New York Valley has become a famous spot for foliage enthusiast largely due to two main attractions: The Catskills and the Hudson Valley. These two locations are ideal for Fall Foliage Tours with their winding river valleys and wooded mountainsides. Located within close traveling distance to the main city of Manhattan, these two locations provide a great foliage weekend getaway.
New York foliage season begins in mid September and lasts through the end of October. New York foliage begins to change first at the higher and cooler elevations of Catskill Mountains, followed a few weeks later by the Hudson Valley. Peak foliage season begins in the Catskills the last 2 weeks of September, while in the Hudson River Valley fall foliage peaks the last two weeks of October.
In New York you can appreciate the beautiful transition to fall in a wide variety of ways. Enjoy a scenic boat tour as the waters glisten with hues of red and orange, or by train as you cover the vast valleys in one sitting. Many outdoor foliage enthusiasts enjoy hiking and biking state park trails, while others enjoy scenic biplane rides over the large mountain ranges. Whether you’d like to sit back and watch the colorful world pass by, or get down and dirty in the forests, New York has one of the best displays for fall foliage tours.
Hudson Valley Fall Foliage Tours
If you desire a more scenic route with an array of pit stops during your travel, you’ll want to take the East Side route of the Hudson River where you’ll find historic mansions, charming towns, and local shops. If you’re more of the rugged outdoors type, head over to the West Side where you’ll find an array of nature trails. Sit back and relax on The Hudson Line of the Metro-North Railroad; this route follows the Hudson River and boasts stunning stretches of fall foliage (runs every 30 – 60 minutes).
Hudson Valley Scenic Drives
If you’re interested in a relaxed scenic drive, hop onto U.S. Highway 9 which extends along the Hudson River Valley. Here you’ll be submerged in the valley of fall foliage colors, as you climb the mountainside and enjoy the beautiful display of colors that line the highway. Get out and stretch your legs at the Bear Mountain State Park, or jump off at the Taconic State Parkway where you’ll be completely surrounded by oaks, maples, and more.
Harriman State Park, Bear Mountain State Park
These two State Parks are a great place to stretch your legs and appreciate mother nature’s true beauty. Choose from a variety of nature trails that are lined with oaks, birches, beeches, and maple trees. This beautiful verdant coverage changes into a vibrant display of autumn colors from September through October. Once you reach the tops of these mountains you will be awed by the magnificent panorama of the Hudson River Valley and the sea of fall foliage. Bring your binoculars and enjoy views of the Manhattan skyscrapers off in the distance.
Catskills Scenic Drives
Enjoy a scenic drive through the Catskills as you wind through picturesque towns, sparkling lakes, and colorful mountainsides. Climb the East side of the mountain with State Road 23(23A) which travels up the mountain through the scenic towns of Cairo, Windham, Palenville and Hunter. Further south you’ll find the scenic State Road 28, which crosses the Catskills from Kingston to Arkville. Take off on 28A to enjoy the autumn colors sparkle off the Ashokan Reservoir. Off of 28A keep a look out for Country Road 47 and Country Road 42 which will take you on a scenic 60-mile loop around the Catskills. If you ever get lost, or are ready for another route, keep a look out for State Road 214, Country Road 19, State Road 55, or Country Road 153, which all provide long stretches of highway with breathtaking views of the mountainside.
Strolls the property of Jay Gould, the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, or the Roosevelts, and enjoy spectacular landscaping and immense forests that line the properties. These historic mansions provide some of the most beautiful displays of fall foliage, with small forests, trickeling streams, and beautiful garens. A few mansions that are famed for their fall foliage are Lyndhurst, Kykuit, Boscobel, Vanderbuilt Mansion, Wilderstein, and Clermont.