Fall foliage is one of the nicest things about traveling through New York State.
The annual fall foliage report for the area is updated every week throughout the season indicating where and when to visit, so be sure to take advantage and schedule a weekend trip before winter officially begins.
Whether you’re a native New Yorker or are just visiting, taking a drive outside of the five boroughs to enjoy apple picking or to bask in the beauty of the autumn leaves is well worth it. And based on the fall foliage report, the autumn color foliage is almost ready to peak in upstate NY!
While some of these locations are way further than others (basically in Canada) we promise, the beauty is worthy of the drive. So although we can fight all day about where “upstate” really begins, at the end of the day what we really mean here is anything above Westchester County. Below we list a few of our recommendations of the best places in the state to take in the true wonder of fall foliage.
1. The Adirondacks
The Adirondacks is the quintessential place to visit for fall foliage in New York State. What seems like an endless range of mountains replace skyscrapers in this beautiful region just over five hours away from Manhattan. Fall is full of harvests, festivals and other activities in the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 of the United States. Hike the peaks, swim at Lake George and enjoy the tranquility of this protected wonder. Or, take a gondola ride at Gore Mountain and take in the views from the top!
2. The Catskills
The Catskills can be considered the little brother of the Adirondacks, lying at the southeastern edge of the state. Get ready for outdoor adventures, farm-to-table meals at trendy restaurants, and a line up of fall festivals and events that rival those of the city. The Catskills are perfect for a quick weekend getaway from the city or for a week-long vacation with family or friends. Hiking, canoeing, camping—you name it, they’ve got it!
3. Bear Mountain State Park
Bear Mountain State Park is located far south enough to still be considered the Hudson Valley. For those of you looking for an escape but aren’t looking to drive five hours to get there, this could be a perfect option. Pack a picnic, grab your friends or partner and head out for a beautiful hike with views of the Hudson River.
“Ithaca is gorgeous.” We all know. Fall is the perfect season to visit this collegiate city as it’s still warm enough to visit the gorges and (if you’re lucky) even take a dip in one of the hidden waterfalls nearby.
5. Finger Lakes
On the other hand, the Finger Lakes region as a whole boasts plenty of quaint small towns, vineyards you can visit for wine tastings and of course the five lakes. (Pro tip- if you plan to take a dip in any of the lakes, make sure you bring water shoes- the zebra muscles kill your feet).
Also published on Medium.