There are no better spots to experience the colors of fall than in these Westchester, Connecticut, New Jersey and Long Island suburbs.
Want to get away from the city without going too far? Consider these fall hotspots, complete with plenty of Insta-worthy moments along the way.
1. Old Croton Aqueduct (Dobbs Ferry & Croton-on-Hudson, NY)
This dog-friendly, cyclist-approved trail has something for everyone. A 20-mile stretch from the Bronx to Cortlandt, this area is popular year-round, for hikers, bikers, and even cross-country skiers. And in the fall? Peak foliage starts on the Cortlandt side at the end of October and moves closer to the city through November.
Sleepy Hollow may be known for its Headless Horseman connection, but its fall foliage definitely rivals its spooky past. Kingsland Point Park, which sits right on the Hudson River and is one of the best spots to see the changing leaves in town. Or take a hike along the Hudson Riverwalk to enjoy the views across Rockland County.
Rockefeller State Park is another popular spot for leaf peeping near Sleepy Hollow. The sights are spectacular this time of year, especially from the top of Eagle Hill. It’s a quick, easy hike to the top and you’ll be rewarded with colorful views of the Hudson River, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.
4. Marshlands Conservancy (Rye, NY)
Rye is home to the 170-acre Marshlands Conservancy preserve, where you can explore woodlands, meadows and a salt marsh. As you explore the three miles of trails, keep an eye out for wildlife. Deer, turkey, horseshoe crabs and over 200 species of birds call this spot “home.”
5. Bronx River Parkway Reservation (Bronxville, NY)
Westchester’s very first park is an incredible spot to take in the fall foliage. The wooden footbridges, with views of waterfalls and ponds, make for a perfect #photo-op. This scenic park follows the Bronx River and is great for jogging, hiking or biking. And in the winter? Lace up your boots or grab your cross-country skis and hit the trail.
6. Whippoorwill Park Loop (Chappaqua, NY)
If you’re exploring Chappaqua, make sure Whippoorwill Park is on your must-see list. This stunning park is home to multiple forest trails, with foliage peaking in November. Plus – bonus! – dogs are welcome on the trails, so be sure to bring your four-legged family members along for the ride. Another insider tip? There are several benches along the trails, perfect for a quick picnic or snack stop. Grab some goodies at the nearby Whole Foods before heading to the park.
7. Planting Fields Arboretum (Oyster Bay, NY)
A visit to Planting Fields Arboretum is like a real-life Great Gatsby experience. This 400-acre state park was once part of an elaborate Gold Coast estate and, today, its lush grounds (designed by the Olmsted Brothers) are open to the public. Swing by and soak in all of the stunning fall foliage, paired with epic gardens and greenhouses. And when you’re done? Take a mansion tour or come back for one of the upcoming events – the arboretum hosts everything from floral events to magic shows, food tastings, movies, and more.
8. Clark Botanic Garden (Albertson, NY)
This 12-acre botanic garden is free to visit (but donations are accepted) year-round. During the fall, though, the gardens come alive with some of the best fall foliage anywhere. Insider tip: the fall yoga series kicks off in November. If you’re heading to Albertson, bring a mat and check it out.
9. Sand Point Preserve (Port Washington, NY)
If Port Washington is on your list, don’t forget to swing by Sand Point Preserve. This 216-acre estate was once owned by the Guggenheim family and served as inspiration for The Great Gatsby. Today you can hike along the Loop Trail for some incredible fall foliage. Make sure to grab picnic fare from the Stop & Shop in town if you want to enjoy lunch with a view.
10. South Mountain Reservation (Maplewood, Millburn & West Orange, NJ)
Whether you’re considering Maplewood, Millburn or West Orange, South Mountain Reservation should be on your radar. Clocking in at a jaw-dropping 2,110 acres, this county park is a favorite with trail runners, hikers, and cyclists – and much of it is dog friendly.
Bringing kids along? Check out Hemlock Falls, a short, accessible hike for all ages and skill levels – and this route doesn’t skimp on stunning views. Along the way, you’ll see plenty of colorful leaves and you might even spot some deer or chipmunks. And if you have little ones, they’ll have fun searching for miniature houses on the Fairy Trail.
11. Palisades Interstate Park (Alpine, NJ)
As you’re touring suburban New Jersey, don’t miss the 2,500-acre Palisades Interstate Park. This popular go-to follows the Hudson River, taking hikers and bikers through stunning cliffs and uplands.
This park truly has something for everyone, with 30 miles of trails for all levels. Looking for an easier trek? Head to Cape Fly Away or Shore Trail – and don’t forget to snap some pics. There are tons of fall photo ops, with peak leaf-peeping season lasting through November.
12. Tamaques Reservation (Westfield, NJ)
Westfield residents don’t have to travel far to see incredible fall foliage – they just head to nearby Tamaques Reservation. This park includes a walking path, pickleball courts, a pond and two playgrounds. Stop by Trader Joe’s on the way to pick up some supplies, then find a spot to hunker down and take it all in.
13. Greenwich Audubon Center (Greenwich, CT)
The 285-acre Main Sanctuary in the Greenwich Audubon Center is one of the best spots for local leaf-peeping. Follow the seven miles of trails past wildflower meadows, open fields, swamps, apple orchards and, even, a butterfly garden, snapping pics along the way. Before heading home, be sure and check out the Lake Loop Trail or wander along Byram River to see frogs, turtles and water snakes. No matter where you go in the Sanctuary, you’ll have incredible views and see some of the most stunning foliage in the state.
14. Irwin Park (New Canaan, CT)
Irwin Park is home to some of the most mature trees in the state – and this time of year is perfect for leaf-peeping. There are tons of trails for hiking, jogging and cross-country skiing, plus the daffodil-dotted Great Lawn, perfect for an afternoon picnic. Visit Walter Stewart’s Market or ACME for snacks before making your way to the park and stock up on some fall treats.
15. Mianus River Park (Stamford, CT)
When you’re out exploring Stamford, make some time to visit Mianus River Park. This sprawling 389-acre park features miles of mountain biking and hiking trails. Dogs are welcome on leash and you can even fish in the river. The leaves are beautiful throughout the fall so throw your hiking shoes in the car for an afternoon adventure. And if you move to Stamford, keep an eye on all the community events held at this park, including group hikes and volunteer clean-up days.
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