NYC’s peak foliage is set to begin this week. We asked NYers some of their favorite spots, and here’s a list of some of the best places they said to catch autumn’s beautiful colors in the city!
According to NYC Parks, the city has over 30,000 acres of public parkland that makes for ample opportunity to admire some of the state’s best foliage.
Beyond that, some of the city’s neighborhoods make for the best kept, secret locations to see NYC’s foliage. Here are some top city locations to catch this seasons beautiful transition into autumn.
1. Central Park, Manhattan
As one of the most beloved parks in New York City, Central Park always looks its most glorious in autumn. With 18,000 vibrant trees outlining every path, the park normally experiences its foliage peak in late October or early November. The Central Park Conservancy has even provided New Yorkers a map to help you “find the most colorful foliage in the area.”
2. Clove Lakes Park, Staten Island
Besides its historical 300-year-old tulip tree, this park is notorious for its many lakes, ponds, and of course foliage sighting. Hike on one of their many trails to enjoy wonderful views of the season’s colors. You can even choose to canoe on their lake while you learn about tree diversity in the park and the science of why leaves change color from an Urban Park Ranger.
3. Morris Park, Bronx
Volunteer field observers from I <3 NY have been following the changing leaves and this Bronx neighborhood has been transformed into wondrous shades of orange and yellow as 50% color change is predicted for the area.
4. Woodhaven, Queens
Along with Morris Park, I <3 NY field observers project a 70% color change in this Queens neighborhood. Colors of bright yellow and hues of red should appear throughout the streets. Located in the central part of the borough, the sights of Woodhaven are only a subway ride away!
5. Owl’s Head Park, Brooklyn
Gasp at the skyline views from this park in the Bronx that is exploding with reds, oranges, and yellows! Participate in the Fall Foliage Walk by NYC Parks and get a chance to promenade through some of the most beautiful colors the city has to offer during this month. You can even bring your furry friend to see the leaves change with you as the area has a 150-foot long dog park!
6. Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Home to the Norway maple, London plane, white oak, camperdown elm, weeping willow, and many more, this Brooklyn favorite park is sure to be an ultimate stop on your quest for the best foliage in the city. Explore the perimeter of the park’s pond lined with vibrant colors and don’t forget to check out Lookout Hill, one of the highest points in Brooklyn, for a bird’s-eye view of the park’s foliage display.
7. Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
This park has seven different hiking trails to choose from. Start your adventure on one and explore the park’s wonderful variety of trees including red oak, sweetgum, and sugar maple. Along your hike through these massive trees, make sure to take a rest stop and admire the captivatingly colorful shoreline of the Van Cortlandt lake!
8. Snug Harbor, Staten Island
Visit this cultural center and botanical gardens during this time of year to catch nature in it’s remarkable transformative state. Offering fourteen different botanical gardens on site, you’re sure to get your foliage fix at this Staten Island dreamland.
9. Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan
Gifted to the city of New York by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., this park has eight miles of walkways and the city’s largest public access garden displaying over 500 varieties of plants, trees, and other native species. Across its 67 acres, NYers can undoubtedly escape the noise of the city. Catch riverfront views while you’re there and enjoy the encapsulating scene of the Hudson River right at your feet!
10. Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
This park is the perfect size to survey all of the colors autumn has to offer in one day! The historic park has playgrounds, basketball courts, and most importantly, magnificent trees. Open seven days a week, there is no excuse not to make the day trip out to this spectacular spot!
11. Thain Family Forest, Bronx
Since 1895, this forest has been an ecological fascination for the NYBG. Not only is it the largest uncut, original wooded land in New York City, it is guaranteed to offer some unbeatable autumn hues. The NYBG staff work to protect the forest’s native plants and species in an effort to preserve this city’s natural gem for years to come.
12. Alley Pond Park, Queens
Make a stop at the oldest and tallest tree in New York City as you weave your way through the many trails at this Queens park. Full of pin oaks, red maple, black locust, and flowering dogwood, the park is sure to deliver a breathtaking sight of seasonal splendor. You won’t even feel like you’re in the city when you make your way to Oakland Lake inside the park and see the colors stretch across the shore.
13. Riverside Park, Manhattan
If you’re looking for waterfront views while you catch some of NYC’s best foliage, make a stop at this Manhattan park. Stretching across four miles near Columbia University, it is one of the eight New York City officially designated scenic landmarks. Travel through the area by bike and take in the true beauty that this park brings to the city.
14. Greenbelt, Staten Island
One of Staten Island’s pride and joys, this park brings over 35 miles of hiking trails to NYers serving as the perfect escape for a nature getaway. Catch anything from hills, wetlands, meadows, and forest land in the Greenbelt’s 2,800-acres. This is a must-see for some of the city’s best fall foliage.
15. Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Holding title as New York City’s largest park property (over 3x the size of Central Park), Pelham Bay Park has trails, golf courses, and even a beach! With it’s diverse display of plants and trees, autumn is one of the best times to explore this expansive area.
16. Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
Sure Halloween might have passed, but this cemetery is still responsible for some of the most incredible colors during November. Just southwest of Prospect Park, this location is a National Historical Landmark. It’s views and landscape were so stunning when it was first founded in 1838 that it even inspired the creation of Central Park!
featured image source: Instagram/ @212sid