Leaf Peeping at Mohonk Preserve, Great Sacandaga & More
New York State's impressive autumn hues attract visitors from around the globe each year. No wonder! The great variety of trees that populate the state offers some of the Northeast’s most spectacular fall leaves and colors.
Watch the fall foliage reports, as peak brilliance averages about four days, though breathtaking colors usually last about two weeks in regional rollouts from Lake Erie to the Atlantic. You’ll spy the earliest blushes of fall color high in the Adirondacks and Catskill Mountains, and then follow the autumn highlights as they extend across lower hills and valleys into the southern tier by late October to early November.
Take a cruise on the Chautauqua Belle for leaf peeping or pack up the car for a drive on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. Visit NYS Parks along the way, and learn about the historic landmarks and lighthouses on Lakes Ontario and Erie. The St. Lawrence and Niagara River shorelines become a necklace of fall finery, and colors are burnished brightly surrounding the mighty Niagara Falls. High Falls Gorge on the Ausable River offers stunning vistas for fall foliage, picnicking and hiking. At Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park when the leaves are peaking, you could rent a cabin or hike among the waterfalls and gorges.
On Long Island’s North Fork, you can paddle around Orient Beach State Park to enjoy Gardiner’s Bay and its rare maritime forest with red cedar, black-jack oaks and plenty of wildlife. Or, take a South Shore fall foliage tour on the Lauren Kristy riverboat. Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island is a birder and botanist’s paradise protected by The Nature Conservancy: this old-growth forest of upland oak, beech, alder and other trees displays vibrant colors each autumn.
Board a motor coach in NYC for a four-hour “Fall Foliage Tour” of the Hudson Valley and Palisades region, or attend October’s Flaming Leaves Festival to see the Adirondacks during foliage peak.
The Hudson Valley and the Catskills offer Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park, as well as Bear Spring Mountain, where you may paddle about and fish at Launt Pond, hike, camp, and even ride horseback to view leaves at a leisurely pace.
Rather see those striking hues Above The Clouds? Gaze over the Hudson Valley from your blue sky perch in a hot air balloon. Or, grab a different ‘above the leaves’ aerial view and try Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course or hire Mountain Skills Climbing Guides to show you the ropes. The Shawangunk Mountain Scenic Byway is always a lovely leaf peeping drive.
Great Sacandaga Lake is renowned for its prime fishing and boating, so why not multiply your pleasures and visit when the leaves put on a command performance? Leaf peeping opportunities abound for those who love bicycling and hiking too.
In New York, you’ll fall in love with the colors of autumn, all over the state!
• Above The Clouds, Middletown
• Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course, Bolton Landing
• Bear Spring Mountain, Downsville, Delaware County
• Chautauqua Belle
• Fall Foliage Tour, Hudson Valley & Palisades
• Flaming Leaves Festival, Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid
• Great Lakes Seaway Trail
• Great Sacandaga Lake, Bicycling
• Great Sacandaga Lake, Fishing, Boating
• Great Sacandaga Lake, Hiking
• High Falls Gorge, Wilmington, near Lake Placid
• Lauren Kristy, South Bay, Long Island
• Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island
• Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Kerhonkson
• Mohonk Preserve, New Paltz
• Mountain Skills Climbing Guides, New Paltz
• Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park, Pottersville
• New York State Parks
• Orient Beach State Park, North Fork, Long Island
• Shawangunk Mountain Scenic Byway