, shops, farmer’s market and restaurants. Fort Delaware Museum is an important historic site in town. The heritage site is an authentic re-creation of the first colonial settlement on the Upper Delaware River in 1754. Finish up your scenic drive with stops in Callicoon and Hancock, NY. The scenic river towns boast plenty of charm and a strong sense of history.
Stay at the Lake
For a picture-perfect getaway to enjoy the best scenic drives in the Pocono Mountains for fall foliage, book one of our fall packages at Silver Birches Resort. Catch the leaves before they fall! Book your Pocono Mountains getaway today.