Best Places to View Fall Foliage
Publish Date: 2020-09-09
Enjoying time outdoors is ideal these days. Here are just a dozen of the many terrific spots to view nature's bursts of color in Dutchess County during the fall season. Please remember, while spending time exploring, be sure to practice social distancing. Many locations have implemented their own COVID policies to keep you safe, so visiting each site's website is recommended for the most up-to-date information.
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site on Route 9 in Hyde Park is set high above the Hudson River with a spectacular view of the Catskill Mountains. Stroll the grounds and admire the changing trees as you imagine the life of the Dutchess County elite.
Staatsburgh State Historic Site off Route 9 in Staatsburg offers magnificent views across the rolling estate lawn, down to the Hudson, and across to the Catskills beyond. It's the only estate west of the railroad tracks, with uninterrupted access to the river.
The Taconic State Parkway, opened in 1931 for "Sunday drivers" to enjoy the scenery, is an excellent route to take to admire Mother Nature’s canvas. Don’t miss the Taste NY Market at the Todd Hill rest area, just one mile south of Route 55, for food and beverage products made by producers in Dutchess and across the State.
Photo courtesy of Skip Pearlman
Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park in Beacon features views across the river to Newburgh. Take a scenic boat trip to Bannerman's Castle on Pollepel Island for another vantage point, complete with a Scottish-style castle, within the Hudson Highlands State Park.
River Road from Rhinebeck north to Red Hook is a lovely drive along the miles of field-stone walls that marked the estates of the Astors and other wealthy Gilded Age families. Don’t miss the opportunity to pick up farm-fresh produce and products at Migliorelli’s Farm Stand just north of Route 199.
Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, is a picturesque 130-acre estate whose main building is a converted dairy barn, high up on a knoll. Explore their walking trails or admire the views from the Terrace overlooking the vineyard while sipping award-winning wines. If there’s a chill in the air, step inside to get warm by the fireplace in Taproom.
Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area and Research Reserve in the Town of Red Hook is an important 1,700-acre upland habitat, estuarine reserve, and tidal coastal protected area, with an extensive trail network. In addition to the foliage, you can spot a wide variety of wetland-dependent fish, wildlife, and plant species in these globally-rare wetland habitats.
Ferncliff Forest's 79-foot fire tower stands in the middle of this unspoiled 200-acre preserve. Located just off of Route 9 on River Road in Rhinebeck, view the stunning 360⁰ views of the Hudson River, Catskill Mountains and more.
Photo courtesy of Julian Diamond
DeLaVergne Hill on Route 44 East in Amenia, a mile-long "S" curve on a descending road, features magnificent views of Silo Ridge and three states. On the way, be sure to stop in the quaint village of Millbrook, and once down the “hill”, make a left onto Route 22 north to continue toward Millerton and the lovely scenery of the Harlem Valley.
In the town of North East, in the northeastern corner of Dutchess County, go up Silver Mountain Road, and up Rte. 5, off Rte. 22 for picturesque views. In fact, the entire stretch of Route 22 north from Pawling toward Millerton and beyond is a fantastic fall drive. This route is nestled in the Harlem Valley, with beautiful views of the Taconic and Berkshire mountains looking east towards Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The Appalachian Trail Boardwalk over the Great Swamp in Pawling is a must-see spot to take in the foliage. Visitors come from across the globe to hike the trail and marvel at the natural beauty of NYS’s third largest freshwater wetlands.
The Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie is the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world, a former railroad bridge built in 1888. Now a Walkway spanning 1.28 miles and stretching 212 feet above the majestic Hudson River, visitors enjoy a magnificent birds' eye views of the beautiful Catskill Mountains.