Fall in love with Fall - Autumn colours in New York

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Sophie Cullen Last updated: 15 November 2017

When the leaves begin to turn and the air starts to cool, families tend to hibernate, wrapping themselves in warm blankets and waving goodbye to the great outdoors. 

But stop! This is actually the perfect time to get outside exploring! The colours are bright and brilliant, and there are lots of leafy piles to jump in. Savour the chance to get outside and enjoy the crisp, cool air and stunning foliage before the winter snow begins. With the season kicking off in September and carrying through until late November/early December, it's a perfect time to visit and explore the natural beauty the state has to offer in this cooler season.

Credit: Syda Productions


In New York, the fall season is particularly spectacular - and there's even a special team of Leaf Peepers who keep an eye on the changing colours of the autumn trees. So why not follow suit with your family – transform your troupe into a posse of Peepers as you navigate the reds and oranges along the lakes and in the parklands in the state of New York. 


Here are three ideas to get you started:


1. Greater Niagara

Everyone knows that the best thing about autumn, after the leaves of course, is the humble apple! At Becker Farms you can pick your own apples and sample the fresh pies and preserves. The farm has passed through five generations and is open daily from mid-May to Christmas Eve. 

Credit: Kletr/Shutterstock


With a market and bakery to tour, a winery onsite for mums and dads, and playgrounds and animals for the littlies, this is one way to enjoy the changing season as a family. 


The Greater Niagara region is also home to the town of Buffalo, famous for its Buffalo chicken wings, where the autumn leaves are expected to drop later than usual this year. 


There is still time to see the reds, oranges and yellows in Chestnut Ridge Park, where you can follow a hiking trail to the Eternal Flame Falls. Here, natural gasses released from fissures at the base of the falls are often lit to produce a little flame. Paired with the fiery hues of the trail’s leafy canopy, you’ll sure feel toasty warm!

2. New York City

There is, of course, plenty of autumn to be had in New York City itself. It is hard to go past Central Park, where you’ll find the zoo, boathouse and lake hidden amongst the elms, maples and oaks. 


Take a stroll or ride a bike along tree-lined pathways, especially The Mall and Literary Walk which boasts the last and largest copse of American Elms left in the United States. 

Credit: Francois Roux/Shutterstock


Crunch leaves underfoot as you explore the North Woods, Tupelo Meadow, the Reservoir and the Ramble in search of more bright hues. Central Park has an estimated 20,000 trees so there will be no shortage of colour! 


Countless other parks in Upper Manhattan join the party dressed to impress. Check out Fort Tyron Park, High Bridge Park and Inwood Hill, where the trees will all be swathed in red. Alternately, opt for the waterbound route and take a river cruise from Manhattan up the Hudson River past many an iconic landmark.


3. Hudson Valley

The deep Hudson River will be your gateway to the small, sleepy settlements of the Hudson Valley. A nice day trip away from New York City, towns like Rhinebeck, Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park have autumn trees a-plenty! 

Credit: Colin D Young/Shutterstock


In Poughkeepsie you’ll find the world’s longest pedestrian bridge. The foliage isn’t the only thing bursting with colour – between the months of November and January, the poinsettias at Buffalo and Erie Botanical Gardens are out in full bloom too. 


Why not extend your visit with a farmstay in Catskill. At Hull-O Farms they pride themselves on providing a topnotch, All-American vacation specially designed for families. Feed the animals, collect fresh eggs, milk the cows and if you’re lucky, maybe even go fishing or on a hayride atop a wagon full of hay.


Keen to learn more about the fantastic fun that can be had in New York state? Check out these top stories:

Visiting the Big Apple with Little Kids
World's Best Zoos
United States of Play


Or head to the iloveny.com website.

First published: 14 November 2017