Fall Foliage Scenic Drives in the Mohawk Valley

Autumn has arrived and with it the changing colors across the Mohawk Valley. The region is a beautiful place throughout the year with autumn highlighting the features of our diverse landscape.

Now is the time to get out and enjoy the scenery while you can. We’ve taken a look at some possible ideas and routes for fall foliage scenic drives in the Mohawk Valley.

Leave no trace

We all appreciate beautiful scenic views. When exploring hiking trails and parks, be sure to respect nature and follow the Leave No Trace principles. By not leaving a trace of your visit, you protect area wildlife and the place you visited.

Here’s a list of top 10 things to consider when planning outings to view the fall foliage in the Mohawk Valley:

  1. Timing is Key: In the Mohawk Valley, peak foliage season typically occurs from late September to mid-October. Keep an eye on local foliage reports for the most accurate information.
  2. Location: The Mohawk Valley, situated between the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, offers a unique blend of urban and rural landscapes. You can explore areas like Utica, Rome, Amsterdam and Little Falls for picturesque views, or choose a route for yourself. Consider a road trip along Route 5S or Route 20 for stunning foliage views.
  3. Hiking Trails: The Mohawk Valley boasts many hiking trails, such as the Erie Canalway Trail and the Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA Nature Trails, along with many NYS Parks trails, which offer great opportunities to experience the fall colors up close. You may want to make a trip to Kane Mountain Fire Tower in the Town of Caroga, in Fulton County for a unique of the fall landscape from above the trees.
  4. Weather Prep: Fall weather can be unpredictable, so pack layers and rain gear. Comfortable walking shoes are essential for exploring trails and historic sites.
  5. Local Events: Check for local fall festivals and events, such as Oktoberfest celebrations, the Little Falls Cheese Festival, pumpkin festivals, and apple picking opportunities in the Mohawk Valley. You can find local happenings at Mohawk Valley Events.
  6. Accommodation: If you plan to stay in the Mohawk Valley, book accommodations in advance, especially during weekends or festivals. There are many online resources to find a charming bed and breakfasts or historic inn for a cozy experience.
  7. Dining Options: Explore local restaurants and try seasonal dishes featuring regional specialties. Don’t miss the chance to savor local apple cider and baked goods.
  8. Plan for Crowds: Some popular spots in the Mohawk Valley, like Herkimer County and Utica, can get crowded during peak foliage season. Plan your visits during weekdays or early mornings to avoid crowds.
  9. Cellular Coverage: In more remote areas of the Mohawk Valley, you may encounter limited cell phone reception. Download maps and essential information beforehand.
  10. Foliage Apps: Use foliage tracking apps or websites to stay updated on the current color conditions in the Mohawk Valley.

By respecting nature and keeping in mind our top 10 things to consider, you can make the most of your Mohawk Valley fall foliage trip. Enjoy the scenic beauty and cultural offerings of this picturesque part of New York State. Take a look at our scenic drives available in each of the six counties.

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