SNYDER: Great time in York County to enjoy Mother Nature's color show


Ask almost anybody the first thing they think about when they hear the word autumn, and, chances are, they'll tell you one thing.

It's the leaves making their annual color change.

Every October, we are treated to a spectacular show so magnificent that only Mother Nature could be responsible for its beauty. No man-made creation could ever compare to the transformations that take place each year in Penn's Woods.

What was once a great sea of green slowly changes into an unimaginable array of hues that could not be duplicated by even the most talented of artists.

The crisp golden browns, the sun-burnt oranges, the refreshingly bright reds — they all combine with the cool, dry autumn air to crate a palate of colors no nature fan can resist.

For many of us who take to the woods or the waterways, the state's magnificent scenery is an added benefit we receive each time we step outside to do what we love.

Even if you're not an avid outdoorsman, you have no excuse to miss out on this once-a-year color extravaganza. After all, it only takes a short drive to experience autumn's great gift.

York County color shows: In York County there are a variety of routes to travel to enjoy the scenery. Two of my favorite "leaf-watching" drives happen to be on the same road. One is at the northern end of the county, the other at the southern end.

Just south of Red Lion, Route 74 turns into a scenic country road that, in many locations, allows travelers to gaze over seemingly endless miles of beautiful fall scenery.

To make a trip through county's southern end even better, head east on one of the many small roads that lead to the Susquehanna River. You'll not be disappointed.

As you snake your way across twisting and turning roads, you will be greeted with scenery that makes it obvious why many of our ancestors settled in this area hundreds of years ago. It's a gorgeous place to call home.

The northern end of Route 74 between Dover and Dillsburg provides some extraordinary views of the area's fall foliage. To extend your drive and make a full circle, hop on Route 15 and head south until you reach Route 234. It will bring you right back into the heart of York County, providing spectacular scenery along the way.

Finally, if you want to make a weekend out of viewing Pennsylvania's autumn beauty, pack your bags and head north. Again, one of the most scenic roadways is Route 15.

The road will take your across some of the state's most breathtaking vistas. With a little luck, you will see some furry critters along the way. It's also prime time for wildlife viewing.

This fall, as the temperatures get cooler and the days get shorter, don't waste the area's beauty by sitting behind the television. The pull of a good football game is strong, but wait until the sun goes down. Instead, spend a day getting in touch with nature.

It'll be time well spent.

— Andy Snyder writes about the outdoors for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at