14 Sep 2016 Top 5 Fall Festivals and Things to Do in Laurel Highlands
5 Reasons to “Fall” in Love with Laurel Highlands
Just because summer has said her farewells is no reason to stop playing. We’re surrounded by some of the most beautiful places to visit in fall. Crisp, cool air and spectacular fall foliage surround you as you hike, bike, explore and maybe even paddle down the Upper Youghiogheny! Although it was a challenge to choose, we carefully selected our top 5 places to visit and things to do this fall in Laurel Highlands. Happy Autumn!
1) Ohiopyle Over The Falls Festival, October 1, 2016
Whitewater paddlers from around the country will speed over the spectacular 18-foot waterfall right here in Ohiopyle. The 17th Annual Ohiopyle Over The Falls Festival is sponsored by American Whitewater, and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds & Rivers. Come watch kayakers sprint and cartwheel, end-over-end, off the waterfall!
Hang around to view the Falls Under Lights, a fun town party with live music at Falls City Pub, and a silent auction.
2) Autumnfest at Seven Springs Resort, Every Weekend in October
Enjoy a variety of weekend festivals at Seven Springs Resort, just 25 minutes from Ohiopyle. The Resort turns every weekend in October into a themed celebration of culture, with a dash of kitsch, for the whole family!
Autumnfest offers live musical entertainment of all kinds, unexpected novelty performers or chairlift rides up the mountain for an aerial view of the fiery colors of autumn. Artisans and crafters from far and wide will have their handmade creations on display.
- Oktoberfest Weekend, October 1-2, 2016
- Pumpkin Weekend, October 8-9, 2016
- Chocolate & Chili Weekend, October 15-16, 2016
- Kids’ Halloween & Big Trucks Weekend, October 22-23, 2016
3) Fort Ligonier Days, October 14-16, 2016
Check out this 3-day festival commemorating the Battle of Fort Ligonier, fought on October 12, 1758, a key battle in the French and Indian War. The festival is celebrating its 57th year in 2016 and it’s only 45 minutes from Ohiopyle.
On the grounds of the Fort, wander through a living history encampment showing frontier life, military tactics, drills, cannon firing, ceremonies, Highlanders, redcoats, French troops, frontier men and women, Indians and music from 1758. You can even watch a re-enactment of the Battle of Fort Ligonier at 2 & 4 pm Saturday and 1:30 & 3:30 pm Sunday.
4) Buckwheat Festival, October 14-16, 2016
Sponsored by the Ohiopyle Community Center and Volunteer Fire Department, this festival celebrates the end of the buckwheat harvest, a typical Appalachian grain. Local arts and crafts sales and a fresh cider pressing are just two of the offerings at the Ohiopyle-Stewart Community Center.
- October 14, 2016 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
- October 15, 2016 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
- October 16, 2016
5) Pedal Through Fall Foliage on the Great Allegheny Passage
Your eyes won’t believe what they see as you bike through amazing fall foliage on the Great Allegheny Passage! Everyone thinks of New England for leaf peeping, but Pennsylvania actually has a longer and more varied fall foliage season than any other state in the country, or even the world. That’s because of our extensive variety and quantity of deciduous forests. Bring your bike or rent one from Wilderness Voyageurs, to pedal the GAP in Ohiopyle. Our two bike shops are across from the GAP trail in town, near the bridge and also directly across the river.
When Will Fall Colors Peak in the Laurel Highlands?
Here are the helpful links you need to plan you best fall foliage adventure outing!
- The Pennsylvania Fall Foliage state website for updates on colors changing throughout the state. (Note – they start updating this in late September. )
- Want to remember how fall colors really work? Check out this super handy 2016 Fall Foliage Prediction Map. It covers the USA and has detailed information on the science behind why leaves change color.