Leaf Peeping Heaven: 6 Great Hudson Valley Spots
We are right in the middle of prime, leaf peeping season here in the Hudson Valley.
In New York, typically Sept. 28 through Oct. 28 is the best time to view fall foliage.
What is 'Leaf Peeping?'
Leaf Peeping is an informal term used in the United States for the activity in which people travel to view and photograph the fall foliage in areas where leaves change colors in autumn, particularly in northern New England, and of course here in the Hudson Valley.
The term "leaf peeper" is used both with appreciation from businesses that benefit from the influx of people that visit and with disdain from locals who have to use the roads that get overcrowded due to leaf peepers. Hobbyists who get together for leaf peeping may refer to their gatherings as leaf peepshows.
Regardless of one's thoughts on leaf peeping, you can't deny the beauty of the foliage in the Hudson Valley this time of year, and we've compiled a list of 6 great leaf peeping spots in the Hudson Valley.
6 Great Leaf Peeping Spots in the Hudson Valley
The Catskill Mountains area is known for the Catskill Forest Preserve, with its rich wildlife and hiking trails, and ski resorts including Hunter Mountain and Belleayre Mountain. It's also a very popular spot for leaf peeping.
The Hawk's Nest is a scenic location outside Port Jervis, high above the Delaware River on New York State Rt 97. Its name is derived from the birds of prey that nest in the area. The location is also known for its winding roads and scenic views of the Delaware River Valley. Also known as a great leaf peeping spot.
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
The Vanderbilt in Hyde Park is a historic house museum that became a National Historic Landmark in 1940. The grounds are also known for their beautiful views along the Hudson River, and great leaf peeping.
Taconic State Parkway North
Get in that car and drive north on the Taconic this time of year, and you're guaranteed to see beautiful foliage, especially as you get up into Columbia County. The scenic overlook parking area near Ghent, NY with panoramic views west to the Catskills offers great leaf peeping opportunities.
Walkway Over the Hudson
Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is a bridge that spans the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie to Highland. It's the world's second-longest pedestrian footbridge. Known for its amazing Hudson Valley views, it's an ideal spot for leaf peeping.
Rt 22 Corridor From Millerton to Hillsdale
The Route 22 corridor from Millerton to Hillsdale has to be one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the country, let alone the Hudson Valley. It has always been an absolute favorite of mine, whatever the time of year. But it is especially great in the fall, for leaf peeping.
Scenes of Fall Foliage at Gertrude's Nose in Kerhonkson, NY
Gallery Credit: J.Buono