As the temperatures begin to get cooler and the fog lifts off the mountains each morning, the fall season arrives in the Catskills. Explore outdoors as the leaves change to brilliant hues of yellow, orange, and red — from zooming down a mountain ziplining and strolling along tree-lined paths to sipping hard cider on an orchard farm and pedaling along a historic railroad, there are plenty of unique ways to see beautiful fall foliage this season. Begin planning your trip to the Catskills before the leaves hit peak!
See fall foliage from above the treetops ziplining with New York Canopy Tours at Hunter Mountain in Hunter. Choose the Summit SkyRider Tour to soar 600 feet above the ground for approximately 4.6 miles — you can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour! For a family-friendly option, try the Mid-Mountain Outdoor Adventure Tour, which features six ziplines, four rope bridges, and more.
Hop on a pedal-powered rail bike and explore alongside the Esopus Creek! Based in Phoenicia, Rail Explorers offers The River Run in the Catskills. Pedal along the Ulster and Delaware Railroad while taking in scenic views of surrounding foliage. The eight-mile round trip journey (with electric pedal assistance) takes about two and a half hours, and can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Take in impressive fall views from the Thunder Gondola at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in Highmount. You’ll see vibrant foliage along trees in the Catskill Forest Preserve. When you’ve reached the summit, take time to relax or bring snacks for a picnic lunch. After exploring, you can take the gondola back down the mountain or opt to hike down.
With hundreds of miles of hiking trails, the Catskills region features options for all ages and ability levels. Hike along 70 miles of carriage roads and trails at the Mohonk Preserve in Gardiner — those looking for a more challenging experience can climb the Gunks cliffs! Throughout nearby Sullivan County, explore along the Legacy Dove Trail, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. You’ll see a variety of hand-painted dove sculptures in each location on the trail. In the Great Western Catskills, follow the 26-mile Catskill Scenic Trail that runs from Bloomville to Roxbury. The Catskill Scenic Trail is a former railroad line of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad. In Prattsville, located in the Great Northern Catskills, hike Pratt Rock, known as “New York’s Mount Rushmore.” The 3.1-mile round trip hike features a monument dedicated to Zadock Pratt, an early settler of Greene County.
For added excitement, consider hiking to a fire tower. Mt Utsayantha in Stamford, Hunter Mountain Fire Tower in Hunter, Overlook Mountain Fire Tower in Woodstock, and Red Hill Fire Tower in Claryville are a few of the options in the Catskills. No matter which one you choose, get ready to find spectacular views from the top of a fire tower!
The Catskills region isn’t known as one of the best destinations for fishing for no reason. The area boasts some of the best fly fishing in the country. Get your gear ready and cast a line in one of the many locations throughout the region to fly fish — Roscoe, also known as “Trout Town USA,” Esopus Creek, Willowemoc Creek, and the Delaware River are other popular fishing spots in the Catskills. Find impressive foliage views from the water on your fall fishing trip!
Sipping Craft Beverages
From refreshing hard ciders to seasonal craft brews, the Catskills host top-notch craft beverage spots. With apples top of mind for the season, a visit to a cidery is a perfect way to spend a fall day. Awestruck Ciders in Sidney and Walton features unique ciders, such as Hibiscus Ginger and Peach Ring. Bad Seed Cider Company & Farm Bar in Highland produces different kinds of small-batch ciders, including a dry hard cider made with fresh pressed Hudson Valley apples — you’ll enjoy surrounding orchard views from their Farm Bar! Seminary Hill Cidery in Callicoon offers incredible orchard views through floor to ceiling windows from the tasting room, where you can sample their ciders made with more than 60 apple and pear varieties. Greene County’s only cidery Left Bank Ciders, located in Catskill, produces small-batch hard ciders made with locally foraged apples and New York state ingredients. Interested in a beer instead? Can’t miss Catskills’ breweries include Catskill Brewery in Livingston Manor, Arrowood Farms Brewery & Distillery in Accord, Muddy River Farm Brewery in Unadilla, and West Kill Brewing in Catskill.
Get a bird’s eye view of vibrant foliage along a skyride this season. The Windham Mountain Skyride in Windham features a two-mile six-passenger chairlift ride to the summit of Windham Mountain. The Hunter Mountain Scenic Skyride in Hunter includes an 11-mile six-passenger chairlift ride to the summit of Hunter Mountain. Both skyrides offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains — ideal for getting the perfect vantage point of the changing leaves!
Experience the beauty of autumn in the Catskills peeping the spectacular fall foliage.