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 spectacular views of fall colors. Discover where to go fall leaf-peeping in NYC — join a socially-distanced fall foliage tour, head out on your own on our recommended hiking trails, or take a leisure stroll through the best NYC parks to see fall foliage at it's peak! 

Remember to practice social distancing between households and wear a face covering. 

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 our recommended hiking trails for fall

Use this guide to learn how to identify trees by their fall leaf color and unique shape!

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Take your next virtual meeting outside by making our parks the background for your next virtual meeting! 

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Find out about socially-distanced fall foliage tours and hiking adventures in New York City's parks.

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Where to see fall foliage in NYC Parks

Here is a highlight of some of the best places 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

Suggested route: Explore the Bronx River Forest, one of the oldest forests in New York City! Marvel at the trees of the floodplain forest and the birds that love them. View a map of the Bronx River Forest trails

Don’t miss: The Bronx River Greenway connects many New York City parks, each with an array of trees, along the beautiful Bronx River, from Bronx-Westchester County line to Soundview Park. Walk or bike riverside to enjoy the reflection of the colors of the season on NYC's only freshwater river. 

Learn more about the Bronx River Greenway

fall foliage at Bronx River Greenway, Bronx

Pelham Bay Park

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

Suggested route: The Kazimiroff Trail runs through Hunter Island, a nature sanctuary with tall oaks, Norway spruces, and white pines which provide habitat for the park's resident owls. View a map of Pelham Bay Park

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.

Learn more about Pelham Bay Park

fall foliage in Pelham Bay Park, Bronx

Van Cortlandt Park

Trees to see: oaks, hickory, sugar maple, sweetgum, tulip

Suggested routes: Explore three ecologically-distinct forests (in one park!) on the John Muir Trail, one of seven hiking trails at this park. This 2-mile route will lead you through the park's Northeast Forest, home to red oak, sweetgum, and tulip trees, as well as a frog-filled marsh; the Croton Woods and its sugar maple and hickory trees, as well as the Old Croton Aqueduct; and the hilly Northwest Forest, home to stately tulip, oak, and hickory trees. View a map of Van Cortlandt Park's hiking trails

Don't miss: Van Cortlandt Lake! Enjoy the birds and the view as you pass by, or rest lakeside to take it all in. 

Learn more about Van Cortlandt Park

fall foliage in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx

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Fort Greene Park

Trees to see: sugar maple, honeylocust, oaks, elms, osage orange trees, London plane trees

Suggested routes: Get to know your fall colors! Use our Tree Trail Map as a guide to learning the names of the trees you'll discover as you explore fall foliage in the park. 

Don't miss: The park is small enough to explore in its entirety in one day. Just don’t forget to climb to its apex and check out the city 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. Make sure you take a moment to look out over New York Harbor and check out the park's unique trees on the big lawn.

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, contains Brooklyn’s last vestiges of old-growth forest. View a map of Prospect Park

Don't miss: Trek to the top of Lookout Hill, one of the highest points in Brooklyn to see the kaleidoscope of colors at the treetop. 

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.

Don't miss: Check out the view of the city in fall colors from the oldest standing bridge in NYC, the High Bridge -- it's car-free!

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 affords a gorgeous view of the Hudson River and the Palisades. View a map of Inwood Hill Park's trails

Don't miss: End your day of exploring at Muscota Marsh. Its tranquil scenery includes a view of the Henry Hudson Bridge and the birds of the Spuyten Duyvil Creek.

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 hiking trails that take you deep into the forest and past serene wetlands. The Tulip Tree Trail passes by the famous Alley Pond Giant, the tallest and oldest tree in NYC! View a map of Alley Pond Park's trails

Don't miss: Head to 223rd Street and Cloverdale Boulevard to go leaf-peeping around Oakland Lake. It's hard to believe you're in NYC when you're taking in this view.

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.

Don't miss: A parkway with a storied past! The Long Island Motor Parkway, which connects Cunningham Park and Alley Pond Park, once was an escape route for bootleggers called Rumrunner's Road, and a race course owned by the Vanderbilts.

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

Suggested route: The “forest” part of Forest Park is the largest continuous oak forest in Queens, and you can head out on the yellow, blue, and orange trails to explore 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. View a map of Forest Park's trails

Don't miss: The Pine Grove! Although these trees are evergreen, the grove is a must-see when visiting the park. The trees tower over the park and some are more than a century old. You can find it behind the basketball court at Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South, then continue on the orange trail!

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 world 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 this 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.

Don't miss: Make your way up the 200-foot tall Moses' Mountain for a panoramic view of the Greenbelt's fall foliage.

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.

Don't miss: Walk across the lake which once was home to a casino and saloon and the 1897 National Skating Amateur Championship races before becoming a reservoir and the endpoint of the city’s Catskill water supply system. Enjoy its silvery sparkle in the sunshine from the Reservoir Bridge. 

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.

Don't miss: The beach! Wolfe's Pond Park is home to one of our eight city beaches. Enjoy the view and the fresh air. Swimming is strictly prohibited at this time. 

Learn more about Wolfe's Pond Park

fall foliage at Wolfe's Pond Park, Staten Island

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