Fall foliage camping in New York
Fall is the premier camping season in New York. For a brief window in September and October the state is transformed into a kaleidoscope of red, gold and orange as millions of deciduous tree leaves change colors. While a day trip lets you glimpse this natural wonder, there’s nothing like spending a night or two beneath the trees, watching the morning light enter their Read more...
Fall is the premier camping season in New York. For a brief window in September and October the state is transformed into a kaleidoscope of red, gold and orange as millions of deciduous tree leaves change colors. While a day trip lets you glimpse this natural wonder, there’s nothing like spending a night or two beneath the trees, watching the morning light enter their leaves, and breathing in the cool autumn air from the warm embrace of your sleeping bag.
Opportunities for New Yorkers to make a weekend plunge into fall foliage are endless. The action starts in the Hudson River Valley, a quick drive or Metro North trip from NYC. Here, deciduous forests fan out from both sides of the Hudson River, and visitors can enjoy the views along New York’s segment of the Appalachian Trail as it passes through the Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks.
Some of the best fall leaf views are found further north along the round slopes of the Catskills, where Woodstock and other communities host Fall Festivals and Oktoberfests.
For those willing to venture further upstate, the lakes and waterfalls of the Finger Lakes region are at their most spectacular when ringed with fiery fall leaves. If you’ve been waiting to visit one of upstate’s epic State Parks, like Letchworth or Watkins Glen, fall is the perfect time to book.
When will the leaves be their best? New Yorkers can expect the maples, oaks, hickories and aspens of the Empire State to start their transformation in late September and reach peak colors early-mid October. This fall foliage prediction map can help you estimate the best time to book.
Autumn camping in New York has more rewards than just the foliage. It’s harvest season upstate, and local farm stands and markets are teeming with apples, winter greens, squash and root veggies (perfect for foil pack roasting on your campfire). U-pick apple orchards, pumpkin patches and corn mazes reward travelers young and young-at-heart. There’s also cider, winter ales and the grape harvest festivities across New York's wineries to help take the nip out of the air.
If you’re on the fence about braving the slightly-cooler temperatures of Fall camping, we’ve got your covered — these prime New York fall foliage sites host vans and RVs, while these sites have a variety of snug cabins, treehouses and other lodging.
So get to it New York! Book a trip before the before the trees are bare and let your Timberlands crunch a few leaves this fall.
3 of our favorite camps for fall foliage in New York:
This 40-acre campsite in the Catskills has three private waterfalls and is walking distance to the magnificent Hemlock Falls. Surrounding forests mixed with deciduous trees and conifers make leaf peeping here a joy.
Don’t forget the wide-angle lens for your trip to Upper Esopus Creekside Camp, a Hipcamp that sits below seven 3500’ Catskill peaks, making it an ideal site for Fall foliage mountain viewing. Nearby trailheads to Giant Ledge, Panther and Slide Mountain allow you to (literally) scale-up your adventure.
For panoramic autumn views of the rolling Appalachian foothills, perch yourself at Heart’s Desire, a Hipcamp and working organic dairy farm on 800 acres in upstate New York. If you don’t get lost in these views, try the corn maze hosted by a nearby farm each fall.