With the arrival of autumn, many people look forward to gazing at the beautiful and colorful leaves. Whether people are in Manhattan, Long Island or the Hudson Valley here are some of the best places to see the fall foliage. Wherever you’re headed, be sure to check a fall foliage prediction map (such as this one) before you go. By Jessica Allen/John Friia/Sherry Mazzocchi.
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT 06840
The 80-acre Grace Farms, in New Canaan, Connecticut, encourage visitors to “encounter the arts, pursue justice, foster community, and explore faith.” Oh, yeah, the nature is pretty great too, with the vast majority of the property—full of ponds, woods, wetlands, and meadows—left undeveloped and wild. Make a reservation for a fall foliage tour to learn more about the various habitats and bird species who live there, as well as the organization’s efforts to replant, replenish, and preserve the area’s flora and fauna. (The farm is about 55 miles from the city, and best visited by car.)
Harriman State Park
Seven Lakes Drive / Bear Mountain Circle
Ramapo, NY 10974
Hard as it might be to believe, at 47,000+ acres, Harriman State Park is the second largest park in New York State. After you’ve wrapped your mind around that, consider this: the park boasts 30+ ponds and lakes, as well as some 55 or so unmarked trails and some 40 marked ones, including almost 20 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Much of the park is open year-round for hiking, exploring, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and camping. (The park is about 60 miles from the city, with buses departing fairly regularly to Harriman from Port Authority).
3197 State Route 55
Gardiner, NY 12525
What better way to espy fall foliage than to go up in the trees? We’re talking about climbing, of course, and Mohonk Preseve hosts some 50,000 climbers each year on some five linear miles of cliff face. Prefer to do your leaf-peeping from the ground? No problem. The state’s largest nonprofit nature preserve has hiking and biking trails for all abilities and fitness levels. Horseback riding too. (Mohonk Preseve is about 90 miles from the city. Metro North offers train service as well as an overnight package trip to Mohonk Mountain House, a resort on Lake Mohonk.)
Palisades Interstate Park
1 Alpine Approach Road
Alpine, NJ 07620
Located across the Hudson River from Manhattan, Palisades Interstate Park is 12 miles, and 2,500 acres, of protected cliffs, shore front, and uplands. The park was created in the early 20th century to help protect the area from damage as a result of extensive quarrying, but its historical importance goes back even further, to the Revolutionary War. These days you can take a scenic drive, picnic, fish, crab, hike, run, bike, paddle, boat, or simply wander around, gawking at the views. (The park is about 20 miles from the city, with buses departing frequently from Port Authority.)
Storm King Art Center
1 Museum Road
New Windsor, NY 12553
If you’re into art and nature, then Storm King Art Center is the place for you. A magnificent open-air museum, and one of the world’s great sculpture parks, Storm King features more than 100 sculptures carefully nestled among 500 acres of trees, hills, and meadows. The permanent collection includes pieces by such greats as Maya Lin, Isamu Noguchi, Mark di Suvero, Yerassimos Sklavos, and David Smith. (Open seasonally, Storm King is about 70 miles from the city. Coach USA offers package bus tours on select days, departing from Port Authority.)
The Time Nyack
400 High Avenue
Nyack, NY 10960
Nestled in the quaint village of Nyack, The Time Nyack is housed in a former factory and brings art, history and urban energy to the Hudson Valley. Overlooking the greenery and picturesque views of the Hudson River, the hotel boasts loft-style room that are filled with high ceilings, large windows and creative design. As autumn arrives, The Time Nyack makes for the ideal romantic weekend getaway, while waking up to the colorful foliage of the Hudson Valley.
59 South Kent Road
South Kent, CT 06757
New Yorkers can immerse themselves with nature in less than 90 minutes at Club Getaway and watch the leaves change colors in this small Connecticut town. Spanning 300 acres and offering the quintessential backdrop to take in fall foliage, Camp Getaway offers activities for kids and adults during their Fall Foliage weekend every October. Guests can take in the colors from tree level while zip lining, rock climbing, hiking and discovering their trapeze skills. And don’t worry about driving — Club Getaway provides bus transportation from Manhattan to make the journey a little more scenic.
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
New Yorkers do not need to leave the concrete jungle to appreciate the colorful leaves — just snag a bird’s eye view at Bar Sixty-Five. With panoramic views of Manhattan, people can look north and see the colorful trees in Central Park while taking a sip of one of the signature cocktails. Opened weekdays from 5 p.m. to close, people can have a romantic evening with drinks, views of the colorful leaves and an autumn sunset.
20 Sagamore Hill Road
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Take a step into the past on Long Island at Sagamore Hill, the home of former President Theodore Roosevelt. Perched on a hilltop and surrounded by large trees, this sprawling property gives people the chance to see the colorful leaves in a truly historic setting. Before joining a guided tour of the house, people can snag a seat on one of the comfortable rocking chairs that boasts science views of the fall foliage.
Amtrak’s Adirondack Trains
As the leaves begin to change colors, there is one way to gaze at the stunning foliage for hours. People can book a trip along Amtrak’s Adirondack Trains and sit in the Great Dome Car to immerse themselves in the changing trees. Departing from Pennsylvania Station, the special car boasts a glass dome that offers 180 degree views while riding along the mountains. Available from September 29 to October 31.
W 249th St. and Independence Ave.
More: Best Local Hikes In NYC
Visitors to Wave Hill are dazzled by the gardens, woodlands and spectacular view of the Hudson River. This beautiful Bronx park always has a full agenda of events, including fall foliage walks, raptor walks, honey tastings and photography workshops. In late October, children are invited to hunt for the park’s fabled woodland fairies.
Van Cortlandt Park
Broadway and Jerome Ave. Bronx
The John Kieran Nature Trail, named for a Bronx naturalist, guides visitors along Van Cortlandt Park’s most beautiful and scenic route. The trail snakes along an ancient settlement of the Lenape people, the original inhabitants of the area. Deer are not an uncommon sight here.
The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd.
This New York gem has over 50 acres of native forests and gardens to explore, including over 30,000 trees. Visitors can take the famous tram to see the sites and even canoe the Bronx River.
Fort Tryon Park
191st St. and Fort Washington Ave.
This pristine park set at the edge of The Cloisters rests high above the Hudson River. Stroll along the Heather Gardens or sit at Linden Terrace to meditate on the views of the George Washington Bridge and the untouched Palisades Park across the river.
200 Nevada Ave.
Staten Island 10314
This Staten Island oasis has 2,800 acres of park and natural wooded areas. Four woodland trails take visitors on a tour of red maples and Highbush blueberries, along with hawks, owls and dozens of migrating birds. Visitors can also swing a nine iron on the a golf course, ride the carousel and lounge along the picnic areas.
Black Rock Forest
129 Continental Road
Cornwall, NY 12518
This 3,830 acre forest in the Hudson Highlands is only 50 miles north of Manhattan. Boasting more than than 65 species of trees, the park is also home to hundreds of bird species. Fall visitors this time of year can expect to see red-tailed hawks, barn owls, ruby-throated hummingbirds and downy woodpeckers.
Bear Mountain State Park
3006 Seven Lakes Drive
Bear Mountain NY
Only an hour away from the city, Bear Mountain offers sensational views of the Hudson Highlands. Hike the Appalachian Trail, rent a rowboat and be sure to ride the carousel of all the different Bear Mountain animals–including bobcats, deer, otters and bears.