It's the most colorful time of year. Some of the best fall foliage in the country can be found in Upstate New York, but it doesn't last long. Here's a timeline of when you can see all the colors at their peak all across New York state.

The leaves have already started to change color in parts of the state, a little later than normal due to the lack of rain over the summer. By early October, the foliage will be past its peak in Upstate New York. Western New York and the Capital Region won't peak until the middle of the month.

Here's a cool interactive map from to let you know when the fall colors will reach their peak.

Smoky Mountains data scientist and CTO Wes Melton created the interactive map to forecast the precise moment when peak fall will occur. "Our model ingests multiple data points including NOAA precipitation forecasts, historical precipitation, average daylight exposure, and temperature forecasts," says Melton. "We process hundreds of thousands of data points from a variety of private and government sources to accurately predict the precise moment fall will occur for the entire United States."

Predicting the precise moment leaves will change in different parts of the country is challenging. "The major factors impacting peak fall are sunlight, precipitation, soil moisture, and temperature," explains Melton. "Although we cannot control Mother Nature and ensure 100% accuracy, our data sources are top-tier."

Where & When to See Best Fall Foliage

The changes begin in the Adirondack and Catskill mountains in early September ending on Long Island and in New York City in early November. It takes about two weeks for the colors to complete their cycles in any area, with peak brilliance lasting three to four days in one spot. So where's the best place to see the picturesque fall foliage?


The Adirondack Mountains are among the best places in the country to see fall foliage. Head to Whiteface Mountain and take a gondola ride at the ski center or take a rail bike on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad to see the beauty of Mother Nature in the fall.
Peak: Late September/early October

Thousand Islands

Alexandria Bay provides a beautiful backdrop for fall foliage. Take a boat tour to Boldt Castle and enjoy all the colors, surrounded by the St Lawrence River.
Peak: First part of October


John Boyd Thacher State Park in Voorheesville offers stunning views of the Hudson-Mohawk lowlands, including the southern Adirondacks. The park has more than 140 camping sites, so make a weekend of it.
Peak: Mid to late October

Western New York

Devil’s Hole State Park and Whirlpool State Park both offer several miles of panoramic views of the scenic Lower Niagara River gorge. Nearby Letchworth State Park has been dubbed "the Grand Canyon of the East," the perfect place to see all the Autumn colors.
Peak: Mid to late October

Finger Lakes

Bristol Mountain Ski Resort, located about 30 miles southwest of Rochester, offers beautiful views of the fall foliage. They even have a webcam so you can enjoy the colors from the comfort of your couch.
Peak: Mid October


Take a trip to Kaaterskill Falls where you'll find several hiking trails that provide a number of lookout points over the Hudson Valley. You can even travel through the fall foliage on a rail bike along the Ulster & Delaware Railroad.
Peak: Early October

Hudson Valley

Climb up to Skytop Tower at Lake Mohonk (off Route 299), where you'll be able to see reds, oranges, and yellows spreading out over not one, but six states.
Peak: Mid to late October

You can also check out the beauty of Mother Nature at several other locations in New York.
*Prospect Mountain
*the Catskill Forest Preserve
*West Point’s Trophy Point
*Saratoga Monument
*Gore Mountain

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