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Fall Foliage in Parks

fall foliage at Oakland Lake in Alley Pond Park

Fall foliage season is an excellent time to visit New York City’s parks. Many of our most popular parks in New York afford glimpses of spectacular fall colors. Join a fall foliage tour, or head out on your own on a hiking trail or leisure stroll through the best NYC parks to go leaf-peeping.

Know Your Fall Foliage Colors

As you explore our parks this fall, you will discover these common trees:

  • White Oak Trees: the leaves develop a purple hue when they turn
  • Tulip Trees and Hickory Trees: their leaves turn yellow in autumn
  • Maple Trees: their red, orange, and yellow leaves epitomize “fall colors.”

Get started by learning how to identify trees near you on our NYC Street Tree Map!

NYC has 300 miles of trails. 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, hiking trips, and festivals in New York City's parks.

Find a fall foliage events

Where to see fall foliage in NYC Parks

Here is a highlight of some of the best places in our parks to see fall foliage at its peak—for free! 

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Bronx River Greenway

Trees to see: London planes, oaks, sassafras, red maples, tulip poplars, sycamores, beech

Don’t miss: The greenway connects many New York City parks, each with an array of trees, including magnificent tulip poplars. Be sure to check out the Bronx River Forest, one of the many stops along the greenway and one of the oldest hardwood forests in New York City!

Suggested route: The Bronx River Greenway is a walking and biking path from Westchester County to Soundview Park in the Bronx, with 44 acres of parkland along the greenway. Follow the eight miles of on and off-street trails winding through Bronx Park to Soundview Park along New York City's only freshwater river! View a map of the Bronx River Greenway's trails

Learn mfore about the Bronx River Greenway

fall foliage at Bronx River Greenway, Bronx

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

fall foliage in 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

fall foliage in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx

From old growth forests to landscaped vistas, Brooklyn is not lacking in scenic spots 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 at Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

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 over New York Harbor.

Learn more about Owl’s Head Park

Fall Foliage at Owl's Head Park, Brooklyn

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 at Prospect Park, Brooklyn

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Central Park

Trees to see: American elms, oaks, Norway maple, sycamore maple, red maple, black cherry

Suggested routes: The Ramble, Central Park's wild garden, and The Ravine are two of the best places to see fall foliage in Central Park. Take the path that runs along the Loch in the North Woods to find rustic bridges, cascading falls, and a variety of birds that call the park home.

Don't miss: In The Ravine, the Glen Span Arch features a nearby waterfall and connects the water body known as The Pool to the stream called The Loch that winds through the North Woods.

Learn more about Central Park

fall foliage in Central Park, Manhattan

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

fall foliage in Highbridge Park, Manhattan

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. View a map of Inwood Hill Park's trails

Learn more about Inwood Hill Park

fall foliage at Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan

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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. View a map of Alley Pond Park's trails

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. Head to 223rd Street and Cloverdale Boulevard to go leaf-peeping around Oakland Lake. 

Learn more about Alley Pond Park

fall foliage at Alley Pond Park, Queens

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

fall foliage at Cunningham Park, Queens

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, Queens

Kissena Park

Trees to see: Japanese maple, Manchurian linden, weeping beech, katsura, oak, bald cypress, willow

Suggested routes: The Kissena Grove is known for its exotic trees. The historic grove was a renowned tree nursery, founded in 1839, where over 100 trees from around the word were planted. Many of the trees still remain here today, including the famous katsura trees, which have golden heart-shaped leaves. The Kissena Grove is located at the northern part of the park at Rose Avenue and Parsons Boulevard (near the tennis courts and Kissena Lake).

Don’t miss: The bald cypress is an evergreen tree that changes color in the fall! It’s height, narrow canopy, and fiery orange leaves stand out among the grove of rare trees. While most evergreen trees have pine cones, the fruit of the bald cypress tree is a round cone with tiny bumps!

Learn more about Kissena Park

fall foliage at Kissena Park, Queens

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Blue Heron Park

Trees to see: red maple, sweetgum, sassafras, black walnut, tulip, beech, sumac.

Suggested routes: Walk on the green trail, red trail, orange trail, or around Spring Pond and Butterfly Pond for the most colorful trees.

Don’t miss: Head to Spring Pond to check out the view of the forest's fall colors from the footbridge.

Learn more about Blue Heron Park

fall foliage at Blue Heron Park, Staten Island

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

fall foliage at Clove Lakes Park, Staten Island

Greenbelt

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

fall foliage at the Greenbelt, Staten Island

Silver Lake Park

Trees to see: red maple, sugar maple, sweetgum, sassafras, black walnut, tulip, river birch, tupelo, beech.

Suggested routes: Walk on the paved loop around the lake where you can find various migratory waterfowl while enjoying the park's kaleidoscope of colors.

Learn more about Silver Lake Park

fall foliage at Silver Lake Park, Staten Island

Wolfe's Pond Park

Trees to see: red maple, sugar maple, sweetgum, sassafras, black walnut, river birch, beech, dogwood

Suggested routes: Walk along the pond behind the comfort station to see fall foliage at this park that leads out to a beachfront! 

Learn more about Wolfe's Pond Park

fall foliage at Wolfe's Pond Park, Staten Island

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