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Fall Foliage in Parks

Van Cortlandt Park

Fall foliage season is an excellent time to visit New York City’s parks. Some of the most popular parks in New York afford glimpses of spectacular fall colors.

Some trees to look for include white oak trees, the leaves of which develop a purple hue when they turn, and tulip trees and hickory trees, both of whose leaves turn yellow, and of course maple trees, whose reds, oranges, and yellow colors epitomize “fall colors.”

Those looking to explore the city's autumn colors on their own can check out these recommended hiking trails.

Learn more about hiking trails to check out this fall

Find out about fall foliage tours and events in New York City's parks.

Find a fall foliage events


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Where to See Fall Foliage in NYC Parks

Here is a highlight of some of the best places in our parks to see autumn at its peak:

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Pelham Bay Park

Trees to see: oaks, hickorys, sweet gums, Norway spruces, white pines

Don’t miss: One of the white oak trees on the Split Rock Golf Course is 400 years old and thought to be one of the oldest white oaks in the United States.

Suggested route: The Kazimiroff Trail runs through 189 acres of Hunter Island, by the tall Norway spruces and white pines, which provide a habitat for great horned owls.

Learn More about Pelham Bay Park

Pelham Bay Park, Bronx

Van Cortlandt Park

Trees to see: oaks, hickorys

Suggested routes: Van Cortlandt is filled with nature trails that pass through gorgeous native hardwoods, including the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, the Putnam Trail, the Muir Trail, and the John Kieran Trail.

Learn More about Van Cortlandt Park

Van Cortlandt Park

Though the borough with the least percentage of parkland, Brooklyn is not lacking in scenic spots from old growth forests to landscaped vistas in which to view the colorful palette of autumn.

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Fort Greene Park

Trees to see: Massive London plane trees, oaks, elms, gingkos, osage orange trees

Suggested routes: The park is small enough that you can meander through the whole thing. Just don’t forget to climb to its apex and check out the view from the hill.

Learn More about Fort Greene Park

Fall Foliage in Fort Greene Park

Owl’s Head Park

Trees to see: oaks, maples, beeches, tulip poplars

Suggested routes: You can’t go wrong with a wander through this park in autumn, but make sure you take a moment to look out at the New York Harbor. 

Learn More about Owl’s Head Park

Fall Foliage in Owl's Head Park

Prospect Park

Trees to see: camperdown elm, black cherries, sassafras, American hornbeam, turkey oak, weeping willow, tulip tree, American beech, pin oak, white oak, Himalayan pine, gingko, Norway maple, London plane, and more. 

Suggested routes: Check out the Lullwater and Peninsula, where you can see an array of native and exotic trees encircling the park’s pond. The Ravine, in the center of the park, contain Brooklyn’s last vestiges of old-growth forest.

Learn More about Prospect Park

Fall Foliage in Prospect Park

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Highbridge Park

Trees to see: red oaks, white ash, hickory, black cherries, Norway maple, tulip tree, black birch

Suggested routes: The trail that runs along the high ridge above the Harlem River Drive for the length of Highbridge Park from 155th Street to Dyckman Street is a fall highlight. The trail passes the landmarked High Bridge and High Bridge Water Tower, which were part of the Old Croton Aqueduct system that also ran through Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. 

Learn More about Highbridge Park

Learn More about the High Bridge & Tower

Highbridge Park

Inwood Hill Park

Trees to see: oak, hickory, Tulip poplars

Suggested routes:  There's no wrong place to go leaf-peeping in Inwood Hill Park, but one route we recommend is along the blue trail, a marked trail that picks up at the Gaelic Field in the northern side of the park and leads up to the Overlook, which will give you a gorgeous view of the Hudson River and the Palisades.

Learn More about Inwood Hill Park

Inwood Hill Park

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Alley Pond Park

Trees to see: Pin oaks, white pine, black cherries, black oak, flowering dogwood, black locust, American beech, red oaks, sweetgum, red maple, tulip trees

Suggested routes: You can choose between several of the park's official walking paths, although the most popular are the green trail and the white trail. The green trail is especially tree-filled, surrounded by tulip trees and some sassafrass. Those that venture down the white trail will get to see the Queens Giant. 

Don't miss: Alley Pond Park is home to the Queens Giant, the which at 133 feet high is the tallest tree in New York City and possibly the oldest living thing in the metropolitan area.

Learn More about Alley Pond Park

Alley Pond Park

Cunningham Park

Trees to see: oak, hickory, tulip, honey locusts

Suggested routes: Try the hiking trail at Francis Lewis Boulevard and Union Turnpike in the park's southeast preserve, where you'll find a wide array of beautiful trees, including tulip trees and honey locusts.

Learn More about Cunningham Park

Cunningham Park

Forest Park

Trees to see: Northern red oak, scarlet oak, tulip poplar, shagbark hickory, white oak, wild black cherry

Don’t miss:  The “forest” part of Forest Park is the largest continuous oak forest in Queens, and a trail runs right through it. While you’re walking you’ll see trees that are more than 150 years old, with an underlayer of dogwood, virginia creeper, sassafras and corktree. Expect to see colors from deep red to bright yellow. 

Learn More about Forest Park

Forest Park

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Trees to see: oak, hickory, beech, maple, sweetgum, and tulip trees

Suggested routes: This natural treasure in the heart of Staten Island has some 35 miles of walking trails running along the crest of the Serpentine Ridge and winding through one of the last undisturbed forests in the city. You’ll see a wide variety of native trees, as well as a rare species of fern, glacial ponds, and a 16-acre lake. Keep your eyes peeled for any animals and birds making their home in the forest. 

Learn More about the Greenbelt


Clove Lakes Park

Trees to see: tulip trees, red oaks, sassafras, sweetgum, black birch, black cherries

Suggested routes: Clove Lakes Park is filled with walking paths, and you can't go wrong with picking one and taking off. All of the park's paths will take you through a range of foliage, and several pass by ponds.

Don’t miss:  The largest living thing in the borough is the 107-foot-tall tulip tree in the park’s northwest section, which has lived here for at least 300 years. 

Learn More about Clove Lakes Park

Clove Lakes Park

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