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Hudson Valley Tourism Presents the Top 10 Fall Foliage Viewing Spots in the Region
Hudson Valley Tourism recommends the area's best places for viewing the fall foliage.
Crisp cold air is what brings out the color, so start north in Troy on the bluff at Oakwood Cemetery. You’ll have an expansive view of the majestic Hudson River and a large part of the region enveloped in red, gold, and orange. Across the river, the Helderberg Escarpment rises 1,100 vertical feet from an ancient ocean floor. The escarpment is one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world. From the top, enjoy spectacular views of the Hudson-Mohawk Valleys, the Adirondacks, and the Green Mountains of Vermont.
Another spot where you can see the splendors of autumn for miles is the Catskill Mountain House Site at North South Lake State Park in Haines Falls. In the late 1800's this site was among the premiere resorts in the United States, and inspiration for countless paintings. The fantastic vistas from the hotel's front steps overlook 50 miles of the Hudson River Valley into New England. Nearby in Germantown, Clermont State Historic Site sits on 485 acres with formal gardens and miles of hiking trails. Tour the beautiful 1700’s home, and enjoy the breathtaking views through the windows. Clermont is French for “clear mountain”, and that’s what you see as you look toward the Catskills.
Further south, stroll the expansive grounds of the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park. The formal Italian Gardens are graced with fine statuary and reflecting pools bordered with fall flowers. Benches on the lawn provide magnificent views of the western side of the Hudson River, perfect for watching the sunset. Part of that view includes the Shawangunk Ridge, easy to access on Route 44/55, a scenic road that takes you through the charming village of Gardiner and past Minnewaska State Park. Three overlooks give you sweeping views of the Wallkill and Rondout Valleys with the spectacular backdrop of the Catskill Mountains.
River views are even more impressive when you’re on the river. Board the Pride of the Hudson at Newburgh Landing for a two-hour voyage with both colorful narrative and foliage. It’s a chance to see a 360 degree view of the Hudson Valley with both sides of the river displaying the gorgeous russet and gold leaves for which the region is famous. One of the mansions seen from the cruise is Boscobel, a neoclassical mansion seated elegantly on the bank of the river. A brick walkway leads through the apple orchard past the herb garden and orangery to the formal rose garden with its central fountain. There are over six hundred individual plants and over one hundred and fifty varieties of roses on display in the garden, enhancing the spectacular views of the Hudson Highlands and West Point across the river.
A short distance away is Monteverde in Cortlandt Manor. Set on 29 acres, the mansion dates from 1760 and is now a restaurant. Sip a glass of wine on the lawn or enjoy dinner in this fine home while you take in sweeping views of Bear Mountain and the Hudson River. For more casual waterside dining, take a picnic to Hook Mountain State Park in Upper Nyack. The plateau is on one of the highest peaks overlooking the river. Wade in the water, watch the passing river traffic from one of the many benches, or take the trail at the base of the mountain for an autumn stroll right next to the Hudson.
September and October are prime months for watching the leaves change in the Hudson Valley. Weather conditions have been perfect this year for producing brilliant fall foliage. If there was ever an autumn to come to the Valley, this is it!
Oakwood Cemetery, Troy. 518-272-7520, www.oakwoodcemetery.org
Helderberg Escarpment, Albany. 518-872-1237, www.nysparks.com
Catskill Mountain House Site, Haines Falls. 518-589-5058
Clermont State Historic Site, Germantown. 518 537-4240,, www.friendsofclermont.org
Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park. 845-229-9115, www.NPS.gov/
Shawangunk Ridge, Gardiner. 800-342-5826
Pride of the Hudson, Newburgh. 845-220-2120, www.prideofthehudson.com
Boscobel, Garrison. 845-265-3638, www.boscobel.org
Monteverde at Oldstone Manor, Cortlandt Manor. 914-739-5000, www.monteverderestaurant.com
Hook Mountain State Park, Upper Nyack. 845-268-3020
Hudson Valley Tourism, Inc. is the 10-county region designated by I LOVE NEW YORK to promote tourism for the area. Counties include Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester. Regional information can be obtained from any of the county tourism offices, the Hudson Valley Tourism website, www.travelhudsonvalley.com, or by calling 845-615-3860.