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New York and Long Island Fall Foliage and Colors Tours

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Long Island, New York Fall Foliage Tours and Guide

Click for Fall, 2010 foliage report and map, updated every three days.

There are some “leaf-peeping” sites on the north shore of Long Island, not far from New York City limits. Although there are no mountains or lakes and the atmosphere is sometimes more suburban than rural, there are many events that celebrate the fall season. Several of the Gold Coast estates have hundreds of acres of gardens to explore in addition to tours of the historic mansions.

Peak foliage viewing is typically the last week in October and the first week in November.
People late to notice that fall has arrived will be able to enjoy the colors on Long Island long after the show in Vermont has ended.

Long Island Fall Foliage Routes

  • Combine beach-walking and leaf-peeping in the small, picturesque town of Cold Spring Harbor. The town, on the North Shore in Suffolk County, was formerly a whaling port; however its current focus is the tourist trade, with historic sites, galleries, and interesting museums and restaurants. The fall colors are all over town, as well as in the 40 acres of hilly terrain in Cold Spring Harbor State Park. The park offers scenic vistas of the town and harbor, and features a mixed hardwood forest with notable and large oak specimens, as well as thickets of wild mountain laurel.
  • Planting Fields Arboretum, the former Gold Coast estate known as Coe Hall, includes formal gardens, hiking trails, and a botanical garden. Coe Hall is located on the North Shore in Oyster Bay. A stroll in the arboretum is not quite a wilderness experience, as the garden is arranged alphabetically (by Latin name, no less). Fall at Planting Fields is a tree-by-tree experience, and this is the place to go one on one with a golden larch. Explore the maple collection, not to mention the dogwoods, tupelos, sorrel trees and others.
  • The forest in Sand Point Preserve includes many types of trees, some native to the area and some introduced. There are chestnut oaks, white oaks, black oaks, northern red oaks, red maple, Norway maple, sweet birch, American beech, sassafras, white ash, and sweet cherry. Two of the Gold Coast Estates, Hempstead House, and Falaise, are on the grounds as well.
  • Tour the grounds of Welwyn Preserve, on Crescent Beach Road in Glen Cove, one of the 12 Gold Coast estates open to the public. The grounds were extensively landscaped by none other than members of the Olmsted family, of Central Park fame. The preserve includes one of Long Island's best collection of old-growth tulip trees, among others considered by the experts to be on the list of the “Great Trees of Long Island.”
  • Drive State Road 25A and the side roads leading towards the suburban town north of 25A. Seek out the North Shore towns with the older and bigger houses, which correlate well with the older and bigger trees.

Fall Foliage Spots in Long Island, the Hamptons, Montauk, Fire Island

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Cold Spring Harbor State Park
Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Planting Fields Arboretum
Sand Point Preserve
SR25A (Manhasset - Port Jefferson)
Welwyn Preserve