October is Delco's premier Fall Foliage month, so here are several places to see nature's biggest, brightest and most colorful fashion shows:

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
Every fall the Refuge becomes a 1000-acre sanctuary adorned in a dazzling kaleidoscope of colors...teeming with a rich diversity of fish, wildlife, and plants native to the Delaware Estuary.

America's First Urban Refuge is both accessible and visible to over 1,700,00 million people living within 10 miles of it.

IIIIt is also designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society...so while you're taking in all the glorious scenery at the refuge, thousands of eyes will be watching you...

While most of the 300+ avian species identified at the refuge utilize it as a migratory stopover, more than 80 species have been recorded nesting on the refuge over the years. Several species are also state listed as either threatened or endangered species or species of state or national management concern.

FUN FACT:  The first known bald eagle nest on the refuge was built in 2009 with the first two refuge eaglets successfully hatched in 2010. The pair has returned to breed on the refuge every year since.
Admission is free - open sunrise to sunset.
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Website


Fall Sets Fire to Longwood Gardens in the Brandywine

It's not a stretch to say that Longwood is the Emerald City of American gardens. There are no fairies or scarecrows or good witches, but it is utterly unforgettable and filled with magic.

Longwood Garden's Railway with G-scale model trains....
Especially in the fall.

From the vibrant beauty of goldenrod, native asters, and grasses in their Meadow Garden (pictured below), to their popular kid-colorful Garden Railway and Pumpkin Playground, Autumn is one of Longwood's liveliest seasons.

Fall drapes the Meadow Garden in shimmering 24k-golds, pale sapphire blues
and in the dancing grasses are every shade of topaz and jade.

Longwood's locomotive rumbles through the landscaped display, complete with bridges, tunnels, and waterfalls.

It operates during regular Gardens hours, weather permitting.

Starting Oct 22nd you can explore the Annual Chrysanthemum Festival...or all month long you can experience the magic of Nightscape, where both indoor and outdoor gardens become a dazzling alien-like work of dancing lights set to rousing, blood-rushing music.

Admission ticket pricing is on their website:
Longwood Gardens Website


Pack a Picnic and Head for the Newlin Grist Mill in the Brandywine.

Nestled in the heart of Brandywine Country, the Newlin Grist Mill and its 160-acre park is a peaceful, historic place featuring excellent nature trails, a working mill, a creek for trout fishing, and lots of picnic tables for enjoying a meal under an orange and gold canopy of trees.

Trout fishing has become a well-loved feature of the park, and can be enjoyed through the last day of October. So bring a pole and feel all your worries slip away...

Guided Nature Walks
Saturday, October 15, 11am-12pm 
Join Mother Nature's vibrant fall celebration with a fun and informative nature hike.  Observe migrating birds and search for signs of animals preparing for the colder months ahead.
Pre-registration required.
610.459.2359. $3 members / $5 non-members.

Newlin Grist Mill Website
219 South Cheyney Road, Glen Mills, PA 19342

Just Like the College Campus on which it sits, the Scott Arboretum Takes 'Education' Seriously
Check their website for all kinds of guided tours, programs and educational workshops.

Scott Arboretum is a unique garden on the 350-acre campus of Swarthmore College. It offers some of the region’s most intimate, authentic, and accessible horticultural experiences -- and is frequently ranked among the most beautiful campuses in the world. 

Fall not only welcomes back Swarthmore Students - it welcomes the nip & chill of fall by laying out a feast of gorgeous, nature-made colors.  

Tours of the garden are free and open dawn to dusk. Tour them on your own, or take one of the Guided Highlights Tours below.

No one is too big for the BIG CHAIR at the Arboretum!
As you can see in the photo below, there are comfy chairs for relaxing after a walk through their gardens... including a giant-sized Adirondack Chair where many hundreds of selfies have probably been taken!

Two Special Arboretum Highlight Tours
Tuesday, Oct 4, Noon to 1 pm and 
Thursday, Oct 27, Noon to 1 pm
Scott Arboretum's plant staff guide these tours which are geared for all levels of gardeners - beginners to experts. They start at the Scott Arboretum offices and are free.

Crum Woods Tour
Wednesday, Oct 19, Noon to 1 pm
Guided explorations of the trails, wildlife, and ecology of the Crum Woods. It departs from Scott's Outdoor Amphitheater and is free.

The Arboretum is a living memorial to Arthur Hoyt Scott (Swarthmore Class of 1895). Through a gift from Mr. Scott's family, the Arboretum was formed in 1929. The mission of the Arboretum is to display plants suited for home gardens in this area and to educate the public.

The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081
(610) 328–8025
Scott Arboretum Website


National Geographic Traveler Magazine Named Chanticleer one of the most beautiful Secret Gardens in North America," -- and you have less than 30 days to enjoy the spectacle before it closes for the year!

Chanticleer Garden is a famous Main Line Estate and Botanical Garden located on the Main Line. 

Once the Rosengarten estate, today's Chanticleer is a colorful, contemporary garden within an historic setting. The London Financial Times described it as "planted to perfection" and Garden Design magazine says it is "America's most inspiring garden."

It is the only Main Line Estate still open to the public, but closes at the end of October each year and will not reopen until spring.

As you can see in the photo (left) the gate is crested with carved stone roosters, or chanticleers in French. The house and grounds were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

It is open Wednesday through Sunday, and there is an admission fee.

Chanticleer, 786 Church Road, Wayne, Pennsylvania
Chanticleer Garden Website