Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fall Foliage: Leaf Peeping in Western New York

Crisp air, warm beverages, bonfires, pumpkin spice everything and leaves in vibrant shades of red, yellow, orange and gold – fall is here and there’s no better time to see New York.

Bask in the beauty of nature by taking a scenic drive, riding the rails on a train tour, boarding a boat, jumping in a hot air balloon or snuggling on the back of a hayride. There are so many places to see and ways to see them; you’ll need to start planning now to fit in all of your autumn adventures.

Greater Niagara

The falls are gorgeous any time of year, but during the fall the forest surrounding them comes alive with beautiful autumn hues. Peer at the falls from the Hurricane Deck on a Cave-of-Winds Tour or board the Maid of the Mist and get a different perspective from the water.

Lewiston visitors can get up close and personal with nature and learn about the history of secrets that haunt the city on the Marble Orchard Ghost Walks. The walks have become a popular autumn destination in Western New York and are a great way to introduce visitors to Lewiston’s rich, exciting and spooky history. Tours run through October 24th.

Finger Lakes

If you’re looking for options on how to best go leaf peeping this fall, the Finger Lakes region has got them.

Climb aboard a steam train at the Arcade and Attica Railroad. Not only is it a great way to see the foliage, you can also book your seat for one of their exciting themed event like Ale on the Rails, Halloween Haunted House, and North Pole Express. They even have a special run for leaf peepers in October.

Soar above the trees at Balloons Over Letchworth. From the sky you can experience breathtaking views of fall foliage and waterfalls in Letchworth State Park and glide over the dazzling 17-mile Genesee Gorge, referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” For those of you who prefer to stay grounded, take a hike along the gorge. It’s the perfect place for a fall picnic among the autumn leaves.

Hikers can also road trip to Ithaca, home of New York’s highest waterfall, Taughannock Falls. Three stories taller than Niagara Falls, Taughannock Falls is well worth the drive. The State Park also has plenty of camp sites and cabins so you can spend a weekend enjoying the cool temperatures and rusty hues.

Chautauqua – Allegheny

Autumn doesn’t just mean beautiful sights; it also means tasty treats. Tour the many farmers markets on New York’s Amish Trail and pick up everything from pumpkins and fudge to handmade quilts and furniture, all while admiring the blazing red and gold leaves in Cattaraugus County.

Expert and amateur sommeliers will fall in love with Lake Erie Wine Country. Check the upcoming events at any of the 24 wineries on the trail, along with the New York foliage report and plan a relaxing weekend with plenty of time to sit back and gaze at the autumn leaves with an exquisite local wine in hand.