Autumn in America, otherwise known as fall lasts until December and transforms landscapes across the country into a spectacular array of vivid colors and New York State is no different. From the Great Appalachian Valley which dominates eastern New York to the peaks of the Adirondacks in the north, New York State has some of the best places to experience fall in America.
The tree-littered Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York transform into a vibrant display of autumnal colors and there are a couple of brilliant ways to witness it. One option is climbing Whiteface Mountain, which has a 4,872-foot summit that can also be reached by car or gondola and has incredible views for miles around. Alternatively, visitors can ride the Adirondack Scenic Railroad which winds its way through remote forests, sparkling rivers, and into the magnificent beauty of Adirondack Park.
The Catskills Mountains
Located only 100 miles from New York City and part of the Great Appalachian Valley, the Catskills Mountains have been a favored destination of urban holidaymakers since the mid-20th century. Located within the mountains is the Catskills Forest Preserve, which is protected from many forms of development under New York State law and as such has retained its natural beauty and ‘wild forests’ making it one of the best places to enjoy fall. Hike along with one of the many trails that include a number of lookout points over the Hudson Valley and as an added bonus the park has bountiful wildlife to glimpse including bobcats, black bears, minks, and coyotes.
Central Park, Manhattan
It’s not only rural areas that experience the best of fall, as Central Park in Manhattan blooms with striking autumnal hues creating a scenic collision between man-made structures and nature. Stroll through the park enjoying the colors from within or witness the scene on a grander scale by climbing the Empire State Building for a top-down look at the park. Another option is the 360-degree view from Top of the Rock Observation on the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Centre right in the heart of the city.
Niagara Falls is one of the top attractions in the world and undoubtedly worth a visit, but there is also some fantastic fall foliage in the wider State Park that shouldn’t be ignored on a visit to Greater Niagara. Both parks offer several miles of panoramic views of the scenic Lower Niagara River gorge, while nearby Genesee Gorge at Letchworth State Park has been nicknamed “the Grand Canyon of the East.”
The Finger Lakes is a group of 11 long, narrow lakes in upstate New York near the huge Lake Ontario and part of the Appalachian swathe. Many of the lakes are surrounded by dense foliage that morphs into a fascinating mirage of reds, yellows, oranges, and browns in fall that reflect off the lake’s surface. The Finger Lakes region has been active in reform and utopian movements over the years and it was at Seneca Falls village that the first women’s rights convention was held marking the birth of the women’s suffrage movement.
Additionally, the Finger Lakes region is New York’s largest producing region with over 100 wineries and vineyards meaning travelers can enjoy a fine tipple along with the views.