Best time to travel to New York State

Lake Placid Fall Foliage in New York State 2024

The jewel of the Adirondacks looks the most beautiful in the fall

Best time: late September–early October

Lake Placid Fall Foliage
Lake Placid Fall Foliage
Lake Placid Fall Foliage
Lake Placid Fall Foliage
Lake Placid Fall Foliage
Lake Placid

Lake Placid, surrounded by New York State’s Adirondack Mountains, is a breathtaking leaf-peeping destination in the fall. Brilliant reds, orange, and golden tones transform the Adirondack region, making it a heaven for nature enthusiasts.

Lake Placid peak foliage: When is the best time to see fall foliage

The Adirondacks also boasts one of North America's longest fall foliage seasons, lasting from early September to early November. Usually, the best time to see fall colors in the Lake Placid area is from the last week of September to the first week of October.

Where to see fall foliage in the Lake Placid region

Hiking Trails

Hiking is the best way to explore the amazing nature of Lake Placid and enjoy panoramic views framed by the golden foliage. Take a scenic Heaven Hill Old Orchard Loop to enjoy the stunning vistas of the High Peaks and a walk through the deciduous forest without much effort. The 1.4-mile (2.3-km) trail is accessible from downtown Lake Placid.

For those preferring higher elevation and more challenging trails, Hurricane Mountain, Mount Van Hoevenberg, and Mount Jo are great options with panoramic views in any direction. A 3-mi (4.8-km) Hurricane Mountain Trail will take you to 3,694 feet (1,125 m). The view from the top features Lake Champlain, the High Peaks, and even the Green Mountains in Vermont.

Mount Van Hoevenberg East Trail is a 3.6-mile (5.8-km) route that starts near Mountain Pass Lodge. The trail features quite a few switchbacks but is not too steep or difficult. The views of Mount Marcy, Algonquin, and South Meadow can be enjoyed from the top.

Mount Jo is a short and relatively easy trail that leads to an open summit with 360-degree views of the High Peaks with relatively little effort. There are two trails to the top, which can be accessed from the Adirondack Loj toll booth. Long Trail is easier and not so steep, while Short Trail is considered to be more scenic.

The mesmerizing fall views from the top of Whiteface Mountain are also well worth the climb. In addition, during the ascent, you will also be surrounded by wonderful landscapes of vibrant colors.

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake is a place where you can stroll along the perfectly paved sidewalk, take in the views, and then grab a coffee in a cute coffee shop with a small-town feel. However, the fog over the lake can prevent you from taking beautiful photos, so you should come to the place as early as possible.

The Wild Center

The scenic drive from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake (over the river and through the woods) will lead you to The Wild Walk, a treetop path at The Wild Center. On a giant spider web, your little ones can play and learn natural history while you enjoy the beautiful fall landscape.

John Brown Farm

A leisurely stroll along the pond trails and through the lush woods of the John Brown Farm will provide wonderful fall memories. While admiring the foliage, you can visit the home and burial place of abolitionist John Brown.

Lake Placid Boat Tour

Another way to enjoy the scenic Lake Placid area is by boat cruise or by a small plane. Lake Placid Boat Tours usually run until early October. Airplane rides are available from Lake Placid Airport. You will see stunning views of the High Peaks, Olympic games facilities, and close-ups of Adirondack waterways.

The Scenic Fall Routes

A road trip to Lake Placid can also be an excellent way to see the full fall color. For example, the route from Keene to Lake Placid includes breathtaking spots like Owl’s Head Lookout and Cascade Mountain. The routes from Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake to Lake Placid offer another scenic drive, featuring rows of evergreen trees and smaller peaks.

Practical info

When is the best time to see fall foliage in the Lake Placid region?

Fall foliage in the Lake Placid region peeks from the last week of September to the first week of October. The autumn season during this time can be chilling, with daytime temperatures from the mid-40s to low 60s°F (7-16°C), along with nighttime temperatures dipping below the freezing point, especially in October. Show more

Where to see fall foliage in the Lake Placid region?

There are various ways of enjoying fall foliage in Lake Placid, including scenic boat cruises, small planes, and hiking. Hiking is the best way to explore the region and enjoy scenic views framed by the golden fall foliage. One of the scenic hikes to go for is the Heaven Hill Old Orchard Loop – offering stunning vistas of the High Peaks and a lazy walk through the deciduous forest. The Lake Placid Boat Tours usually run until early October. Show more

What kind of weather can I expect during the fall foliage season in Lake Placid region?

Expect chilly fall foliage season, characterized by daytime temperatures ranging between mid-40s and low 60s°F (7-16°C) and overnight temperatures falling below the freezing point, particularly in October. October typically marks the peak fall season, accompanied by possible rain and snow. Therefore one should dress accordingly and check the weather forecast before heading out. Show more

How can I prepare for hiking during the fall foliage season in Lake Placid region?

Preparation is crucial to have a good hiking experience during the fall foliage season in Lake Placid region. Appropriate gear such as sturdy hiking boots, warm and waterproof clothing layers, and sunshades are a must-bring. A backpack with snacks, water, a map, and a compass or a GPS device ensures your safety on the trails. Also, check the difficulty level and trail conditions before setting off. Show more

Are there any fall foliage festivals or events in the Lake Placid region?

The annual Whiteface Mountain Oktoberfest held on two consecutive weekends in late September and early October is a popular fall foliage event in the Lake Placid region. Visitors can enjoy live music, Bavarian food and drinks, beer competitions, and fall foliage chairlift rides, among others. Other fall activities in the Lake Placid region besides hiking and leaf-peeping include fishing, paddling, and scenic drives. Show more

What are some other fall activities to do in the Lake Placid region besides hiking and leaf-peeping?

Take advantage of the abundance of lakes, rivers, and streams to do fishing and paddling in the Lake Placid region alongside leaf-peeping and hiking. Scenic drives like the Olympic Scenic Byway offer a chance for visitors to enjoy the fall foliage's stunning views and scenic vistas without hiking. Show more

Can I see fall foliage in the Lake Placid region after the first week of October?

Although the region's autumn season peaks from the last week of September to the first week of October, visitors can still enjoy the fall foliage's grandeur until early November. However, higher elevations usually see past peak falls by mid-October. For information on the fall foliage emergence time and location, check out the local foliage reports. Show more

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