The Best Places to See Fall Foliage in New York State
If you’ve ever been to New York in the fall, you know the state has some of the most beautiful views for leaf peepers.
The state even provides a weekly Fall Foliage Report, which gives you the best spots and weeks to see peak foliage, so you don’t have to spend all your time planning.
The report tracks foliage status and leaf droppage across the state throughout the fall season, making it easy for residents and travelers to be in the right place at the right time.
If you’re scratching your head and looking for ideas on where to get the best views for autumn, there are plenty of places to go all around New York.
If you’re a thrill seeker, you can take a personal helicopter tour from High Flying Fall Foliage or a hot air balloon with Fantasy Balloon Flights to get a bird’s eye view of the changing leaves in the Hudson Valley. Those aerial shots are a once-in-a-lifetime view. Or, in western New York, the chairlifts and ziplines at ski resorts like Peek ‘n Peak and Holiday Valley, which are open year-round, are perfect for checking out changing leaves.
If you’d prefer to stay closer to the ground, take a trip on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad through the Adirondack Park. Families with smaller children can also opt for the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad's Pumpkin Patch Train and grab a few pumpkins on their way out.
People with access to a car can also take in the Scenic Byway’s gorgeous views along Erie Canal's Mohawk Towpath, Cayuga Lake's vineyards, or the villages of Upper Delaware. Plus, you can cruise the Palisades Parkway to Bear Mountain State Park and take a scenic hike.
There’s nothing that says “photo opportunity” like a beautiful water view. Fall boat cruises are especially great for leaf-peeping with your significant other. Schooner Excursions sail the clear waters of Seneca Lake while riders take in the stunning colors of the Finger Lakes, and the Classic Harbor Line offers fall foliage cruises from New York City straight up to the Hudson Valley.
You won’t even need a filter on all the Instagram photos you’ll take.