Travel Guides

Travel Guides

Best Fall Foliage drives midway between Pittsburgh and Erie

October 9, 2018

Fall Backroads, Fall Foliage Tours

Fall foliage enthusiasts, peak week arrives in Mercer County Oct. 14th – 20th.

Oct. 14th –  20th  is a great time to experience the spectacular displays of fall in Mercer County, PA.  The county is an easy one hour drive from Pittsburgh or Erie and offers three amazing drives for fall foliage viewing.  Enjoy fabulous attractions and amazing displays of color as you travel the back roads through scenic countryside communities.

SELF – DRIVING TOUR 1: Exit 9 (Mitchell Rd Exit) off I-376 to Rt. 18 N to 208 East

Fall Backroads, Fall Foliage ToursFrom Pittsburgh travel I-79N to Exit 99 and follow 422 W to I-376 W. Travel 8.4 miles to Rt. 18 North, turning right turn onto Rt. 208 East.  This self- driving tour winds through New Wilmington, Volant and Grove City.
On this tour, you will be captivated by the old order Amish communities and the scenic countryside.  Look closely for the small signs showing Amish homes and shops selling baked goods, handmade crafts, furniture, quilts, and other unique items. Places of interest on Driving Tour 1 include THE APPLE CASTLE, THE CHEESE HOUSE, THE AMISH QUILT SHOP, WINERIES/BREWERIES, and the charming villages of NEW WILMINGTON AND VOLANT.

Stay on Route 208 East towards Grove City.  Enjoy stops at WENDELL AUGUST for handcrafted metal giftware and GROVE CITY PREMIUM OUTLETS; Pennsylvania’s premier shopping destination with over 130 brand-name outlet stores.  Numerous quality accommodations are near Grove City Premium Outlets so stay overnight and enjoy Self-Driving Tour 2 the next day.

SELF-DRIVING TOUR 2:  Exit 113 off I-79 then Route 258 N to Mercer and Clark

From Grove City Premium Outlets travel Route 258 North to Mercer.  Cross Goddard SP fall, Fall Foliage toursover Rt. 19 at the Courthouse Square to again pick up Rt. 258 North and travel back roads along the Shenango River to Clark, home of Tara – A Country Inn.

Places of interest on Driving Tour 2 are the Historic Village of Mercer where you can enjoy various shops and restaurants on the COURTHOUSE SQUARE. Just south of the Courthouse are two renowned Mercer County restaurants, RACHEL’S ROADHOUSE, and IRON BRIDGE INN.

TARA, COUNTRY INN is about 30 minutes from the Courthouse Square at the intersection of Rt. 258 and Rt.18.  This luxurious inn offers the opportunity to escape from the ordinary with picture-perfect vistas on the grounds and tours of a world-class inn.  You will need a reservation to take a guided tour.

SELF-DRIVING TOUR 3:  Exit 15 off I-80 then Rt. 19 N  to Rt.  58 W to 322E

This driving tour takes you through the charming towns of Mercer, Greenville, and Jamestown.  As you travel 19N toward Rt. 58 W you will pass MUNNELL RUN FARMS and THE ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE.  Just a few miles from the intersection of Rt. 19 and Rt. 58, MAURICE K. GODDARD STATE PARK offers a scenic 12-mile hiking and biking trail and LAKE WILHELM.

As you travel to  Greenville take time to enjoy the views on another trail; THE SHENANGO RIVER HIKING/BIKING TRAIL.  Take Main Street in Greenville to Rt. 58 West toward Jamestown, home of Pymatuning State Park.  Pick up 322 E to Unger Rd. (make a left) then a right on E. Lake Rd.  MORTALS KEY BREWING is on E. Lake Rd and across the street is Pymatuning Lake, the largest manmade lake in PA.

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