7 Best Places For Fall Leaf Peeping In & Around Albany, NY
For many of us, the best part of fall in the Capital Region is the sight of vibrant colors on the trees. Nothing compares to the natural beauty of fall foliage, and there are many places that offer fantastic views of the changing leaves. To help you plan your next leaf peeping adventure, we've highlighted 7 of the best places to see fall foliage in the Albany area.
Nestled right in the heart of Albany, Washington Park is the perfect place to set up a fall picnic and enjoy the foliage. You can also walk along the multi-use paths or relax on one of the benches situated throughout the park. There's not a bad seat in the house to view the colorful leaves. Come see why Washington Park is recognized as one of the region's most beautifully sculpted and well-maintained public parks.
Albany Pine Bush Preserve
The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a nature lover's paradise, and it's conveniently located approximately 12 miles outside of downtown Albany. Open year round with free admission for visitors, the Pine Bush offers a number of great recreational opportunities, such as hiking, mountain biking, bird-watching, and leaf peeping during fall.
Head over to the nature preserve and discover 20 miles of family-friendly trails that span from east to west. Not only is the Pine Bush home to a unique diversity of plants and animals, but the trails will lead you through forests and ravines where you'll see plenty of fall foliage.
Peebles Island State Park
Although Peebles Island State Park is well known for offering amazing views of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, during fall, you get to enjoy seeing the colors of the season. There are miles of paths through the gently rolling and wooded landscape with observation decks along the edge. Take a stroll into Peebles Island and soak up the scenery.
Saratoga National Historical Park
Interested in a scenic drive this fall? Consider a day trip to Saratoga National Historical Park in Schuylerville, specifically the Saratoga Battlefield. The Battlefield Tour Road will bring you to multiple historic sites, and it's free and open to the public. This scenic drive takes around 1.5-2 hours with a short stop at each of the wayside interpretive stops. Many of these stops feature wide-sweeping views of the landscape and fall foliage.
Thacher State Park
Only a short drive away from Albany, Thacher State Park, located in Voorheesville, provides incredible views of the Capital Region's changing leaves. Whether you want to get a panoramic view from the cliffs or take a gentle hike on the Indian Ladder Trail, Thacher offers several great options to view the colors.
Saratoga Spa State Park
From the historic buildings to the mineral springs, there is a lot to love about Saratoga Spa State Park. However, it's always a spectacular sight when fall colors spread across the leaves. Go hiking or biking through Saratoga Spa State Park this season and experience the area's natural beauty.
Head south along the Hudson River to catch the leaves changing in the Catskills. This region of Upstate NY is filled with forests, fire towers, waterfalls, and of course, magnificent views of fall foliage. For the best views, we recommend visiting some of the local fire towers, such as the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower, the Overlook Mountain Fire Tower, or the Upper Esopus Fire Tower at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center. Keep in mind, this area typically peaks later than in northern regions of New York State.