New Jersey Fall Foliage

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NJ Fall Foliage

New Jersey Fall Foliage Reports, maps and resources to help plan fall foliage hikes and scenic drives.

Check out the New Jersey and the Northeast Foliage Resources below.

For our fall hike recommendations see Best Fall Foliage Hikes in New Jersey.

Need even more hike ideas? Try our Hike Finder map. Also check out the book Best Easy Day Hikes New Jersey for a nice selection of easy day hikes.

Peak Foliage in NJ for 2020

*Average New Jersey peak fall color is October 19 through 29*

While there are average times for color change, it really depends on several variables like temperature and rainfall.

Trees at higher elevations turn color before ones at lower elevations. Leaves change first along water so head to areas with lakes, ponds, or rivers.

Leaves usually change color starting from Maine and higher elevations of New England and then work their way south.

New Jersey fall foliage generally starts in the northwest corner at High Point and in the Highlands region in north central, progresses to the central part of the state, and finally to the south and the coastal regions.

This means that leaves could be past peak in North Jersey but still barely changed in South Jersey.

Use the info here to get in as much color as you can, it doesn’t last long!

NJ Fall Foliage 2020

*Reports are in reverse order with foliage resources below them*

11/16/20 – Final Report

Some color lingers here and there across southern New Jersey but recent rain and wind has done a number on remaining leaves.

For our fellow year-round hikers – or anyone looking to be – head over to our Winter Hiking pages:

Don’t miss our Gifts for Hikers to take care of the outdoorsy people on your holiday list …or to treat yourself!


11/13/20

This weekend and into next week
For the most chance of color, aim for the lower third of New Jersey and along the coasts.

Rain this week has been knocking a lot of leaves off. Any color is mixed in with bare trees and a few that still have green.

Possibilities for some color in NJ (we make no guarantees!):

Further out…New York: Long Island is at peak. Pennsylvania: Some possible color in the southeast.

Even Further out – South of NJ…  Southeastern Maryland is at peak. Coastal Virginia has color. Shenandoah N.P. has some color at lower elevations.


11/10/20

Currently…
Pops of color mixed with bare trees can be found in lower third of New Jersey and along the coasts.

The state is past peak and losing leaves fast so any suggested location is going to be mix of color and leaf drop, or entirely past. 

Based on spotting color along the Parkway in an area that tends to turn later: The Palisades, Paterson Falls, High Mountain might still be options.

Also could try southern NJ: Parvin State Park, Maurice River Bluffs, Belleplain State Park.

11/9/20

Anthony’s Nose – Near NJ – Hudson Highlands, NY
While this area was peaking just at the end of last week, color is starting to fade on the hillsides. Nice spots of color still along the Camp Smith trail.

View from Anthony's Nose of fall foliage
Foliage on Camp Smith trail

11/7/20

Stokes State Forest – Blue Mountain via Red Maple/AT
Sunny and 70 degree weather prompted a hike to Blue Mountain instead of seeking out the last bits of foliage. Bits of color lingered on the trail but that was it, as expected.

View from Blue Mountain
Red orange foliage and leaf drop on a trail

11/6/20

This weekend and into next week
To find the most color, aim for the lower third of New Jersey and along the coasts but there are still pockets of color around the rest of state.

We’re at the point that any color is mixed in with trees that have lost their leaves and some that still have green. 

The next few days are looking like it should be sunny and near 70 (!) – take advantage of that if at all possible.

Possibilities for color in/near NJ (we make no guarantees!):

Further out…New York: Hudson Highlands area on either side of the Hudson River is at peak (West Mountain & Doodletown, Anthony’s Nose, Breakneck Ridge, Bull Hill etc). Long Island is at peak.

Pennsylvania: Peak to past peak color in the southeast; most else is past.

Even Further out – South of NJ…  Eastern Maryland is at peak. Shenandoah N.P is seeing some color but with a decent amount of leaf drop. Great Smoky N.P still has color at lower elevations throughout the park.


11/2/20

Currently…
Look to the southern third of the state and coastal areas for color.

Recent rain, low temps, and wind hasn’t done the foliage any favors but color is still on the trails. Just expect leaf drop and bare trees mixed with pops of color.

This week should see sun and milder temps in the low 60s so if you can get out, do so!

Possibilities for color in NJ (we make no guarantees!):


11/1/20

Cheesequake State Park
Hooks Creek Lake and trails were a mix of color and green with some leaf drop.

10/31/20

Goat Hill Overlook – Hunterdon County
Trails had some color while the surrounding hills a mix of green, fading color, and bare trees.

Milford Bluffs – Hunterdon County
Some color on the trails and on the surrounding hills but past peak and fading.


10/30/20

This weekend and into next week
Aim for the southern half of New Jersey as the northern half of the state is moving past peak. Expect to see leaf drop from all the rain this week (might be a good weekend for waterfalls…)

And just because an area might be technically “past peak” that doesn’t mean it’s all bare trees. Peak just means all the leaves have changed – there’s still colorful leaves left in past peak areas.

Possibilities for color in NJ (we make no guarantees!):

Further out…New York: Hudson Highlands and Bear Mountain/Harriman area is at peak (West Mountain & Doodletown, Anthony’s Nose, Breakneck Ridge).

Pennsylvania: Peak color from Philadelphia towards Lancaster (possibly Wissahickon Gorge, Ridley Creek, Kelly’s Run). Poconos are past peak.

Even Further out – North of NJ… Color can be found in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Even Further out – South of NJ…  Northeastern Maryland is at peak; Elk Neck State Park, Gunpowder Falls. Shenandoah N.P is still seeing color but with leaf drop. Great Smoky N.P locations 2000′ and lower are peak (Cades Cove, Cataloochee Valley); high and mid elevations are past peak. 


10/26/20

Currently…
There’s plenty of bright color across NJ but chilly temperatures have increased the leaf drop. Expect some trails to be blanketed in color and some bare trees mixed in with full color.

Based on our scenic drives returning from hikes this weekend, potential areas for good color this week might be:


10/25/20

Delaware Water Gap (Warren County, NJ)
An overcast day muted the colors a bit but it was still quite nice. This area is at peak color but moving past. The trails showed a decent amount of leaf drop.

Catfish Fire Tower:

Appalachian TrailSouth of Catfish Tower.

Crater Lake: Peak color around the lake is starting to move past.


10/24/20

Black River at Cooper Mill (Morris County, NJ)
Some really beautiful areas along the river with more leaves on the ground than expected but that just adds to the effect. Quite a few bare trees around Kay’s Pond.


10/23/20

This weekend and into next week…
Terrific color can be found all across New Jersey – and more vibrant than we’ve seen in a few years.  

The most northwestern corner of the state (High Point S.P, Stokes) was at peak this week and should continue to have good color this weekend though it’s likely moving past peak.

Near to peak color is likely across the northern half of NJ, with the rest of the state seeing moderate to near peak color. 

With a decent forecast this is the weekend to get out there and treat your eyeballs!!!

Note: Parking is filling very early at popular spots such as the Water Gap, High Point, or Hacklebarney. Go early, have alternates in mind, or try a weekday if possible.

Possibilities for color in/near NJ (we make no guarantees!):

Further out…New York: Adirondacks is past peak with lingering color, Catskills is past peak with still a lot of color. Hudson Valley is at peak with some areas moving past. Hudson Highlands is peak West of the Hudson River, and near peak East of it. Bear Mountain is at 75% color.

Pennsylvania: Central and Southern Poconos at peak, Northern is past peak. Promised Land, Lehigh Gorge/Jim Thorpe area are options.

Even Further out – North of NJ… New Hampshire’s southern end is at peak, the rest past. Vermont has peak color in some southern areas with the rest past. Good color can be found in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Even Further out – South of NJ… Shenandoah N.P is seeing moderate to peak color in higher elevations. Great Smoky N.P has peak color at elevations at 3000-4000 ft while above 4500 is past.


10/19/20

Currently…
Peak color at High Point S.P. and Stokes S.F. in Sussex County which should continue this week, depending on the weather of course. 

Overall the color seems a bit more vibrant than we’ve seen in the last few seasons. 

Color is spreading it’s way down the state. There was a lot of nice color along Rt. 15 above Rt 80, as well as color along Rt 206 through Chester.

Stokes State Forest – Sussex County – 10/18/20:
Beautiful peak color change seen from overlooks on the Appalachian Trail and Sunrise Mountain, with mostly vibrant yellows along the trails.

View from Culver Lookout Tower

View from Sunrise Mountain

Stony Lake Trail

High Point State Park – Sussex County – 10/17/20:
Both the trees and understory bushes were showing vibrant peak color with plenty of reds and oranges.

High Point Monument seen from Steeny Kill Lake

Monument Trail

High Point Monument seen from Lake Marcia

View over NJ from High Point Monument


10/16/20

This weekend and into next week…
We’re moving into prime time for fall foliage in NJ. Peak color is appearing in the most northwestern corner of the state with near peak color just south of that. 

Moderate color can be found in the rest of the northern half of NJ as well as some areas further south such as Wharon or Brendan Bryne. Elsewhere is low color.

Heavy rain today may knock a few leaves off but should make waterfalls flow. And this weekend is looking to be mostly sunny with some comfortable perfect-for-hiking temperatures.

Possibilities for color in NJ (we make no guarantees!):

Further out…New York: Adirondacks and Catskills region is at peak to past peak areas that still have a lot of color. Hudson Valley should be hitting peak this weekend; Gertude’s Nose might be an option. Bear Mtn. and the Hudson Highlands have moderate color.

Pennsylvania: Central Poconos is high color, Southern is moderate to high, while Northern is past peak with about 50% of the leaves on the trees. TobyannaPromised Land, Cliff ParkMauch Chunk Lake are options for color.

Even Further out – North of NJ… New Hampshire’s White Mountains are at peak to past peak, with peak or near peak conditions in the rest of the state. Vermont is peak with some areas moving past. Southern/coastal Maine is at peak while the rest of the state is past. 

Even Further out – South of NJ… Shenendoah N.P is seeing moderate to peak color in higher elevations. Great Smoky N.P is around 50% changed in higher elevations.

10/12/20

Currently…
Color change has made a decent progression in the last week. Plenty of color on trails and at the edge of water, with the most amount of change found in the northern third of the state.

Wawayanda State Park – Sussex County – 10/10/20:
Some of the most vibrant areas were around the lake closest to the main parking areas.

Nice color on the trails, trees around the lake edge are moderate color mixed with green.

Monksville Reservoir – Passaic County – 10/10/20
Beautiful color popping at water’s edge, it’s still low to moderate color higher up on the surrounding mountains. These photos were taken from the boat launch parking areas on either side of Rt 511.


10/9/20

This weekend and into next week…
Color can be found across all of New Jersey with the most change in the northern part of the state. And nice temperatures are forecasted again this weekend. 

Best bets for color in NJ would be High Point and Stokes S.F., with other possibilities in Terrace Pond NorthKittatinny Valley, Monksville Reservoir, Long Pond S.P, Ringwood S.P., maybe Splitrock Reservoir (we make no guarantees!). 

There is plenty of beautiful color while on the trails even if from viewpoints hills and mountains appear to have low to moderate color still. Also look to the edges of  lakes and ponds where color turns first.

The color change is more on a usual timeframe and not running ahead like earlier in the season.


Further out… New York: Adirondacks and Catskills region is at peak with some higher areas moving past. Hudson Valley is nearing peak with around 60% change. Bear Mtn. area is low to moderate color at around 40%. Hudson Highlands has low color with about 15% changed.

Hudson Valley is around mid-point to nearing peak. Hudson Highlands/Bear Mtn. area has low color with 10-30% changed.

Pennsylvania: Central and southern Poconos are at moderate color with 40% changed while northern Poconos are 100% changed and with some leaf drop. Promised Land is an option for color.

Even Further out… New Hampshire’s northern tip and White Mountains are at peak with high color found elsewhere. Vermont is mostly near peak with some areas moving past, a scenic drive and hikes along Rt 100 a good chance of nice color. 

Southern/coastal Maine is at peak but the rest of the state quickly moved to past peak with high leaf drop.


10/9/20 – Mohonk Preserve – New Paltz, NY – The ‘Gunks’
Minnewaska Trail, Undercliff Trail – mid point of change.

10/8/20 – Minnewaska S.P. – New Paltz, NY – The ‘Gunks’
Near peak color from Litchfield Ledge and Castle Point looking towards Lake Awosting. Nice color along Mossy Glen, Jenny Lane, and Rainbow Falls trails too.

Low to moderate color on Hamilton Point looking towards Gertrude’s Nose.

Vibrant fall foliage with a lake in the distance

10/5/20

Currently…
Color is showing up on trails and at the edge of lakes and ponds, with the most amount of change found in the north west and north central part of the state, mainly north of Rt. 80.

Terrace Pond North – Passaic County – 10/3/20:
Plenty of color in the low shrubs and shorter trees along the trail with mainly green seen from the many overlooks. Some color change around Terrace Pond but it was muted.


10/2/20

This weekend and into next week…
Leaves are changing across all of New Jersey and the forecast is calling for perfect fall temperatures for this weekend! 

The most chance for fall color is in north western and north central New Jersey but nice pops of color can be found just about anywhere in the state.

Expect low color mixed with green trees. Mostly yellows, with some stressed leaves showing bits of brown. More color change and some reds showing in lower bushes.

Best bets for a little color in NJ would be High Point and Stokes S.F., with other possibilities in Kittatinny Valley State Park and Pyramid Mountain (we make no guarantees!). 

In central NJ, try Manasquan Reservoir where colors started making a show along the water’s edge last weekend.


Further out… New York: Best bet for peak color now is the Adirondacks and Catskills regions. Adirondacks is peaking with 70-90% changed. Catskills is also peaking with 50-90% change.

Hudson Valley is around mid-point to nearing peak. Hudson Highlands/Bear Mtn. area has low color with 10-30% changed.

Pennsylvania: Poconos are at about 20-30% changed with Tobyhanna State Park, Promised Land, and Rt. 390 as options for color.

Even Further out… Most of Maine is peak color with some far north areas past; south is at 50% or less. New Hampshire’s White Mountains are peak to near peak.

Vermont is running slightly ahead of norm with most areas at least mid-point with many at or near peak, a scenic drive and hikes along Rt 100 offer a good chance of nice color.


9/28/20

Currently…
Color is showing up across New Jersey, with the most amount of change found in the north west and north central part of the state.

Expect a fair amount of green trees with some that are quite far along, in addition to the low bushes that usually change first.

Overall, the change seems to be progressing a bit earlier than average, with color popping up in spots further south than usual this early in the season.

Manasquan Reservoir – Monmouth County – 9/27/20
Nice pops of color along the water’s edge, seen from a kayak. Most of the color was along the shore where the dead trees stick up.

Fall color with trees sticking out of water
Trees starting to turn color along the edge of water

9/25/20

This weekend and into next week…
The season is just getting underway with low color is starting to appear in north western and north central New Jersey, with spots of color showing up in the rest of the state.

Best bets for a little color in NJ would be High Point and Stokes S.F., and possibly Bearfort Ridge – Surprise Lake area.

Further out… New York: Best bet for color now is the Adirondacks region in NY with 50% color. Catskills region ranges from 25-40%. Hudson Valley/Hudson Highlands/Bear Mtn. area is just changing and around 10-20%.

Pennsylvania: Poconos are just changing with 10-15% color; but Tobyhanna State Park  and Prompton State Park may be options to snag some color that may be further along than NJ.

Even Further out… Northern Maine is seeing high color at 50-70% while south remains low at 10-30%. New England’s overall season looks to potentially be bright – but a bit early and possibly brief. Right now try Smugglers Notch in VT or in NH the higher regions of the White Mountains or along the Kancamagus Highway.


9/23/20

Recent cool overnight temperatures are kicking the foliage change into gear, slightly earlier than usual. If drier than normal conditions continue, colors could be a bit muted.

9/20/20

Overall, color is just starting to appear but trees remain mostly green. We spotted yellows and a few pops of color appearing north of Rt 80 in the north central part of the state.


Resources for tracking fall color in and near New Jersey

Sites that contain forecasts or foliage maps for NJ and the surrounding region such as the Adirondacks or the Catskills in New York or the Poconos in Pennsylvania.

New Jersey Div. of Parks and ForestryFacebook updates for NJ during the season
NJ Parks and ForestryMap showing usual times for change across NJ.
New York State Fall FoliageFoliage report and map
PA – Pocono Mountains
Foliage maps and reports for the Poconos, plus webcams.
PA – DCNR Fall Foliage ReportsWeekly Fall Foliage Map and Reports.
PA – Fall in PennsylvaniaDriving tours and average peak times.

Resources for tracking fall color in the Northeast

These can be used to help plan trips to the New England region that change well before New Jersey, such as Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Savvy planners can hit foliage in several spots as it works it’s way down.

MaineFoliage.comWeekly report and map.
Vermont.comCurrent conditions map.
VisitNH.comFoliage tracker map.
ctvisit.comConnecticut’s Foliage Finder
Fall Foliage Prediction MapInteractive U.S. map, slide date for color prediction. **Note** This popular map is often used in news articles but tends to predict the color moving along much earlier than reality for New Jersey.
The Weather ChannelRegional color report maps
New England TodayNortheast usual color map

General info about fall foliage in New Jersey

The best fall foliage displays start with healthy green trees. Then September needs warm sunny days and cold but not freezing nights.

If it remains too warm it can delay the change and dull the colors. A cloudy fall also can mute the colors.

Rainfall is also a big factor. Too much before the season is bad for color, while drought conditions can bring on an early change and leaf drop.

Overall it can be very hard to predict the quality of fall foliage every year because it’s a delicate balance between many variables.

Colorful Fall Species ChartIdentify the yellows, reds, and oranges of Autumn in NJ.
Touring New Jersey’s Fall FoliageSuggested routes to explore NJ in the fall.
Previous years foliage report archiveSee how the color usually progresses through various hiking areas in New Jersey. Archive of njHiking.com reports.