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Week of Nov. 1 - 7, 2023
Beautiful Peak Fall Colors Reaching Final Destinations in New York State
Long Island and New York City to Experience Optimal Autumn Hues this Weekend
This is the eighth and final 2023 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.
New York’s colorful fall foliage season winds down this weekend as autumn's peak colors reach their final destinations in New York City and on Long Island, as well as in a few remaining parts of the Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley. This is according to the field reports from volunteer spotters for the Empire State Development Division of Tourism’s I LOVE NY program.
On Long Island, spotters report that trees throughout Nassau and western Suffolk Counties are currently near or at-peak color, which should continue through the weekend. About 80% to 90% of trees feature some degree of foliage change – including many of the major roadways and parks - with colorful yellow, orange, red and purple leaves, plus some green, rust and brown.
The Northern State Parkway between Lake Success and Hauppauge is currently one of the more colorful drives, especially between exit 25 (Lakeville Road) and exit 29 (Roslyn Road), where the tall trees tower alongside the roadway creating a wall of color. Other parkways including the Southern State, Wantagh, Meadowbrook, Bethpage and Sunken Meadow are also good choices for colorful drives. The Long Island Expressway and Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway feature near-peak and peak foliage; the eastbound and westbound Service Roads on either side of the Long Island Expressway offer a slower drive, but with a nice palette of color. For a more leisurely trip, travel any part of a 40-mile stretch of Route 25A along Long Island’s north shore from Great Neck to Port Jefferson, winding through the towns and villages along the route, where the roadside foliage provides colorful vistas.
Many Long Island parks are also now exhibiting foliage near or at-peak, with some parts still at midpoint, and even a few past-peak areas with rust and brown-colored leaves. The 1,475-acre Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale features a short drive to the picnic area, where trees covering the roadway create a canopy of peak foliage colors, and the bicycle/hiking trails in the park offer a colorful itinerary. Trees on the park’s five golf courses should also be near or at-peak, while foliage around the clubhouse parking area is past-peak. Fall colors at Heckscher State Park in East Islip and Wildwood State Park in Wading River are also reported near or at-peak conditions.
The 930-acre Eisenhower Park in East Meadow features both peak and past-peak colors in the picnic areas and on its three golf courses. The arboretums and gardens open to the public are providing both peak and past-peak color with some leaf droppage expected, according to staff at Planting Fields Arboretum State Park in Oyster Bay, Old Westbury Gardens in Old Westbury, Clark Garden in Albertson, Bailey Arboretum in Locust Valley and Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River. Trees bordering ponds, lakes and waterfront areas are expected to be at-peak or past-peak with some bare trees, including Belmont Lake State Park in West Babylon and Mill Pond Park in Wantagh.
Foliage is reported at-peak around Roslyn Pond at Gerry Park in Roslyn, St. John’s Pond Preserve by the Fish Hatchery in Cold Spring Harbor, and at Mill Pond and adjoining Avalon Nature Preserve at the Stony Brook Grist Mill in Stony Brook Village. Spotters at Valley Stream State Park expect peak to just-past-peak foliage with 60% color change and muted brown and green leaves along with some red leaves.
In Suffolk County, North Shore should exhibit peak foliage with nearly complete leaf change and brilliant red, yellow, orange, brown and green leaves, along with some droppage. On Shelter Island, spotters from The Nature Conservancy at Mashomack Preserve predict peak foliage with 70% color change and mostly yellow and red leaves, plus some shades of brown and green. Foliage on Montauk and the East End should be just-past-peak with 85% color change and average to bright scattered leaves of red, orange and green.
In New York City, peak foliage is expected on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with 75% color change and mostly red leaves. The Upper East Side will be less progressed and offer near-peak foliage with at least 50% color change and bright gold, green, purple, red and green leaves. Conditions in Central Brooklyn should peak this weekend, with at least 50% color change and average to bright yellows, and muted shades of red and orange. Foliage will be past-peak in The Bronx around Ferry Point Park, as volunteers anticipate 60% color change with yellow and orange leaves dominating the assorted fall hues, in addition to significant leaf droppage.
In the Finger Lakes, peak foliage is expected in Livingston County, where spotters in Geneseo predict 75% or more change and yellow and orange leaves highlighted by pops of red, despite significant leaf droppage. In Onondaga County reports from Syracuse expect peak foliage with 90% color change and mostly yellow and mustard leaves of average brilliance, along with a few shades of red. Peak and past-peak conditions are expected around Upper Onondaga Park, with more than 85% leaf change and yellow leaves accented by pops of orange and dark red. In Ontario County, Rushville should peak this weekend with 80% change and vibrant seasonal shades. Peak foliage in also anticipated in Steuben County around Corning, Hammondsport, Hornell and Bath, with 90% color change.
In Monroe County around Rochester, most of the area will be past-peak by the weekend, with a chance of some peak colors, including varying shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown on trees along Lake Ontario. The city’s Brighton neighborhood will be just-past-peak with plenty of yellow leaves, along with some gold, orange and red brightening the entire landscape. The fallen yellow leaves reflect the available light and make for a still enjoyable foliage viewing experience.
In Cayuga County, Auburn should be past-peak this weekend with nearly complete color change. Foliage will be past-peak in Chemung County around Elmira, with 100% leaf change, considerable droppage and only a few colorful leaves remaining. In Cortland County, past-peak conditions are predicted for Cortland with 85% transition with some brilliant red and orange leaves remaining. Tioga County spotters in Owego report past-peak foliage with more than 95% color change and primarily yellow and brown leaves, and the occasional pop of red. Conditions in the Tompkins County communities of Ithaca and Trumansburg are likely past-peak with complete color change and muted to average shades of brown, burnt orange and red. Foliage will be past-peak in Wayne County near Lyons with 95% change and orange, yellow and brown leaves. Penn Yan in Yates County will also be past-peak, featuring 80% color change.
In the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County spotters from Beacon and Fishkill report peak and just-past-peak foliage with 70% change and bright green leaves mixed with yellow, orange and red.
Foliage in Rockland County near Bear Mountain State Park is just-past-peak with nearly 100% transition and average to bright shades of yellow, red, purple and brown, along with significant leaf droppage and some remaining green.
In Putnam County, Garrison and Cold Spring should range from peak to just-past-peak with 85% foliage change. Yellow, orange, red and purple leaves dominate, with minimal green and some droppage, creating wonderful windows to magnificent vistas. Past-peak golden foliage with splashes of red, orange and purple adorn the western side of the Hudson River from the Bear Mountain Bridge to the Beacon Newburgh Bridge. The hills and hiking trails on the eastern side of the river, Castle Rock State Park, and Anthony’s Nose, are just-past-peak, as are the surrounding major roads: 301, 403, Route 9, Route 9D and the Taconic State Parkway. Colors are peak and past-peak south of 301, and past-peak north of Route 301 and I-84.
Columbia County spotters in Hudson predict that foliage will be just-past-peak with 95% color change and average to bright shades of gold, orange and yellow, plus hints of red. In Goshen in Orange County, volunteers expect past-peak leaves with nearly 90% transition change and mostly muted colors. To the east in Cornwall, peak foliage came and went quickly over the past week, with past-peak conditions expected this weekend and nearly 90% color change. North of there, Newburgh observers report past-peak foliage with 90% transition and muted brown and orange leaves.
In the Greater Niagara region, Erie County spotters in Buffalo report past-peak foliage with 85% change and many bare trees, while southern Erie County spotters in East Aurora predict past-peak foliage with 95% color change. To the northeast in Genesee County, Batavia will be past-peak at 85% change with muted to average colors and significant droppage. In Niagara County, visitors can expect past-peak conditions in Lewiston with nearly complete transition and bright yellow, orange and red leaves, while Niagara Falls should be just-past-peak foliage with 95% change.
In Central New York, reports from Herkimer in southern Herkimer County predict past-peak foliage with 100% transition and muted colors. Expect past-peak foliage in Madison County around Oneida, with 95% change with muted to average shades. In Schoharie County, Middleburgh volunteers anticipate past-peak foliage with 90% change.
In the Capital-Saratoga region, Saratoga Springs in Saratoga County should be past-peak with 80% transition and muted shades of red, gold, orange, yellow and green.
In the Thousand Islands-Seaway region, conditions are now past-peak in Oswego County. Gusting winds and rain have taken a toll on much of the foliage across the northern swath of the county and along the I-81 corridor to the east, leaving a blanket of fall color on the ground below. However, in the southwestern corner of the county, bright pops of orange, red and yellow remain along Oswego’s tree-lined streets and in many of its parks.