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Week of November 17-23, 2021
Lower Hudson Valley Past-Peak but Some Locations Still Colorful
This is the eleventh and final 2021 I LOVE NY Fall Foliage Report for New York State. Reports are obtained from volunteer field observers and reflect expected color conditions for the coming weekend. Reports are issued every Wednesday afternoon. I LOVE NY urges travelers to follow all COVID-related public health and safety guidelines while enjoying the foliage this season. Visitors should call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available. More information on New York State travel and COVID-19 is available here.
New York’s colorful fall foliage season winds down this weekend as the peak autumn colors reach their final destinations in New York City and on Long Island, according to reports compiled by volunteer field observers for Empire State Development’s I LOVE NY program. Foliage in other regions of the state is now past peak. I LOVE NY defines "peak" as the best overall appearance the foliage will have during the season, considering color transition, brilliance, and leaf droppage. Foliage change has been uneven this season and travelers may find that some areas classified as peak and near-peak contain an abundance of green leaves.
On Long Island, spotters report most of Nassau County and western Suffolk County are at peak color with about 95% of trees showing some degree of color change with leaves of gold, yellow, orange, red, purple, brown, and rust. While peak colors should continue in most areas through the upcoming weekend, some areas will be past-peak with bare trees, as many leaves were blown off from the recent storms.
Much of the foliage along Long Island’s major roadways is at peak and should still offer picturesque drives, including Route 25A along the north shore from Greenvale to Port Jefferson, and the state parkways including Northern State, Southern State, Wantagh, Meadowbrook, and Sunken Meadow. The Long Island Expressway and Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway also currently feature colorful roadside foliage. Foliage along the Bethpage State Parkway is now past-peak.
Long Island’s state parks continue to showcase peak foliage, with some past-peak areas and some bare trees. Bethpage State Park’s roadways, bike trails, and golf course feature both peak and past-peak conditions. According to observers and park staff, peak foliage can also currently be seen at Planting Fields Arboretum State Park in Oyster Bay, Valley Stream State Park, Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park in Great River, Belmont Lake State Park in West Babylon, Sunken Meadow State Park and Wildwood State Park in Wading River. Leaves are now past-peak at Hempstead Lake State Park in West Hempstead, but some brilliant shades of cranberry red and crimson, mustard and golden yellow, tangerine, and rich cocoa are expected to remain through the weekend.
In eastern Suffolk County, expect peak foliage on Shelter Island, where volunteers anticipate 90% color change and yellow, red, and brown leaves of average brilliance. Spotters reporting from the Hamptons note that color change greatly accelerated over the past week and expect a mix of peak and past-peak leaves, with nearly complete leaf transition and a wide range of muted to bright fall colors.
Peak foliage is expected throughout New York City this weekend. Bronx volunteers reporting from Morris Park are anticipating peak foliage with more than 50% color change and yellow, orange, and green leaves of average brilliance. In Manhattan, observers on the Upper West Side of Manhattan are predicting peak foliage with 85% color change and bright red leaves. Spotters in Central Park expect peak foliage with 95% color change and average to bright red, orange, yellow, and green leaves, along with some bare trees. In Brooklyn, reports from Greenpoint and Williamsburg predict peak foliage with 95% color change and average to bright red, orange, yellow, and green leaves. Some areas are past-peak and there is significant leaf droppage. Spotters in Snug Harbor on Staten Island anticipate peak foliage with nearly complete change and red, yellow, and orange leaves of average brilliance.
In the Hudson Valley, volunteer spotters in Putnam County report foliage will be just-past-peak in Cold Spring this weekend with 95% color change and bright yellow, orange, red, and purple leaves. Some fall colors may hold through Thanksgiving weekend, although foliage on the Taconic State Parkway, Route 9, and Route 301 is well past-peak. Foliage will be just-past-peak in Westchester County around White Plains with near-total leaf change with bright red, orange, and yellow leaves along with some remaining green leaves. In Orange County, Cornwall spotters report that foliage is past-peak, with 95% color change and orange and brown leaves of average brilliance.