Guest columns

Sunday reads~ Hints Of Life

Are you ready for fall NYC?

Written & edited by

Simer Dhume

Crisp breeze, amber, auburn, crimson or carmine leaves, harvest festivals, Halloween, warm cider cocktails, pumpkin spice, and everything nice—Fall is a dream. It’s a season of the soul more than of nature alone.

It’s October, fall feels so real and omnipresent. The crisp mornings awakens my soul. I wonder what it would be like to soar like a leaf caught in the fall breeze. It must feel so carefree and joyful, like sails without boats. The vibrant fall colors sing to the blue of the sky above and the green grass below. Planting smiles on countless faces that watch this spectacle before the leaves bury under the soil.

Later in the day, the vivid, coruscating sunsets makes it tough for me to decide what I enjoy more the fall colors or the fall sunset? Sitting by the Hudson river I watch countless such striking sunsets until the winter gloom sets in NYC. What do you like more the fall foliage or the fall sunsets?

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Fall is hard to beat in New York City. It’s indeed the best time to visit NYC. The weather is moderate and mellow, city landscapes look stunning, and crowds are thinner compared to summer. Despite being an urbanized megalopolis, NYC boasts 300 mi (482 km) of trails and over 500,000 trees. Norway maples and red maples are especially scenic in the fall, revealing bold orange and red tones. Oaks, hickory, American sycamore, dogwood, and American beech add gold and bronze into the picture.

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

Fall colors at The Bow Bridge, Central Park, New York | photo from the archive | © hintsof.life

Even though it’s hard to predict fall weather and each year is different, October is generally the best month to visit NYC for leaf-peeping. The leaves start to change color at the beginning of the month, but the peak time usually comes in the second half of October and lasts up to early November. By mid-November, many trees already lose their leaves.

The list of NYC’s top leaf-peeping destinations always starts with Central Park. With over 20,000 trees growing in over 840 ac (339 ha), it can hardly be surpassed by another urban oasis. The park’s numerous hickories, birches, elms, and cherries look stunning from any angle. The best way to enjoy the landscape is to rent a boat and take a scenic ride. The most beautiful spots include the Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary, located on the south side of the park, the Pool, the North Woods, and the Ramble.

Fall foliage in North Woods, Central Park West, New York | © hintsof.life

Hints Of Life lists below the must visit city parks for leaf-peeping in 2021. We have also included the suggested routes and don’t miss places for an extraordinary fall experience. Whether, you are visiting NYC or a city goer our suggestions would equally delight you.

Central Park

Trees to see: American elms, oaks, Norway maple, sycamore maple, red maple, black cherry

Suggested routes: The Ramble, Central Park’s wild garden, and The Ravine are two of the best places to see fall foliage in Central Park. Take the path that runs along the Loch in the North Woods to find rustic bridges, cascading falls, and a variety of birds that call the park home.

Don’t miss: In The Ravine, the Glen Span Arch features a nearby waterfall and connects the water body known as The Pool to the stream called The Loch that winds through the North Woods.

Highbridge Park

Trees to see: red oaks, white ash, hickory, black cherries, Norway maple, tulip tree, black birch

Suggested routes: The trail that runs along the high ridge above the Harlem River Drive, for the length of Highbridge Park from 155th Street to Dyckman Street, is a fall highlight. The trail passes the landmarked High Bridge and High Bridge Water Tower, which were part of the Old Croton Aqueduct system that also ran through Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

Don’t miss: Check out the view of the city in fall colors from the oldest standing bridge in NYC, the High Bridge — it’s car-free

Learn more about Highbridge Park

Learn more about the High Bridge & Tower

Inwood Hill Park

Trees to see: oak, hickory, Tulip poplars

Suggested routes: There’s no wrong place to go leaf-peeping in Inwood Hill Park, but one route we recommend is along the blue trail, a marked trail that picks up at the Gaelic Field in the northern side of the park and leads up to the Overlook, which affords a gorgeous view of the Hudson River and the Palisades. View a map of Inwood Hill Park’s trails

Don’t miss: End your day of exploring at Muscota Marsh. Its tranquil scenery includes a view of the Henry Hudson Bridge and the birds of the Spuyten Duyvil Creek.

Learn more about Inwood Hill Park

Brooklyn

Fort Greene Park

Trees to see: sugar maple, honeylocust, oaks, elms, osage orange trees, London plane trees

Suggested routes: Get to know your fall colors! Use our Tree Trail Map [PDF] as a guide to learning the names of the trees you’ll discover as you explore fall foliage in the park. 

Don’t miss: The park is small enough to explore in its entirety in one day. Just don’t forget to climb to its apex and check out the city view from the hill.

Learn more about Fort Greene Park

Owl’s Head Park

Trees to see: oaks, maples, beeches, tulip poplars

Suggested routes: You can’t go wrong with a wander through this park in autumn. Make sure you take a moment to look out over New York Harbor and check out the park’s unique trees on the big lawn.

Learn more about Owl’s Head Park

Prospect Park

Trees to see: camperdown elm, black cherries, sassafras, American hornbeam, turkey oak, weeping willow, tulip tree, American beech, pin oak, white oak, Himalayan pine, gingko, Norway maple, London plane, and more.

Suggested routes: Check out the Lullwater and Peninsula, where you can see an array of native and exotic trees encircling the park’s pond. The Ravine, in the center of the park, contains Brooklyn’s last vestiges of old-growth forest. View a map of Prospect Park

Don’t miss: Trek to the top of Lookout Hill, one of the highest points in Brooklyn to see the kaleidoscope of colors at the treetop. 

Learn more about Prospect Park

Our source: nycgovparks.org

Today, our guest writer Sugandh Swani shares a beautiful fall poem from New Delhi, India. Fall is the season of magic, bliss and celebrations that connects us all in someway, no matter where in the world we live. We suggest you find your cozy nook, sit back and enjoy “The song of the fall” by Sugandh Swani.


Fall sun kissing the wild greens in Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India.

The Song of The Fall

By Sugandh Swani

It’s more…more than something,
than everything, this season holds allure,
And I feel orange, with a salmon soul,
Like I was reborn, perky, and pure.

This nip in the air takes me back,
To that hot cup of cocoa, I shared with you,
Sip on sip, like a warm hug,
That I cherish still and never outgrew…

The warmth of October sunshine,
Takes me to the brazen fields,
Where I lie as the wind whispers
to me, the songs of leaves that kneeled.

The crisp leaves of the fall,
That form a beautiful, scented carpet,
For me to walk and make music,
While I gather the treasures for my autumn basket.

It’s the last dash of colours,
Before the wicked winter gloom,
And the sky is dressed in shades of tangerine,
And birds are playing with its muffler maroon.

No time in the world fills my heart,
The way fall does in its snuggly serape,
And I sit here blushing, looking at today,
Autumn giggles and leaves goosebumps at my nape.


Sugandh Swani is a Public Relations professional and a poet at heart. To know more about her poetic endeavors follow @sugandhswani on instagram and twitter.

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4 thoughts on “Guest columns

  1. Our Earth has warmed and cooled by itself for millions of years, the geologic record proves this. The GW thing is all about controlling populations, I don’t buy it.

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