Courtesy I Love NY

Green Tips: Discover Autumn Colors in New York State

Green Tips | October 10, 2018

Autumn in New York is a spectacular time to get outdoors and enjoy the many activities New York has to offer, from walking and bicycling to the numerous events and festivals. Peep our suggestions below for walking, hiking, and cycling trails that offer great views, as well as some family-oriented activities.

Hiking and Walking. From the foothills of the Catskill Mountains to the peaks of the Adirondacks, New York is home to one of the most vivid autumns in the country. Whether you see it from a scenic roadway, from up in the air, or from a gorgeous hiking trail, the vibrant fall leaves are a sight to see and a great demonstration of the changing seasons.

With views of Blue Mountain Lake and stunning foliage, Castle Rock in the Adirondacks is for people who want to enjoy the outdoors without spending all day on the trail. A moderate 2.7-mile hike in and out, you can expect scenic outlooks of the Adirondacks as well as some excellent birding spots.

Take in the beauty of the Catskills by climbing Mount Utsayantha where you’ll find stunning views of the autumn landscape. Only one mile from base to peak, it’s a leisurely climb.

Through the Prospect Park Audubon Center in Brooklyn, the Prospect Park Alliance offers a range of public programming to enable visitors to enjoy the wildlife habitats of Prospect Park, which is home to Brooklyn’s last remaining forest and only lake.

Bicycling. Grab your two-wheeler! The weather is just right for some al fresco cycling. Whether you’re looking for serious thrills or tricycle-friendly rolls, you’ll find the perfect pathway in New York State.

The Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail connects Albany and Schenectady Counties in Upstate New York, and is part of the gorgeous Erie Canalway Trail. The paved trail makes for a smooth ride, so you can bring your little ones. It’s 40 miles in length, starting in Rotterdam, and boasts spectacular views of native New York greenery and the Mohawk River.

With its scenic views and hilly terrain, Central Park Bike Tours provide cyclists with a relaxing ride or a challenging workout, depending on their interest. Cars are no longer allowed on the paved drives, which are now being shared by runners, walkers, cyclists, skaters, and horse carriages.

Scenic Train Ride. Experience autumn by rail. Board a Fall Foliage Train at Utica’s historic Union Station. Watch as the Adirondack Scenic Railroad takes you through remote forests, above sparkling rivers, and into the magnificent beauty of Adirondack Park.

Apple Picking. There are approximately 600 commercial apple growers in New York State, which provide 10,000 direct jobs and 7,500 indirect jobs.

One place to go apple picking is Lawrence Farms Orchards in Newburgh, which isn’t just teeming with apples—over a dozen varieties including Empire, Cortland and Macintosh are available—but a feast of other delicious offerings are yours for the picking. Visit in autumn for sweet corn, cabbage, winter squash, gourds, and other harvests.

To find another local apple orchard near you, click here.

Fall Festivals. Warwick will hold the 30th annual Applefest this fall, with hundreds of craft and food vendors, free music on several stages, farmers market, apple pie baking & eating contests, carnival, and kids’ activities.

The Great Pumpkin Farm Fall Festival in Clarence also takes place this fall. Every weekend features a special event including an Oinktoberfest BBQ Cookoff, World Pumpkin Weigh-Off, Pumpkin Olympics, Pumpkin Drop, World Pumpkin Pie Eating Competition, Trebuchet Competition, and Costume Contest.

Visit the Queens County Farm Museum for one of their fall events. Families can enjoy the maize maze, pumpkin patch, haunted house, or wildlife weekends.

Follow Proper Etiquette. It is important to follow proper trail etiquette to maintain a minimal impact on the environment and natural resources. Check the weather forecast and current leaf conditions before you leave the house and be prepared for the forecasted conditions or change your plans.

Plan for busier trails. As the leaves begin to change, trailheads and summits will once again be busy and days will continue to get shorter. Plan to arrive early to ensure plenty of daylight and to get a parking spot. Pack a flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries with you on all hikes.

Share the views! If the outlook or summit is smaller, be sure to allow space for everyone to experience the view. Be patient, the view is not going away!

Take photos of memorable views and tag us on Facebook or Twitter – we’ll share so more can enjoy!

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