A guest post by Elisa Shaw who is a New York Photographer and a frequent poster on my New England Photography Guild facebook page and she has graciously written up some of her favorite fall foliage locations. I know New York isn’t officially New England but I’m not a snob when it comes to fall foliage. Show me great fall colors and I’m a happy camper!
Here are a few spots she loves for Fall Foliage Not! in New England but pretty darned close… Take a look at more of her work
New England gets all the kudos for all foliage, but just a short distance away, New York’s Hudson Valley and the adjacent Catskill Mountainshave plenty of foliage vistas and views to explore as well. The second week of October is approximately the peak of our color, but anytime during the first 3 weeks of October, views with good color can be found.
Stop number one is the tallest waterfall in New York, Kaaterskill Falls (N 42 11.5998 W 74 3.7908) Parking is about 2/10 of a mile from the falls on Rt 23A in Tannersville, NY, but it is an easy walk down. Right at roadside is Bastion falls, a photogenic smaller set of falls. The well marked trail up to Kaaterskill is to the right of Bastion falls and is rated as ‘easy” but I think perhaps it deserves more of a moderate rating, though both of my young children have made it up the trail without any problems. The trail is only about ½ – 3/4 mile but is steep and rocky in spots and good footwear is recommended. There is a wonderful creek that runs alongside the trail with numerous photo ops along the way. For photography purposes, either try to go on a cloudy day or go in the afternoon when the sun is behind the trees and not glaring into the falls. (Note – this spot can get very busy, especially in the fall, so I would recommend going on a cloudy midweek day to minimize some of the crowds. I have been there at 3pm on a Wednesday and had the place virtually to myself.)
About 4 miles from Kaaterskill Falls is North South lake state park (42.1984, -74.04496)
(note – a small fee may be required – as of last year it was $4 to enter)
The lakes themselves are lovely as is the surrounding area, but for photographic purposes park your car at the North Lake swimming area and hike to “Artist’s Rock”. The trail starts across from the changing rooms, follow the trail markers towards the site of the former Kaaterskill hotel. From there the trail leads for about ½ mile up along a mildly steep climb (and one little rock scramble) to Artists Rock, a series of ledges with sweeping vistas of the Hudson River valley past to theBerkshiremountains on a clear day. Once you have had your fill here, continue on the trail for another ¼ mile to sunset rock which will provide views of both north and south lake. Along the way you will also find mountain laurel and mountain blueberry bushes turning a deep maroon color against the rock which make for more intimate photo ops. (*One side note – there are bears atNorthSouthLakepark. I personally have never encountered one along this trail but I have a friend who has, though in that case it (the bear) ran away as fast as it could!) 🙂
If you are looking for a nice walk with out any effort, you can go to the Diamond Notch carriage trail in Spruceton, NY( GPS: N42 11.083 W74 16.305.) The entire trail is 6 miles long, but within the first 2 miles you encounter 2 woodland waterfalls and little to no elevation gain. It is a perfect spot to find classic autumn maples and water scenes.
Our final stop is Minnewaska State park outside of New Paltz, NY, an hour south of the Catskill mountain region into the Shawangunk mountains but well worth the trip. GPS lat/long (approx) = 41.73501,-74.23904 = N41.73501 W74.23904 As soon as you enter the park, pull into the parking area on the right immediately before the small stone bridge and walk the carriage trail which follows a creek and leads first to Awosting falls. The trail continues on for another mile and leads you to the lesser visited Stony Kill Falls. Once you have visited these two spots, get back into the car and travel to the top of the park which features one of 3 glacial lakes and cliff edge views along the many trails inside the park.
There are plenty of other sights to discover in between those I have listed, so don’t be afraid to go and of course and take the road less traveled
All images are copyrighted by Elisa Shaw Photography and to purchase any of her wonderful photos please contact her through her website or the contact button on this page and I will pass your email to her. If you enjoyed this article, please share this page and her work with your friends.
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as: http://www.4cornersnewengland.com/
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff Foliage.com.
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.
I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.