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By: Lauren Durden

Where to see the best of falls colors throughout upstate New York and New England.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015, was the first official day of fall, meaning that sweater weather, all things pumpkin spice and vibrant fall foliage will soon be sprouting up throughout the United States. As the temperatures drop, and the leaves on trees gradually shift from their summer greens to spectacular shades of burning oranges, yellows, fiery reds and deep maroons, the Northeast comes alive with some of the most beautiful displays of fall colors in the United States. Throughout the month of September and through October, these are the best towns to visit to view nature’s dramatic autumn showcase.

New York

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Photo courtesy of adirondackrr.com

Whether you choose to stay in New York City, or venture further north into the Adirondack Mountains, New York has plenty of fall colors to go around. While Central Park is an easy train ride from almost anywhere in the city, other parks throughout the city are worth a bit of a trek to see some fantastic fall foliage. Fort Tyron Park in Washington Heights boasts one of the highest points in the city, with picturesque views across the water to Hudson River Palisades. Outside of the Big Apple, the Adirondack Mountains host some of the state’s most beautiful changing leaves near Lake Placid. Take in the mountain’s sights on a scenic drive, hike or on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

When to Visit:

Peak times for the city tend to be later in October, while the Adirondacks reach peak in early to mid-October.

Vermont

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Photo courtesy of fineartamerica.com

A state well known for it’s maple syrup and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream also plays host to some of the country’s most vivid fall displays. The maple trees change in color in Stowe conveniently coincide with Stowe’s Oktoberfest. You can continue the fall foliage viewing throughout Vermont’s Green Mountains in ludlow, where travelers can take in 360-degree views of blazing autumn leaves.

When to Visit:

The best viewing times in Vermont tend to be at the end of September through mid-October.

Connecticut

steamboat

Photo courtesy of innharborhill.com

Seek out the Berkshire Mountains for oak, beech, aspen and birch trees exploding with color by way of Route 7 which runs along the Housatonic River in Connecticut. Along with foliage viewing, visitors will take in quintessential New England sights, including two covered bridges.

For a little more adventure than a simple drive through the spectacular colors of fall, board the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat in Connecticut’s River Valley. The trip on the train and riverboat only takes visitors 2 1/2 hours to complete, but allows travelers to sit back and relax while taking in the views.

When to Visit:

Connecticut’s fall foliage viewing generally lasts a bit longer than the surrounding states, but visit in mid-to late October for the season’s peak viewing.

New Hampshire

Autumn sunrise on the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, NH, USA

Photo courtesy of susancolekelly.photoshelter.com

North Conway in New Hampshire is a nature lover’s dream with endless trails fit for hiking, biking and even some rock climbing, set in the White Mountain National Forest. Quaint bed and breakfasts and larger ski resorts make it easy for travelers of all types to find exactly what they’re looking for during a fall visit.

For history buffs, Portsmouth is the place to visit in New Hampshire. With museums, historic homes from the 1600s, and a beautiful waterfront, this New England town has plenty to offer, in addition to stellar foliage.

When to Visit:

Best to visit New Hampshire in early to mid-October.