Top Fall Adventures in Upstate NY

Watkins Glen State Park 

Located at the bottom of Seneca Lake, this deep-cut, phenomenon of nature, has waterfalls galore (I believe around 19), 200 foot drops, stone bridges, nature trails, caves hidden spiral staircases and of course, Fall foliage galore! While it’s beautiful any time of year, this state park is most popular in the Fall, as the turned leaves seem to accentuate its natural beauty. Even on a rainy day, its worth the drive, the hike, and the soggy socks, to take in some amazing views and nature.


And should your socks get too soggy, the town of Watkins Glen is chock-full of cozy pubs, craft breweries, and even some finer dining options with views of Seneca Lake. If you throw in some wine tasting up the West (or East) sides of the lake, you can really make a fun-packed, Fall weekend out of it!

The Erie Canal

I’m sure the canal boasts incredible views on any accessible part, however, most of my experience with the canal focus’ us in around Rochester, NY.


No matter the town, the canal has an evenly-paved path, perfect for walking, running, biking, rollerblading, or whatever your preferred method of movement may be. While it’s actually more popular in the Summer months, the Fall is an ideal time to hit the pavement next to the canal. The water is usually more still  in the Fall, since most of the boats have been put away for the season. Aside from the lock-movement, you won’t find much of a wake or ripple on a calm day. This is ideal for drawing in the beauty of the vibrant orange leaves juxtaposing the crystal blue skies. The still water becomes the perfect pedestal of reflection for both sky and trees. The combination is breath-taking and attracts many photographers, nature-lovers, and generally active crowds.

Letchworth State Park

Some call this great gorge The Grand Canyon of the East…or is it of the North? The Grand Canyon of the Northeast.

Whether you choose to drive through and stop at the various outlook points, or you decide to camp, or  to venture onto one of the many hiking trails, or to absorb some authentic Native American culture, or to plan a family picnic at picturesque lodge… this park will truly make you thankful for glaciers, and possibly to write letters to the National Parks Association inquiring about the qualifications to being a National Park. Really, why is this only a state park? Its beauty, history and environment importance deserve National recognition and preservation.

This park is definitely impressive any time of year, with three different Falls  from the Genessee River and beautiful trails, but Autumn leaves really highlight Letchworth’s greatest qualities.

Lake George 

The Adirondack Mountains are bursting at the peaks, with breathtaking views, rigorous and modest trails, lakes, canyons, waterfalls, and any nature activity of your fancy. It’s hard to pinpoint one particular part that merits attention for a leaf-peeping award. So take the following advice with a grain of salt. Go to Lake George in the Fall, for a full weekend.

Lake George in the Fall has it all. No crowds, a cute town, gorgeous lake views, endless mountains, a few craft breweries, and a plethora of lodging options. For more details, wait in joyful anticipation for a future post with a Lake George Fall-Weekend Getaway itinerary. For now, I’ll leave you with these pictures:

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