Best Parks for Fall Foliage – Queens
Alley Pond Park
Trees to see: Pin oaks, white pine, black cherries, black oak, flowering dogwood, black locust, American beech, red oaks, sweetgum, red maple, tulip trees
Choose between several of the park’s official walking paths, although the most popular are the green trail and the white trail.
The green trail is especially tree-filled, surrounded by tulip trees and some sassafrass. Those that venture down the white trail will get to see the Queens Giant.
Take the Tulip Tree Trail to see the park’s most famous resident, a 450-year-old tulip tree considered the oldest tree in New York, which stands in an ancient forest. At 133 feet high, this is the tallest tree in New York City and possibly the oldest living thing in the metropolitan area..
There’s also a wonderful view of the park’s natural salt marsh.
Best Parks for Fall Foliage – Staten Island
Trees to see: oak, hickory, beech, maple, sweetgum, and tulip trees
This natural treasure in the heart of Staten Island has some 35 miles of walking trails along the crest of the Serpentine Ridge and through one of the last undisturbed forests in New York City.
You’ll see a wide variety of native trees, as well as a rare species of fern, glacial ponds, and a 16-acre lake. Keep your eyes peeled for any animals and birds making their home in the forest.
The Yellow Trail is a real hike, but worth the effort for NYC skyline views from the top of Todt Hill or Moses’ Mountain, where you might catch a glimpse of bald eagles.
It’s an eight mile day-trip, that also passes through Basket Willow Swamp, a 47-acre patch of purple willow planted in the 1800s to grow the reeds for basketmaking.
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What’s your favorite NYC spot for fall foilage?
photos courtesy NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation
This fall foilage article was published originally in 2014 and updated annually, including for Fall 2020
NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
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