Top 5 Leaf Peeping Spots in NYC
Fall, glorious fall! You’ve gone apple picking, pumpkin picking, maybe even ran through a corn maze or two…now what?! Why, leaf peeping, of course! And if renting a car and heading upstate is not in the cards, fear not. There’s plenty of spots to enjoy the fall foliage right here in NYC…in every single borough, in fact!
Manhattan: Fort Tryon Park
“Wait, what?!” you’re probably asking. “Why not Central Park?!” Understand, we’re not dismissing Central Park by any means (it’s our favorite spot in the city, shh!), but having lived in Inwood the first several years of my NYC life, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you to check out Inwood’s gorgeous park this time of year. What Fort Tryon has that Central park doesn’t is the actual feeling that you’re in the forest…surrounded by trees…as the leaves fall right on top of you in all shades of autumn. Not only can you take a beautiful uphill hike, but once you get to the top of the park, the Heather Gardens will no doubt wow you to pieces, too.
Queens: Alley Pond Park
Alley Pond Park is home to the oldest and largest tulip poplar in the city, towering at 133.8 feet tall, along with plenty to other tree varieties such as red maple, white oak and sassafras. There is plenty to do here besides leaf peeping. Take in the scenery and sip on some wine at their Wine and Painting event on November 4th, for example. Or, join in on their Spooktacular Celebration Friday, October 28th. This is the perfect spot to snap those family Christmas card photos that look like you’re upstate without really leaving the city!
Brooklyn: Prospect Park
We love Prospect Park in the fall because the trees around the lake are in various stages of changing colors, making it the ideal spot to spread your wool tartan blanket and have a picnic! And after the picnic, why not head over to Prospect Park Zoo, too? With nearly 400 animals of more than 100 species, the kids will have no problem keeping you there for longer than you expected.
Bronx: The New York Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens is a special place to visit anytime of year (yes, even in the winter covered in magical snow dust!), but the fall really stands out with reds and oranges and yellows and browns every which way you look. The property boasts the city’s largest patch of old growth forest (250 acres!), as well as themed Fall Forest Weekends, which include guided foliage-themed tours, among other activities. Or if group tours aren’t your thing, head there on a Wednesday or between 9am to 10am on Saturdays when admission is free and spend the day meandering.
Staten Island: Bloomingdale Park
While getting to Staten Island may feel comparable to taking a road trip upstate Bloomingdale Park should not be overlooked this time of year. Boasting 139 acres of untouched woods, plus a free fall foliage hike you can jump on this weekend (October 23rd), we think it’s worth the ferry trip over!