Like in the spring during cherry blossom season, Central Park is one of the best places in NYC to see fall foliage since it’s one of the only locations in the concrete jungle with an abundance of trees. This may be an unpopular opinion, but you don’t need to go on a road trip to see fall foliage in the Northeast.
New York City’s urban oasis has over 18,000 trees that are cared for by arborists, and that transform vibrant shades of yellow, orange red, and more. This is your sign to walk around Central Park when the leaves start to change colors!
The best time to see these colorful hues will be sometime between late October and mid-November.
If you do want to leave the city for that road trip, you totally can since the colors up north start changing earlier in the season. Personally, I would recommend multiple trips to Central Park, if you can, since there’s a lot of ground to cover. If you don’t have enough time for multiple trips, the best way to capture all the colors is to start at Central Park South, then work your way north toward the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reservoir.
For the planning people, Central Park Conservancy provides a PDF of a fall foliage map listing the types of trees there are throughout the park.
When I walk around the park, I typically go with the runner’s loop and start from East side and head North towards Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.
All of Central Park has amazing photography opportunities, but these are some exact locations that I’ve marked over the years that combine beautiful views with the colorful hues of the leaves.
Central Park South between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
Mid Central Park between 73rd to 79th Street
Mid Central Park between 85th to 96th Street
West Side between 66th to 72nd Street
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