NYC Leaf Peeping and Fall Foliage in 2020

With Fall just around the corner, the city will soon be filled with classic autumn colors. In this list, we provide an updated version from our previous leaf-peeping post containing new COVID-19 guidelines that parks are following. All of these will be open for the season that you can visit at any time or with reserved time tickets. Make sure to check each website for specific information.

Alley Pond Park

Little Neck Bay, L.I.E., Union Tpk, bet. Springfield Blvd, Douglaston Pkwy, Hanford St

A park located in Queens offers various glimpses into New York’s colonial history, geologic past and even its current conservation efforts. Its natural features of freshwater and saltwater wetlands, meadows and forests create the perfect environment for some leaf peeping in the upcoming fall season. The park also offers other great amenities such as playgrounds, barbeque areas and various hiking trails.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Offering amazing views of Lower Manhattan and the Harbor, this is the perfect mix of nature and the city. With various walkways throughout the park and alongside the river, you are able to pass by several piers with access to some serious fall foliage. With their COVID-19 response, various locations are closed until further notice. This includes the Environmental Education Center, 99 Plymouth and Jane’s Carousel. Be sure to check out their website for more guidelines.

Central Park

New York, NY

New York’s most famous spot has a handful of spots to go admire some amazing fall foliage during the season. Go to the 90-acre North Woods located in the northwest corner of Central Park. According to many visitors, this area can be considered the most natural portion of the entire park, making it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. To capture some serious colors, walk along The Mall which is located in the middle of the park. It is lined with the largest collection of American Elms.

Inwood Hill Park

Dyckman St, Hudson River, Harlem River S

Located in upper Manhattan, this park honors the history and prehistoric roots of old New York. The park has existing caves, valleys, and ridges left by the shifting of the prehistoric glaciers. Today, a hiking trail and the Hudson River Bike Trail is open to visitors who want to appreciate this park’s natural history and beauty. Especially during the fall season, its forested areas are perfect for fall foliage.

New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10458

Finally open to the public under COVID-19 restrictions, you are welcome to reserve your timed-entry tickets in advance. Spanning over 250 acres in the Bronx and housing over one million plants, the New York Botanical Garden is the spot for some extreme leaf peeping. The garden ensures safety by having advanced timed entry, daily staff health checks and the use of face coverings. Although the garden is now open, they have reduced Garden capacity and amenities so be sure to check out their website for more information.

Prospect Park

Brooklyn, NY

A 585-acre park nestled in Brooklyn serves as the ultimate spot for nature and admiration for some fall foliage. The amenities in the park like LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Prospect Park Zoo, Prospect Tennis Center and playgrounds are open to the public with safety protocols in place. Whether you are looking to go for a stroll or a bike ride, the park offers everything you need to enjoy the upcoming fall season.

Randall’s Island Park

20 Randall’s Island Park, New York, NY 10035

Randall’s Island Park has various ways to enjoy their recreational space. There are approximately ten miles of biking trails and pedestrian pathways, making it a getaway to admire nature while in the city. While monitoring COVID-19 closely, the park continues to make changes to day-to-day operations. Over nine miles of waterfront pathways and all passive recreational activities are available, all athletic field permits are suspended until August 31st and barbecuing and grilling areas are open. Be sure to check the website for more detailed information. 

Queens Botanical Garden

43-50 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355

Queens Botanical Garden is now open to the public with limited operating hours. As reopening unfolds, the garden hours will be adjusted over time so be sure to check their website for the latest updates before planning a visit. To ensure safety, the garden requires you to wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others. Hand sanitizer dispensers will also be available at several different locations throughout the garden. 

Wave Hill

4900 Independence Ave, The Bronx, NY 10471

A public garden and cultural center finally back open to the public. With new precautions in place, Wave Hills requires everyone to reserve an admission ticket in advance. When reserving a ticket, you will not be restricted to a time of day since it will be valid from noon to 5:30 pm on the date of your reservation. Usually open all year round, the gardens expose autumn’s beautiful colors making it another option for a fall getaway.

Van Cortlandt Park

Broadway and Van Cortlandt Park S, The Bronx, NY 10471

Ranked as New York City’s third largest park, Van Cortlandt park spans over a thousand acres with ridges and valleys highlighting the Bronx. With various playing fields and playgrounds scattered throughout the park and oak forests surrounding them, it creates a wonderful atmosphere for an autumn trip.