Fall in the Hudson Valley

Sep 9, 2022

Fall in the Hudson Valley is a spectacular time to explore the region. The cooler weather makes it ideal for outdoor activities. Additionally, numerous seasonal events just shouldn’t be missed.

If you are trying to figure out which options are best for you and aren’t sure where to begin, here are some Hudson Valley fall activities worth adding to your list.

breakneck ridge

Breakneck Ridge, NY

What to Do in the Fall in the Hudson Valley

Enjoy the Fall Foliage

The Hudson Valley fall foliage is legendary. Peak foliage in Hudson Valley usually occurs in late September into mid-October. However, that can vary a bit depending on local weather conditions and other factors. Even if you’re a tad early, you’ll still get to see the beginnings of the breathtaking transformation.

Simply exploring the scenery during this time of year opens you up to a color-filled adventure. You’ll get to enjoy the magnificent beauty of mother nature. Plus, it’s a budget-friendly activity suitable for all ages, making it a great choice for everyone.

Part of what makes this one of the best fall activities in Hudson Valley is that there are so many ways to approach it. If you want to try your hand at some Hudson Valley leaf-peeping, here are a few options.

Take a Hudson Valley Hike

If you want to enjoy the Hudson Valley, New York fall foliage up close or while getting some exercise, taking a hike is your best option. You can go at your own pace, giving you plenty of time to appreciate the changing landscape and breathtaking scenery.

When it comes to your options, some of the best fall hikes in Hudson Valley, head to locations like:

  • Taconic Mountains
  • Cold Spring
  • Shawangunk Mountains
  • Storm King Mountain
  • Sam’s Point
  • Mohonk Preserve

With Mohonk Preserve hiking, you have plenty of options. If you’re looking for a simpler hike, try the Sky Top Road for a gradual ascent. Copes Lookout is also a solid choice for most people.

The Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Just be aware that it is a physically challenging trail, so it is not suitable for everyone. The same goes for Bonticou Crag. While the payoff is a magnificent view, it isn’t a hike for novices.

Try Scenic Drives in Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley scenic drives are another way to explore the Hudson Valley foliage, but it lets you do so from the comfort of your vehicle. There are several routes to choose from, including:

  • County Route 3 from Kerhonkson to Tabasco
  • Route 28A from Boiceville to Olivebridge
  • Route 212 from Woodstock to Boiceville
  • Route 44/55 from New Paltz to Kerhonkson
  • Route 9/9G from Tarrytown to Hudson

Those routes all take different amounts of time to complete, giving you the ability to choose one that aligns with your preferences. Plus, there can be some fun historical sights and other attractions along the way, so don’t be afraid to plan some stops to make the most of your trip.

bear mountain

Bear Mountain

Go on a Hudson Valley Fall Foliage Cruise

If you want a relaxing way to enjoy fall in the Hudson Valley, a fall foliage cruise down the Hudson River could be your ideal choice. You can take in the scenery while kicking your feet up. Plus, many of the cruises offer dining opportunities, allowing you to enjoy a tasty meal along the way.

For a unique treat, consider taking an Oktoberfest Hudson Valley fall foliage cruise. With those, you’ll get delectable German cuisine and beers, making it an excellent option for an adults-only outing.

Book a Trip on the Fall Foliage Train

Another laidback option for enjoying the Hudson Valley fall foliage is a lovely train ride. There are several fall foliage train rides in Hudson Valley, including some roundtrip and one-way routes.

Most of the longer roundtrip routes include a several-hour stop at the turnaround point. With those, you can explore the town, grab a bite, and take a stroll, giving you a chance to stretch your legs before heading back to your origin point.

Shorter ones complete a simple circle, lasting anywhere from about 1 to 4 hours. There will be a brief stop at the halfway point in some cases, though that isn’t always the case.

Try a Hudson Valley Helicopter Tour

If you’re feeling a bit bold and looking for a unique way to enjoy the landscape, one of the best things to do in autumn in the Hudson Valley is taking a helicopter tour. You’ll get to take in views of the lovely foliage from the air, giving you an intriguing perspective that most people don’t get a chance to experience.

Often, this option is one of the more expensive ones. Additionally, most tours can only accommodate smaller groups, ranging between two and six people. Still, if you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it’s definitely worth considering.

Head to Hudson Valley Apple Orchards

When you’re exploring Hudson Valley in the fall, Hudson Valley orchards need to be a part of your plan. During autumn, many local farms welcome guests for some fun apple picking. It’s a Hudson Valley tradition, allowing you to enjoy the fresh outdoor air while gathering some delectable treats.

Many of the farms also have other attractions. You may find Hudson Valley apple orchards with corn mazes, hayrides, and pumpkin patches, ensuring you can have a full day of fun during your visit.

Hudson Valley Orchard

Hudson Valley Orchard, NY

Enjoy Fresh, Local Cider

With orchards being a big part of the region’s identity, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Hudson Valley cider is something worth experiencing. There are many local varieties, including alcoholic and nonalcoholic versions, ensuring there is something for everyone. You can also find eco-certified and organic ciders, making them perfect for eco-conscious visitors.

If you’re looking for a cidery in Hudson Valley, you are never short of options. Some are integrated into orchards, allowing you to enjoy two activities at once. Others are separate operations, acting as unique destinations unto themselves.

Experience the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze

If you’re looking for a unique experience, head to the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. There, you can wander through an 18th-century landscape and explore a stunning display featuring 7,000+ illuminated jack o’ lanterns. Every one of the jack o’ lanterns is hand-carved by a team of local artisans, creating exceptional variety in the collection.

Along the way, you can also enjoy the New York City skyline’s special pumpkin treatment. By heading to the river display, you can take a casual walk under the sea. There are synchronized light and sound shows to enjoy, featuring an original soundtrack created for the event, as well, making it an event you simply don’t want to miss.

Go on a Zipline Adventure

While many people might think that ziplining is only for the adventurous, almost anyone can have fun cruising through the treetops on these tours. Many companies welcome people of all ages, and they make an extra effort to keep everyone comfortable during every stage of the experience.

Once you take off, you get to glide through the air, following the line through the trees. As you pass through, you can enjoy the foliage, look for wildlife, or simply enjoy the wind in your hair, making it another fun way to experience the area in a unique way.

sleepy hollow

Sleepy Hollow, NY

Explore Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow is more than a setting in a book; it’s a lovely village brimming with intriguing sites, unique architecture, and must-see seasonal events. The town of Sleepy Hollow is particularly active in the fall, especially as Halloween draws near.

If you’re looking for a spooky good time, plan a visit to Sleepy Hollow in Hudson Valley. There are great options for accommodations and dining. Plus, there are activities for all kinds of visitors, including adults looking for some adventures, families seeking out kid-friendly fun, and everyone else.


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