Enjoying fall foliage (leaf-peeping) in Ithaca

Fall in Ithaca NY is very special. The area’s abundance of maple trees create an explosion of color in the fall, a study in orange, gold, and scarlet. Here are our tips for how to plan your Ithaca leaf peeping trip, and enjoy our extravagant fall foliage:

  1. Timing is everything. The window of late September through October is the best leaf peeping time in Ithaca NY, with mid-October considered the best for Ithaca’s fall foliage. Colors change depending on elevation and the season… we’ve seen gorgeous fall colors earlier in September some years, and extending into November for others. You’ll see more color in the valleys early in the season, moving up to higher elevations as it progresses. Feel free to call ahead to plan the best time.
  2. Plan your walks. Some of the best places to enjoy Ithaca’s fall foliage are our abundance of nature trails, particularly ones with sweeping vistas. Taughannock Falls, Upper Treman, and Watkins Glen are some of our favorite places to enjoy the breathtaking fall colors. For a lesser known walk we recommend the Finger Lakes National Forest trail, with its variety of terrain and vistas. Ask us for trail guides.
  3. Love the drive. Sometimes leaf peeping in Ithaca is best enjoyed on a slow drive through the country. For a day trip drive up Cayuga Lake past wineries and other attractions, maybe veering over to Seneca Lake and stopping to see the Women’s Rights National Memorial in Seneca Falls, or the Harriet Tubman House or Seward Mansion in Auburn, visiting Sampson Park where many young men trained for the Navy in WW II,  or stop at the Cayuga Lake State Park, a beautiful gem at the north side of the lake. The great depth of the Finger Lakes creates beautiful turquoise waters that set off the reds and golds of our Finger Lakes foliage.
  4. Eat outside. Plan a meal out on the stone patio and gas grill right here at the Stone Quarry House and enjoy the lovely fall colors in your own backyard. The Summer House offers a view of the changing hillsides that can’t be beat, while the tower balcony puts you right in the trees.
  5. Don’t forget the grapes. Fall also means the grape harvest, an exciting time on the Cayuga Wine Trail. Right at our “front door”, Cayuga Lake is ringed with both world class wineries and some of the finest fall foliage. As particular highlights we recommend Sheldrake Point Winery, and our nearby Six Mile Creek Vineyard.

We hope you enjoy the fall foliage in Ithaca! Don’t hesitate to call us to help plan your Ithaca leaf-peeping trip.