The annual changing-leaf display along the Hudson River always boosts flagging spirits — and who couldn’t use a little pick-me-up right now? Scenic Hudson’s 45
parks offer great chances to admire these natural fireworks close to home, but here are our top 10 recommendations, culled from the Outdoor Adventures section of our website, to take you a little farther afield.
All offer fall’s bright palette plus a cool additional element — from spotting wildlife on a secluded lake to taking a thrilling ride. Scope out this slideshow, and let it inspire this season’s explorations.
(Ulster County) – Views of the Catskills’ fall palette seen across the reservoir’s shimmering water make a trip to the Hudson Valley’s newest rail trail an autumn imperative. (Photo: Walter Earl) Ashokan Rail Trail (Hunter, Greene County) – If you can manage to keep your eyes open while hurtling down this longest, fastest and highest zipline in North America you will enjoy magnificent Catskills views. (Photo: New Zipline Adventures) Skyrider Tour (Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County) – With 45 miles of trails offering woods, meadow and river views, your hardest decision will be when to call it a day. (Photo: Kim Wilson) Rockefeller State Park Preserve (Phoenicia, Ulster County) – After pedaling through the Catskills’ autumnal splendor on a historic rail line with Esopus Creek by your side, don’t be surprised if this becomes a fall family tradition. (Photo: Rail Explorers) Rail Explorers (Pine Plains, Dutchess County) – This 1,400-foot mountain stands all alone, so you see far from the fire tower atop it any time of year, but fall delivers the biggest visual punch. (Photo: Julian Colton / Public Domain) Stissing Mountain (New Paltz, Ulster County) – When fall’s colors contrast with the Shawangunks’ white cliffs, this ramble through farm fields enters jaw-dropping territory. (Photo: River-to-Ridge Trail Jeff Severson) (Patterson, Putnam County) – The name is appropriate, especially when the trees surrounding this secluded lake cast their Technicolor reflections on the water. (Photo: Rob Cardascia) Wonder Lake State Park (Elka Park, Greene County – After a moderately strenuous uphill walk, grab a throne (no kidding), sit back and survey your temporary kingdom – a little slice of Catskills heaven. (Photo: Tyler Blodgett) Dibbles Quarry (Rockland County) – This 5-mile route through the woods puts you within touching distance of the Hudson River Nyack-Haverstraw River Trails and Palisades, making frequent stops to gawk mandatory. (Photo: @jamesbrosnan) (Rye, Westchester County) – Head to the beach – and stupendous views of Long Island Sound – via this ramble through the woods and a salt marsh. Watch for horseshoe crabs! (Photo: James Ayala) Marshlands Conservancy