Where to See Fall Foliage in NYC 2021
Fall is here, and if you head upstate, you’ll notice the leaves are already starting to change. Yet here in the city, there are fantastic spots to leaf peep and experience Fall Foliage’s beauty. From New York City’s own forest/park, Central Park, to gorgeous Wave Hill in the Bronx, visit one or more of these spots to take in all the charms of Autumn.
Our updated list has all the best spots to visit but, first, a few tips: Check websites for COVID guidelines; some spots may require proof of vaccination while many of the open parks are not as strict as last year, but as we all know, the pandemic makes the rules ever-changing.
Psst…check out where to go Pumpkin Picking In and Near New York City in 2021!
Little Neck Bay, L.I.E., Union Tpk, bet. Springfield Blvd, Douglaston Pkwy, Hanford St
This park located in Queens offers various glimpses into New York’s 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.
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. This includes the Environmental Education Center, 99 Plymouth, and Jane’s Carousel. Be sure to check out their website for more guidelines.
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. Check out their Fall Foliage map here!
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. A hiking trail and the Hudson River Bike Trail are 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
No need to head upstate when NYC has one of the best woodsy walk leaf-peeping spots located at the New York Botanical Garden. The garden consists of 250 acres situated in the Bronx, which for many is no more than an hour-ish train ride away. Fall Foliage tours start in November, and we suggest keeping an eye on their site for more information once the tours start to be listed. Dress warmly as most of the fun stuff at this garden is outside.
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 fall season.
20 Randall’s Island Park, New York, NY 10035
Randall’s Island Park has various ways to enjoy its recreational space. There are approximately ten miles of biking trails and pedestrian pathways, making it a getaway to admire nature while in the city. Over nine miles of waterfront pathways and all passive recreational activities are available, as of now barbecuing and grilling areas are open. And fall activities are back so make sure to check out the site’s calendar.
Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355
A New York Family favorite – this garden located within Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is a quick train ride away for an autumn Saturday of leaf-peeping. Make sure you check out what events are happening the day you visit like Fall Bird Walks with NYC Audubon-many included with admission or a small fee.
4900 Independence Ave, The Bronx, NY 10471
A botanical garden that surrounds the Wave Hill House which dates back to the mid-19th century this spot in the Bronx offers views overlooking the Hudson River. If you’re looking to take a Fall Foliage walk check out the tours that are free with paid admission.
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.