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Fall Foliage is Supreme in Nearby New York State
New York State's Southern Tier and Finger Lakes burst with vivid fall foliage throughout October. Fiery reds and semi-fluorescent oranges compliment deep green pines and cobalt blue lakes. Here are several fun one, two, or three day destinations, each adding its own complexion to the colorful leaves.
Griffis Sculpture Park
Traveling south from Buffalo on Rte 219, just south and a bit west of Ashford Hollow you’ll find Griffis Sculpture Park in Cattaraugus County, New York. This 1.72 km blend of nature and three dimensional artwork is known as the first sculpture park in the United States and is set in a scenic nature preserve of open grasslands, fields of wildflowers and canopied woodlands with 16 km of trails. Within this park, over 100 artists have situated more than 250 sculptures.
Enjoy a great variety of art among the colorful autumn leaves. The open vistas provide truly epic views of oversized metallic figures against serene landscapes while the woodland trail with sculptures along its meandering path provides unexpected and surprising discoveries. Kids love the park and are welcome to climb and explore many of the sculptures.
Griffis Park is not easily traversed by people with walking challenges. The trails, however, are marked by color, green for easy and blue for more rugged, and you can view many sculptures from the convenience of your car.
Letchworth State Park
Only 90 minutes away from Niagara Falls, head south to the northern Mt. Morris or southern Portageville entrance. Letchworth Park is renowned as the "Grand Canyon of the East" and has been voted “Best State Park in the U.S.”
This Genesee River gorge-centric park offers breathtaking scenery from many angles. Three majestic waterfalls roar deep between the trail and autumn’s colorful tree-topped cliffs. Expansive rainbows from the misting only add to the magnificent fall colors. The upper falls and middle falls are readily accessible from nearby parking. To see the lower falls you need to hike into the gorge and will want to be prepared to descend and ascend quite a few stairs, some of which are wet and slippery. All three falls are different and, along with several cliffside overlooks, are incredibly riveting. You can’t help but be left with a sense of awe!
To further surround yourself in the changing color, hike one of the many Genesee River Trails throughout the forested park. To really enjoy days end and daybreak, stay at a campground site, a cabin or the Glen Iris Inn. Additionally, trails are available for horseback riding, and biking, and come winter, there are trails to snowmobile and cross-country ski.
From the Victor or Canandaigua exits on Rte 90, travel south to Naples for red, orange and yellow foliage alongside the serene blue of Canandaigua Lake and the remaining green of the forests. Rows of vineyards add charming accents and open up panoramic views. Naples is situated at the southern end of Canandaigua Lake where the mountains rise and the vineyards flourish. It is where the Canandaigua Wine Trail culminates and life is tucked away into valleys, home-grown foods and local wines. Naples is famous for grape pie.
There are many diverse activities to enjoy in this area. Grimes Glen is a small park in Naples that features a mile-long hiking trail with three woodland waterfalls. Bristol Mountain Ski Resort, offers chairlifts up to the summit for autumn enthusiasts to survey the colorful valleys and nearby mountains. Reservation Creek Golf Course combines stellar golf with awe-inspiring views.