Nothing says fall quite like fire-hued foliage—save maybe cozy knits, pumpkin spice lattes and apple picking. Don’t be fooled by the current mild weather in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, the window to snap pics of red, orange and yellow leaves will be closed before you know it. Eager to catch a glimpse of those brilliant colors but prefer something relatively close? We totally get it. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to enjoy fall foliage near New York City. From the Poconos Mountains to the Catskills, there are so many epic autumn destinations within driving or train distance of the Big Apple. Consult this handy map, then plan your leaf-peeping trip accordingly.

RELATED: THE 25 BEST FALL FESTIVALS TO EXPERIENCE ACROSS THE U.S.

When is the best time to see fall foliage in the New York area?

The best time to glimpse those majestic reds, oranges and yellows differs each year, but in general, peak times for a fall foliage trip around upstate New York occur at the end of September until mid to late October. To guarantee a successful leaf-peeping excursion, check out this handy map before you go.

fall foliage new york delaware water gap1
Tony Sweet/Getty Images

1. DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA (BUSHKILL, PENNSYLVANIA)

Autumn doesn’t get more glorious than in the Pocono Mountains, where the eclectic mix of trees turns every color on the fall-foliage spectrum. With over 70,000 acres wrapping around the Delaware River, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is especially great for aquatic activities. Canoes, kayaks and rafts are available to rent. You’ll also find 100 miles of hiking trails to traverse. Afterward, treat your tastebuds to some seasonal sips at R.A.W. Urban Winery & Hard Cidery in downtown Stroudsburg.

Distance from NYC: 1.5 hours from Manhattan by car

Trees to see: white oak, red maple and shagbark hickory

Peak foliage times: late September/early October

Where to stay:

Fall Foliage Near NYC GREENBELT NATURE CENTER
Logan Myers/EyeEm/Getty Images

2. GREENBELT NATURE CENTER (STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK)

Believe it or not, there are some stunning leaves in...wait for it...Staten Island. That’s right! The southernmost borough boasts Greenbelt Nature Center, a sprawling nature preserve with 35 miles of woodland trails, including one for biking. Before striking out, make a pit stop at one of the area’s famed pizzerias to fuel up for your walk. Our top pick? Joe & Pat Pizzeria serves up wood-fired pies and is located less than 10 minutes away.

Distance from NYC: 1.5 hours from Manhattan by MTA bus, subway and ferry

Trees to see: oak, hickory, tulip tree, beech and maple

Peak foliage times: second week in November

Where to stay:

Fall Foliage Near NYC ESSEX  CONNECTICUT
bbcamericangirl/Flickr

3. ESSEX, CONNECTICUT

Connecticut has an unbelievably impressive leaf-scape (yeah, we’re calling it that). While your mind probably goes to the more woodsy Litchfield Hills, that means overlooking shoreline gems like Essex where you can gaze at foliage from both land and sea. The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat makes daily runs into the Connecticut River Valley, traversing 12 miles of prime leaf-peeping territory. Opt for the full tour, which also passes by local historic sights such as Gillette Castle and the Goodspeed Opera House.

Distance from NYC: 2 hours from Manhattan by car

Trees to see: maple, birch, hickory, oak and beech

Peak foliage times: late October/early November

Where to stay:

fall foliage new york bear mountain
Victor Cardoner/Getty Images

4. BEAR MOUNTAIN STATE PARK (TOMKINS COVE, NEW YORK)

Bear Mountain State Park is a certified stunner all year round, but it’s even more spectacular as the mountainside bursts into shades of scarlet, rust and gold. Scenic trails meander through the beautiful landscape. We’ll admit that the trek to the peak is a bit strenuous and there’s some rock scrambling involved. However, the sense of accomplishment and panoramic views from up top are well worth the workout. Plus, you’re guaranteed to smash your daily quota of 10,000 steps.

Distance from NYC: 1 hour from Manhattan by train

Trees to see: chestnut and red oak

Peak foliage times: first week in November

Where to stay:

fall foliage new york palisades interstate park1
Doug Schneider Photography/Getty Images

5. PALISADES INTERSTATE PARK (FORT LEE, NEW JERSEY)

Just a short trip over the George Washington Bridge lies a scenic stretch called Palisades Interstate Park that’s always a sight for sore eyes but gets exponentially prettier in the fall. Drive up the parkway to Rockleigh and back down to Fort Lee for vibrant leaves, 30 miles of trails and a slew of excellent Korean restaurants. A warm bowl of sundubu-jjigae (soft tofu stew) from So Kong Dong is the perfect comforting dish on a chilly evening.

Distance from NYC: 30 minutes from Manhattan by car

Trees to see: scarlet oak, white oak, shagbark hickory, black walnut, beech, sweetgum and tulip tree

Peak foliage times: late October/early November

Where to stay:

fall foliage new york walkway over the hudson
Christopher Ramirez/Flickr

6. WALKWAY OVER THE HUDSON STATE HISTORIC PARK (POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK)

Imagine the High Line, only bigger. Spanning 1.28 miles between Poughkeepsie and Highland, the expansive Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is the world's longest elevated pedestrian bridge. Record-breaking length aside, it offers sweeping views of the Hudson River and the surrounding color-changing trees. You could easily spend a full day exploring the two towns it touches. There are historic districts, waterfront walks and a Little Italy on the east bank, where sandwiches from Rossi Rosticceria Deli shouldn’t be missed.

Distance from NYC: 2 hours from Manhattan by Metro-North train

Trees to see: Norway maple, white maple, red oak and tulip tree

Peak foliage times: late October

Where to stay:

Fall Foliage Near NYC CATSKILL FOREST PRESERVE  8203
VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm/Getty Images

7. CATSKILL FOREST PRESERVE​ ​(MOUNT TREMPER, NEW YORK)

Have time for a full-on weekend excursion? Set your Google Maps destination to Catskill Forest Preserve. This endlessly gorgeous 286,000-acre state park is even more dazzling in autumn when the trees turn from green to fiery red and orange. The meadows, sparkling lakes, waterfalls and rock formations are nothing to scoff at either. For the ultimate relaxing weekend, unplug and get in sync with Mother Nature by renting a rustic cabin or shacking up at a hip and halcyon hotel in nearby Woodstock.

Distance from NYC: 2.5 hours from Manhattan by car

Trees to see: red oak, chestnut oak, red maple and birch

Peak foliage times: first week in October

Where to stay:

RELATED: 12 LESSER-KNOWN (BUT TOTALLY CHARMING) UPSTATE NEW YORK TOWNS YOU NEED TO VISIT

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