Autumn brings so many changes to Butler County: weather, foliage, flavors, fun! As the leaves change from green to an array of oranges and yellows, crisp evenings of hayrides, corn mazes and chowing down on all things pumpkin flavored begin. All over the county our farms, eateries, attractions and towns add exciting twists just in time for fall.
Butler County’s Fall Foliage
These locations will give you the best look at the bursts of color throughout the county. Whether you prefer to drive, hike, picnic or bike, the scenic landscapes are a sight to see. The best part about these attractions is that you can experience the beautiful vegetation at your leisure throughout the autumn season.
- Route 19 – Named in honor of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, Perry Highway, or Route 19, has a lot to offer in terms of scenic views. As it makes its way north throughout Butler County, drivers will get a view of the fall shades in Zelienople and Portersville.
- Sightseeing Saturday – Fun itinerary traversing the northern part of Butler County.
- Washington’s Trail – Historic markers will lead you through Butler County along Washington’s first military expedition. One such marker notes the spot where a French Indian attempted to shoot Washington.
- Butler County Barn Trail – Follow three different self-guided routes to view sixteen barns among colorful leaves. If the leaves are so beautiful you don’t want to leave, you’ll find a few bed and breakfasts and farm stays along the way.
- Nautical Nature – View the reds, oranges and yellow and learn about the area’s natural history from the Moraine Preservation Fund’s enclosed pontoon boat on Lake Arthur.
- Hiking – What a better way to enjoy the brilliant shades of the leaves than to take a hike? Jennings Environmental Education Center contains five miles of trails that are arranged in a series of loops and cover 300 acres of forest and prairie.
- Picnicking – Picnic among the prairies, gardens, ponds and woodlands offered in Preston Park while you admire the leaves as they fall. You might even consider bringing along a pumpkin-flavored treat to complete your autumn afternoon.
- Biking – For a scenic ride, visit Moraine State Park. There is a seven-mile paved bike trail that winds along the lake’s shoreline in the northwest corner of the park. There’s also a six-mile looped mountain bike trail for more experienced riders.
Fall Foodie Favorites
Let’s start off with the pumpkin flavor phenomenon. From lattes and ice cream, to beer and pancakes, this autumn flavor is a hit! Check out other seasonal tastes like spiced apple and salted caramel too!
Pumpkin, it seems, makes a great flavor for anything! If you prefer your pumpkin for breakfast, be sure to visit Harmony Museum on October 18 for their annual Pumpkin Pancake Brunch.
While it may not be pumpkin, apple butter and apple cider complete the fall flavor assortment. If you’ve ever wondered how they’re made, the Portersville Steam Show Fall Fling on October 3-4 features apple butter making demonstrations and apple cider pressing.
We're working on updating this list with lots of yummy treats so stay tuned!
- Speckled Hen Chocolate Company - Pumpkin truffles, Caramel dipped chocolate covered apples, fun fall fudge flavors including: caramel apple fudge, dutch apple pie fudge, pumpkin and caramel pumpkin praline, locally popcorn drizzled with caramel and chocolate
- Best Eats and Treats - pumpkin flavored foods and drinks
- North Country Brewing Company - Late Night Pumkin Ale (available in six packs or by the case this year!)
- The Meadows Original Frozen Custard - pumpkin frozen custard, pumpkin frozen yogurt, pumpkin milkshakes, pumpkin arctic swirls, and pumpkin chipper sandwiches
- Mazzanti's Beans & Cream - Hot Apple Dumplings, Pumpkin Pie Parfait, Ice cream flavors include Oatmeal Comfort, Southern Apple Pie, Peach Cobbler, Pumpkin, Pennie's Cinnamon Roll, Peanut Butter Cup S'mores, and Orange Sherbert
- Mazza Wine Shop at Baldinger's Candy Store - Bare Bones Wines (discounts on these 10/17-10/31) and South Shore Wine Company Cranberry (discounts on these two weeks before and including Thanksgiving) - 1-6 bottles, 10% off, 6-12, 20% off, case or more, 30% off
- Pennie's Bake Shop & Espresso Bar - pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin gobs, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin spiced latte, white chocolate pumpkin mocha, pumpkin spice frappe, salted caramel cupcake
Family-friendly activities can be found all around the county. Appreciate the fall foliage, autumn celebrations and more.
- Portersville - Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. from September 5 - October 25 - Fall Foliage Dinner Cruise on Lake Arthur - See the colorful foliage reflected on one of the largest lakes in PA
- Portersville - October 31 at 3 p.m. - Halloween Cruise on Nautical Nature
- Portersville - October 3-4 - Mini Cruises on Lake Arthur during the Butler County Farm Tour
- Cabot - October 3 from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Oktoberfest at Concordia featuring Zambelli Fireworks
- Sarver - October 31 - Halloween Party at Cooper Station Restaurant serving pumpkin beer
- Valencia - September 12 - Four Seasons Game Bird Farm will open Fall Upland Bird Season
- Butler - October 30 - Succop Nature Park's Creatures of the Night
- Renfrew - Sunday afternoons October 4-25 - Petting Zoo and Pony Rides
The weather may be getting cooler, but autumn is still packed with fun festivals for the whole family. Spend an evening or weekend celebrating this time of year and find a favorite fall activity at Butler County’s annual festivals. Enjoy crafters, car shows, pony rides, fireworks and more.
- Sept. 19 - Butler Fall Festival
- Sept. 18-20 - Evans City Oktoberfest
- Sept. 27 - Alameda Septemberfest
- Sept. 26-27 - Echoes From our Past: Historic Cemetery Walk
- Oct. 1 - Butler County Farm Tour
- Oct. 3 - Annual Oktoberfest at Concordia
- Oct. 3 - Mars Apple Festival
- Oct. 10-11 - Zelienople-Harmony Country Fall Festival
- Oct. 16-18 - Autumn Splendor Tour on Lake Arthur
- Oct. 16 - Great Pumpkin Festival
- Oct. 17-18 - Antiques & Artisans Festival
- Saturdays and Sundays Oct. 3-25 - Freedom Farms Fall Festival
- Oct. 9-11 - Hallo-Weekends in Evans City
Dare to be Scared
It’s not autumn without haunted happenings around every corner. For those that dare, Butler County has a number of eerie offerings to send chills down your spine.
Weekends throughout October, check out a peaceful farm turned upside down at Cheeseman's Annual Fright Farm. The haunting begins at dark and activities are geared towards an older audience (those 12 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult).
Spooky haunted guided walks will be available Thursday nights through Saturday nights around the town of Harmony after the Sleepy Hollow Festival (Oct. 10-11), running through October.
The Maridon Museum is holiding a Clue-themed murder mystery dinner at The Mansion in Butler on Saturday, October 17th at 6 PM. $40/person includes dinner, show and a free signature cocktail. Reservations required.
On November 7th, join the Butler County Symphony Orchestra as they perform live orchestral accompaniment to Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho." For mature audiences only. 7:30 p.m. at Butler Intermediate High School.
While some attractions are created just for the season, cemeteries with chilling history make for a mysterious visit anytime. If you’re still looking for more ghostly activities, visit some of the county’s most notable spooky stops:
- Old Union Presbyterian Church – James Glover, a Revolutionary War veteran and Butler County’s first permanent white settler, is buried in the middle of the 7th row of graves.
- Evans City Cemetery – This site served as the location for many of the scenes in 1968’s Night of the Living Dead.
- Harmony Society Cemetery – You won’t find any gravestones here! Ironically, the cemetery holds about 100 graves and features a one-ton revolving stone gate.
- Pape or Hannahstown Cemetery – Look for a monument and marker for William Andrew Smith, the man who drilled Edwin Drake’s first oil producing well.
- Moraine State Park – There are nearly ten cemeteries that lie within the park’s boundaries. Some contain only one gravestone while others contain as many as twenty. The mystery is who is buried in some of the stones that are unmarked?
- Wooden Cross Cemetery – A horrible flu epidemic in the 1800’s caused a mass amount of deaths in the area. These individuals were buried in unmarked graves here and are represented by a single grave marker.
- Deadman’s Bridge – If you stop on this bridge near Old Stone House, you might summon the ghost of couple who was tragically killed in a wagon accident.
For two kinds of spirits, stop by North Country Brewing Company or the Harmony Inn for a ‘Broo’ afterward. North Country's history ties it to being a coffin making and undertaking business and the Harmony Inn is said to be haunted as well.
Hayrides, Corn Mazes, Haunted Houses, Oh My!
You say goodbye to the summer months knowing that these activities are waiting for you in the fall. Get lost trying to make your way through acres of corn stalks, pick out the perfect pumpkin to turn into a jack-o-lantern and enjoy a hayride through the fall foliage on a brisk evening. Here are a few places to find these much-loved activities:
- Weekends Sept. 27- Oct. 26 - Annual Pumpkinpalooza Fall Fest at For All Family Farm
- Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 2-31 - Haunted House and Corn Maze at The Beacon
- Sept. 27 – Nov 1 – Cheeseman’s Pumpkin Festival
- Weekends in October - Harvest View Farm Harvest Festival
- Oct. 17 - Howling Halloween in Cranberry Township
- Oct. 24 - Pumpkin Frenzie at ARMCO Park