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October 17, 2022

Adirondack Fall Foliage (Everything You Need To Know)

Nothing compares to the Adirondack fall foliage. This seasonal sight is undoubtedly one of New York’s most stunning and colorful natural displays. The Adirondack Mountains become a breathtaking work of art when the vibrant colors from the foliage are present. 

The lovely weather, warm campfires, and scent of freshly picked produce wafting through the air are among the many things people associate with Adirondack during this time. One must visit here and see this awe-inspiring display at least once in their lifetime. Witnessing the fall foliage is truly an experience of a lifetime in every sense of the word.

Tourists visiting the Adirondacks will not run short of activities to do. There is always something fun to do here, from sightseeing to wine tours and hot air balloon rides. There is something for everybody here at the Adirondacks! 

For people looking to travel to upstate New York to witness the spectacular Adirondacks fall foliage, we have everything covered. This is the ultimate guide to everything a tourist needs to know about the Adirondack fall foliage. 

Where Are the Adirondacks?

The Adirondack Mountains may be one of the most frequented travel destinations in upstate New York. During fall, the Adirondacks take the crown as the “King of New York” when it comes to the most popular outdoor destinations.  

The Adirondack Mountains are located in northeastern New York, extending from the south at the St. Lawrence River Valley to the Mohawk River Valley. Most of the mountains are protected by state law, preserving their primitive natural state. 

When To Visit the Adirondacks?

The best time to visit here is fall — specifically the last week of September into October. However, predicting the exact time for peak foliage can be tricky given the mountains’ vast area and varying conditions. It would be best to check the fall foliage reports to learn the estimated week and the best spots where peak foliage is happening.   

Adirondacks Fall Activities

There are plenty of activities to enjoy and scenic views to admire in the Adirondacks. This is the best place to visit if you enjoy the great outdoors. Even though the Adirondack Mountains occupy a sizable area of New York State, there aren’t many roadways that go through them. It’s best to get a car that can go off-roading if you intend to embark on any off-road adventures. Here are some of the activities that will surely give anyone a great time when visiting the fall foliage in the Adirondacks.

Viewing the Fall Foliage

The magnificent fall foliage is the most popular attraction and the main reason the Adirondacks draw many tourists every autumn. Watching the horizon turn into nature’s canvas, with the vibrant colors of autumn leaves falling from the sky, is truly a sight to behold. The Adirondack Mountains offer a view like no other, so make sure to soak it all in. One can enjoy sightseeing while taking a hike on the mountain, canoeing on the lake, or just relaxing under the refuge of the beautiful trees.

Apple Picking in the Orchards

Apple picking is one of the more popular family-friendly activities in the Adirondacks. Families can enjoy picking apples in the different orchards near the park. The orchards are usually open from the last week of August until the first week of November. Some famous orchards for the perfect apple-picking experience are Rulfs Orchard, Applejacks Orchard, Bowman Orchard, Chazy Orchard, and Hicks Orchard, among many others. 

Riding a Hot Air Balloon

Travelers looking for some thrill while witnessing breathtaking views will surely enjoy hot air balloon rides in the Adirondacks. This is the perfect activity for people who want to see the mountains and fall foliage from a different view. 

Find Your Way Through Corn Mazes

Getting to the Adirondacks may have been easy, but finding your way out of the numerous corn mazes here are both challenging and fun. Families and friends looking to have a good time after witnessing the majestic view of the mountains can go to the corn mazes at Fort Ticonderoga. Other farms — such as Ellms Family Farm and Country Dreams Farm — even offer pumpkin picking aside from corn mazes.

Fly With Adirondack Scenic Flights

Enjoy the view of the mountains and lakes — such as Lake Placid and Saranac — from above. See the beauty of the foliage thousands of feet above. Scenic flights over the Adirondacks can be an unforgettable experience for anyone.

Scenic Drives in the Byway

Sightseeing while driving along the scenic byways in the Adirondacks can be a very relaxing activity for the less adventurous. For tourists who find hot air balloons and scenic flights a little extreme, scenic drives can be a great alternative.

Wine Tastings and Tours

Tourists who enjoy and appreciate a good glass of wine will definitely enjoy the Adirondacks wine and cider tours. People who want to experience Adirondack culture through the taste of wine can schedule wine tastings at wineries such as the Adirondack Winery, Tug Hill Vineyards, The Champlain Wine Company, and more. 

Go For a Gondola Ride

The gondola ride at Whiteface Mountain is a perfect Adirondack activity for friends and families. They can enjoy a 15-minute glide in a cable car while witnessing the stunning views from above. Whiteface Mountain is generally known as a skiing destination in the winter, but people flock to this region during fall to enjoy a gondola ride’s fantastic view of fall foliage.

Adirondack Attractions

No visit to the Adirondacks will be complete without going to the numerous attractions in the region. We suggest visiting as many attractions as possible since it’s impossible to recommend just one or two places. Anyone’s vacation at the Adirondacks will be more memorable by seeing these beautiful Adirondack attractions.

High Falls Gorge

High Falls Gorge is the perfect spot to see and experience the Adirondack Mountains’ true majesty. Tourists can go here to witness four spectacular waterfalls flowing over beautiful rock formations in a 30-minute walk. 

Ausable Chasm

Tourists looking for various adventures will find that the Ausable Chasm is a great destination. Some of the activities they can do here are hiking and climbing. Travelers frequent this spot in the Adirondacks because of the old-growth forest that can be explored. The Elephant’s Head, Hyde’s Cave, and Rainbow Falls are just some attractions that tourists can visit here.

Lake Placid

Lake Placid can be considered the center of activities in the Adirondacks. Expect this place to be bustling and buzzing with tourists, especially during weekends. Travelers will find many options for accommodations and restaurants in this village. Aside from being home to resorts and hotels, there are also numerous activities to choose from at Lake Placid. 

The Wild Center

The Wild Center in Tupper Lake is popular with people interested in history and culture. Formerly known as the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, the Wild Center is also famous for attractions that include various nature trails and activities. Tourists looking for a water adventure can go kayaking, while those who want to experience a more thrilling experience can try the treetop activities.

The Indian Head Trail

Travelers who want to take photos of themselves with the magnificent view of the Adirondacks and the majestic lake as their background should head to the Indian Head Trail. This place has become popular among tourists because of the Instagram-worthy scenic views that can be seen. 

Adirondack Events and Festivals

Aside from the many fun activities and attractions in the Adirondacks, tourists can also enjoy the various events and festivals during this season. Here are some of the events that travelers from all over the world can expect when they go here for the Adirondack fall foliage.

Events and Festivals

  • Commemoration of the Battle of Plattsburgh
  • Cream Cheese Festival
  • Adirondack Balloon Festival
  • Great Adirondack Moose Festival
  • Harvest Festival and Civil War Living History
  • West Mountain Fall Festival


  • Whiteface Oktoberfest
  • Titus Month Oktoberfest 
  • Lake George 

Final Thoughts

Visiting the Adirondack Mountains to witness the fall foliage is an experience one should not miss. Seeing the spectacular autumn leaves falling in different hues of red and orange is something that will stay in one’s memory for a long time. 

The many attractions in the region are more than enough to keep travelers busy for days and even weeks! If you’re looking for a great outdoor getaway, you will not be disappointed with what the Adirondacks can offer. There are activities for everyone looking to have a fun and memorable time. 

Category: Visit ADK

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