must-do fall activities in south central PA

10 Must-do Fall Activities in South Central Pennsylvania

Places to see and fun things to do every Autumn in my part of PA!

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Pennsylvania is a lovely state to visit in the Fall. I wanted to highlight some fun Fall activities and places you might want to check out if you are ever in the South Central area during Autumn. Whether you like tourist attractions, or places that are more off-the-beaten-path, there are a ton of Fall-themed activities around South Central PA. Here is my top ten list of Fall Activities that are must-dos around here:

Visit Sunflower Fields

I can not believe I had not heard of this until last year! Lesher Poultry Farm in Chambersburg, PA plants sunflowers on a different part of their property each year. The amount of sunflowers over the rolling hills was overwhelming! You can see photos in my Birthday post from last year.

Visit a Sunflower Field! fall activities in south central pa

This past September I visited the Sunflower Fields at Meadowbrooke Gourds in Plainfield, PA. Meadowbrooke Gourds is a well-known shop in this area that offers gourds that are sculpted and painted to look like pretty much anything! They are great for home decor or gift giving. There are also crafting classes and events offered at the shop. They also have this huge sunflower fields that blooms from September through October. It was a lovely scene with the mountain range in the background. You can pick the sunflowers for FREE too!

fall activities in south central pa meadowbrooke gourds


Go Apple or Pumpkin Picking

Speaking of picking sunflowers, this is the perfect area to also pick Apples and Pumpkins! We have so many orchards, farms, and fruit stands you have quite a selection to choose from! While you are picking, have yourself a mini-photoshoot to make it an even more memorable experience! I highly enjoyed this photoshoot taken not far from my house.

fall activities in south central PA apple picking


Attend the National Apple Harvest Festival

I never knew there were so many varieties of apples until I moved to this area. A great way to see so many at once, and even try a few would be to attend the National Apple Harvest Festival. This festival takes place at the South Mountain Fairgrounds in Aspers, PA. I is the first two weekends in October every year. At the festival you may taste all kinds of apple goodies, plus sample the finest food trucks, see live entertainment, shop through the craft vendors, hay rides, and much more!

Attend a Winery event or festival

Speaking of festivals, there are a huge number of Fall-themed festivals in this area, and if you are more into the classy adult scene then maybe a winery would be more your taste. There seems to be more and more wineries and breweries popping up each year. Many now offer all kinds of events including music festivals, Halloween festivals, and Oktoberfest events besides the usual tastings and paint nights. Our favorite Wine/Winery is the Adams County Winery located in Orrtanna.

Go on a long hike or walk to admire our gorgeous Fall scenery

You can not beat the Fall colors around here! To really get a better view, try a hike up to a high overlook. I listed these ones I prefer by difficulty.


White Rocks Trail in Dillsburg

Pole Steeple at Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners (also has an easy option)


Flat Rock at Colonel Denning State Park in Newville

Go on a long hike! fall activities in south central pa

Not sure what to bring along on a hike? Here are some ideas.


Attend the Oktoberfest at Carlisle Army Barracks

This is perhaps the most well-known, well-attended Oktoberfest in the area. This Oktoberfest is the first weekend in October on the grounds of the Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle. It features live entertainment, fun family activities including a doggie costume contest, carnival, craft show, a beer garden, and more.

Explore beautiful Gettysburg by foot or Horseback

As for a more tourist attracting area, you will find Gettysburg to be a little less crowded between the time kids go back to school and Thanksgiving. It is usually much easier to get around and go through attractions during this time. I love just walking around the shops of downtown Gettysburg, and there are plenty of trails just outside of town where you can either walk or sign-up for either a walking or horseback tour through the beautiful scenery and monuments.

Go on a Gettysburg Ghost Tour during Halloween

A big attraction year-round in Gettysburg is the ghost tours. You might go through town, the cemeteries or both! There are several offered in the area, and all highly recommended by guests. I think Fall is definitely the best time to go with less bugs out and cooler night weather. Click here for discount tickets!

Ghost Tour for Two or Four from Gettysburg Ghost Tours (Up to 39% Off)

Try a Flashlight Corn Maze

Another thing to try in the evening that is fun for any age! Close to my house is a farm that offers a corn maze along with wagon rides, pumpkin & gourd picking, and some other family friendly Fall activities. You can get a decent discount for Fields of Adventure through this Living Social Deal!

Go Camping

Having so many State Parks and forests throughout the area, there are tons of campgrounds and good camping areas. If you have the property for it, you might even do like we do and camp in your own backyard. With the weather being slightly cooler and less bugs as we head towards November, camping is a much more enjoyable experience.

fall activities in south central PA hiking and camping

If you come to this area anytime soon, take some time to enjoy our fall colors which are just now beginning to show! These are just a few of the many Fall activities you can find in the South Central PA area.

Thanks for reading!


Recommended places to stay in South Central PA: (Click for more info!)

Holiday Inn Express Shippensburg

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Carlisle

Allenberry Resort Boiling Springs

The Inn at White Oak Gettysburg

The Lodges at Gettysburg





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