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The 10 best places to go leaf peeping in the Catskills

Make a trip north to see some of the best fall foliage in New York

Time Out in association with I LOVE NEW YORK
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Fall in New York State means sweater weather, pumpkin patches and, of course, leaf peeping. There’s perhaps no more idyllic place in the world to check out the fall foliage than in the Catskills—with ample locations within the mountainous region to take in the changing colors—and we’re here to guide you to the best spots.

Plan your escape to the Catskills now.

As the name suggests, this point offers views of five different states: New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. If you’re looking to see a full spectrum of colors and a diverse range of tree species flaunting their foliage, this is a sure bet.

Taking in the glory that is fall in the Catskills while standing still might just take your breath away, but doing so while whizzing 50 miles per hour on a zip line is guaranteed to leave your heart racing. New York Zipline Canopy Tours at Hunter Mountain offers more than five miles of zippiness, some of which towers 600 feet above the ground.

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If you are looking for a fresh leaf peeping perspective, try this unique mode of transportation. The Catskill Mountain Flyer is a great way to peacefully check out the area’s changing foliage. The fall foliage train rides leave from the Kingston Westbrook Lane Station, and complete an hour loop that offers views of the tree line you just can’t find in a car. If you really want to show your love for autumn, you can take the Pumpkin Patch Express train from the same station, which offers great views of leaves and an excursion to a pumpkin patch to boot.

If you’ve see a landscape painting of the Hudson Valley and thought, “Wow, I need to check that out,” then this is the hike for you. Hundreds of legendary painters have explored this historic trail to capture the beauty of the area. Following in their footsteps is a great way to take in the beauty that has inspired generations of artists.

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If you’re exploring the Catskills by car, it’s worth your time to drive through the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway. The 70-mile stretch of New York State Route 97 is one of the prettiest drives in the country—the area encapsulates passersby in bright, amazing trees and foliage.

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If you thought the Catskills had just one byway, you’re sorely mistaken. The 88-mile Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway is broken up into several segments that offer the perfect spot to take in fall vistas along the countryside. If you want to stop along the route and take in the glory that is autumn in Upstate New York, your best bet is Sam’s Point Preserve—the view will take your breath away.

While enjoying the changing leaves, stop by the Pepacton and Cannonsville Reservoirs and marvel at the fact that this is where most of New York City’s water comes from. And both are worth visiting right now. The massive bodies of water are truly sights to behold, surrounded by incredibly colorful forests.

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This hike is not for novices, but those who complete it will be handsomely rewarded with an inspiring vantage point. The peak of Overlook Mountain (home to the Fire Tower) offers exactly what its name suggests: Extensive views of the entire Catskills region and beyond. The round trip hike is about 10 miles, so plan accordingly.

Venturing into the wilderness to check out the changing leaves isn’t for everyone—and we totally get it. If you’d rather spend your foliage-seeking in leisure, the College Golf Course at Delhi is the place for you. The 18-hole public golf course is surrounded by gorgeous views of the mountains and forests, making for one of the most delightful rounds of golf in the whole state.

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