12 Fall Foliage Hikes in NY & NJ

Okay, autumn, you win, you’re officially here. I’m really feelin’ it today with the chill that's rolled back in...AND I LOVE IT! Looking forward to seeing the colors brighten as the leaves dance on the wind (#poetry).

So - where do nature lovers go for the best leaf-peeping in the NY metro area?

I may have a few personal peeping preferences up my cozy sweater sleeve...let's begin!

1. The Catskills, NY

One of my favorites, of course, is the Catskills of New York State, only 2 hours away from our area. This park is bursting with fall hues come peak foliage time, which should be within the next couple of weeks, according to my sources (little birds).

Hiking Suggestions:

  • Escarpment Trail - CLICK FOR VIRTUAL HIKE

  • Length: 7-8 miles

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Type: Loop

  • Directions to trailhead

  • Attractions: Water features + AWESOME VIEWS, and don't miss the NEW Kaaterskill Falls Viewing Platform!

  • Kaaterskill Falls - CLICK FOR VIRTUAL HIKE Note: Trail has been updated with steps/safety measures since this video was created Please be prepared with proper footwear | Do not park illegally along rt. 23A

  • Length: 1 mile

  • Difficulty: Moderate (climbs + slippery when wet)

  • Type: Out-and-back

  • Directions to trailhead

  • Attractions: a 260 foot waterfall GUSHING with beauty :D

  • Slide Mountain - CLICK FOR VIRTUAL HIKE

  • Length: 5.4 miles

  • Difficulty: Moderately strenuous (lots of elevation gain)

  • Type: Out-and-back

  • Directions to trailhead

  • Attractions: An ever-changing forest, views, and bragging rights - it's the tallest Catskill peak!

2. The Shawangunks, NY

Another great place to explore this season is the Shawangunks near New Paltz, NY - only an hour or so from NYC. You have no idea how awesome foliage looks against that glorious, white Shawangunk conglomerate...

Hiking Suggestions:

3. Harriman State Park, NY

Even closer still is Harriman State Park (another favorite spot of mine), where there is an over-abundance of overlooks along the Hudson Valley and beyond during prime leaf-peeping time.

Trail Tip: Avoid parking at the Reeves Meadow trailhead to avoid crowds ;)

Hiking Suggestions:

4. New Jersey (okay, maybe not ALL of it...but a lot of it!)

Let’s not forget all of the wonderful foliage opportunities available in New Jersey! From the Delaware Water Gap and High Point State Park, to Wawayanda State Park and even the Palisades, the Garden State is brimming with autumnal escapes!

Hiking Suggestions:

Woowee, that's quite a selection to choose from! Honestly, no matter where you explore, the season is a pleasin’. All you have to do is step outside and Take. It. IN. Feel free to share YOUR favorite places to slurp up that foliage in the comments below 😋

Happy trails!

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