This year, it seems as though the fall foliage is taking its time to sweep across Long Island, with plenty of green and green-leaning leaves still clinging to trees throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. While that’s a tad on the unusual side, it gives foliage seekers a bit more time to hit the road in search of brilliant colors like yellow, orange, red, purple, tan, and mahogany.
Sure, some popular leaf-peeping spots include the Adirondacks and Catskills, but according to New York's weekly fall foliage report, you won't need to drive that far to see stunning peak foliage, as vibrant colors are expected to begin to appear this weekend. And if you happen to be a guest at the Inn at Fox Hollow this week, it very well might be the perfect time for a tour of Long Island fall foliage. The boutique hotel’s location grants guests easy access to Route 135 (Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway) to the west, which connects to the Northern State Parkway to the south.
Indeed, the Inn at Fox Hollow’s spot on Jericho Turnpike gives you easy access to a number of the best places on Long Island to explore the colors of autumn. Of course, the amount of color change varies depending on the area, with some regions of near-peak and peak foliage in the parks, near the ponds, and on the waterfront of areas like Mill Pond Park in Wantagh. Meanwhile, nearby North Shore locales like Manhasset have green leaves that are still transitioning to yellow, along with some burnt sienna and tan leaves.
So if you’re staying at the Inn at Fox Hollow this week and next, consider embarking on a day trip to soak in the natural beauty of Long Island.
Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale
Known for its golf courses, including the infamous “Bethpage Black,” Bethpage State Park also features vast hiking trails that are ripe for exploration. Not only that, there are five robust miles that cut through the Long Island Greenbelt Trail, which stretches 31 miles from the north to south shore. It offers hiking and biking trails for all ages, and many places to stop along the way for a cozy fall picnic. And since Bethpage State Park is, of course, populated by numerous trees, the opportunities for fall foliage are quite vast to say the least. The park is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.
Muttontown Preserve, East Norwich
Spanning more than 550 acres and including the historic Chelsea Estate—which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places—Muttontown Preserve is Nassau County’s largest nature preserve. The varied terrain features meadows, streams, and woodlands that are all teeming with wildlife and many different native trees with leaves that are beginning to change colors with the season. Less than 20 minutes from the Inn at Fox Hollow, maps are available for self-guided tours, while adventure seekers can even look for the abandoned ruins of a former king's mansion—the ruins of King Zog’s Estate. Yes, that’s real.
Sands Point Preserve, Sands Point
Another gem on the North Shore of Long Island, Sands Point Preserve stuns visitors with six marked trails through 216 acres of highly diverse habitats of woods, fields, a tranquil pond, and even a surprisingly expansive beachfront along the Long Island Sound. The Gold Coast preserve boasts guided nature walks—but you can also grab a trail map and venture off on your way for a self-guided tour. Besides plenty of natural beauty in the fall foliage, you can also soak in Hempstead House, with grand rooms inside of a massive 50,000-square-foot Tudor-style mansion, which was the former summer residence of Howard Gould and later, Daniel and Florence Guggenheim. And check out the Halloween Ball scheduled for Oct. 26!
LIU Post Community Arboretum, Brookville
LIU Post is one of the most historic institutions on Long Island—but beyond history, the campus has more than 4,000 trees on the grounds of the LIU Post Community Arboretum alone, making it one of the most scenic college campuses on Long Island and in the state of New York at large. And the scenic campus absolutely bursts with color each and every fall. Each tree in LIU Post’s 40-acre arboretum is labeled with interesting facts that make the experience both a visual feast and a wealthy source of information. And the self-guided walking trail leads visitors around the entire campus for a view of historic buildings along the way. The arboretum is open seven days a week and is absolutely free.
Clark Botanic Garden, Albertson
Marking 50 years of providing Long Island with a fragrant peek into nature, Clark Botanic Garden encompasses a collection of rock garden plants, herbs, butterfly plants, and an array of flowers during the summer months. In the fall, the grounds transform into yet another spot to witness the autumn season’s natural colors transform from one shade of fall to another, all while ensconced in the great outdoors. Admission is free, although a voluntary donation is greatly appreciated. The garden is open every day from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. A gift shop on premises is open for business from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Fall Is A Fantastic Time For A Hotel Stay On Long Island
There are plenty of places across Long Island to observe nature’s majesty, and this list is but a brief tree-top view of some of those locations. Scenic, picturesque experiences of fall foliage await you this year on Long Island, from ocean bluffs to expansive forests to lengthy shorelines, and pristine parks, autumn on Long Island will certainly leave you with great memories and a visually stimulating day out. And if you simply don’t have the time for a full-on day trip to any of these spots, even driving around the local tree-lined neighborhoods like the Inn at Fox Hollow’s Woodbury can offer you a glimpse of the grand color scheme of fall in suburban life.