Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year in the Northeast. As the summer heat gets replaced by brisk winds, we'll see the vivid change of leaves spreading over New York’s Hudson River Valley.
The Hudson Valley is one of the most picturesque places to take in the fall foliage. We've found the best spots for you that are easily accessible to watch the leaves change this year.
1. Prospect Mountain in Lake George, NY
Offering views of the Adirondacks and Vermont Green Mountains, the Prospect Mountain hiking trail has a gorgeous summit view over Lake George Village. It's popular to drive the 5.9-mile toll road or take a bus to the top.
If you're looking for some exercise, you can walk the 1.5-mile Prospect Mountain Trail for a nice hike.
Related: Take a Walk for Better Health and Wellness
2. Trophy Point in West Point, NY
Visit the site of the original West Point United States Military Academy graduation ceremonies to enjoy highland views of the Hudson River Valley. Deep shades of crimson, orange and gold reflect wonderfully off the river on calm days.
When you're here, be sure to look at the Battle Monument. You can't miss it, it's one of the largest columns of granite in the world.
3. Letchworth State Park in Castile, NY
This state park is a terrific spot for an autumn picnic. Known as “The Grand Canyon of the East,” the Genesee River flows over the gorge in some places as high as 600 feet.
There’s plenty of ground to cover along the 66 miles of hiking trails. They offer hot air balloon tours over the park, too.
4. Fall Foliage Train, Boarding at Utica, NY
Climb aboard the Fall Foliage Train at Union Station in Utica. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad glides by rusty colors and mountain hilltops.
Be sure to grab a window seat so you don’t miss out on the breathtaking views!
5. Saratoga Monument
If you're looking for a more active day, climb the 190 stairs of Saratoga Monument. It's 154 feet tall and overlooks the Taconic Mountains and the northern Adirondacks, as well as the Helderberg Mountains in the south. This is where the British General Burgoyne surrendered to American General Gates in 1777.
Bonus: Scenic Byway
Don't want to leave the car? No problem! Drive the Scenic Byway along the Erie Canal's Mohawk Towpath. Stop off at some vineyards near Cayuga Lake to watch the long amber sunset.
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The Best Time for Fall Foliage in Hudson Valley
The best time to see the changing leaves in the Hudson Valley area starts in the last two weeks of September and runs through the first two or three weeks of October.
You can stay up-to-date on the emerging fall foliage here. Observers for the Empire State Development Division of Tourism’s “I Love New York” program will be monitoring the fall colors and updating a weekly foliage map to show you the current color changes throughout New York.
There are endless possibilities to watch the leaves change this fall along the Hudson River Valley. We hope you enjoy this magnificent time of year and encourage you to try just one of these recommendations. Let us know what you think!
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