Photo via Flickr cc
You don’t have to go upstate to experience the magic of fall foliage–right here in Central Park, there are 20,000 trees, many of which “transform into golden shades of yellow, orange, red, and more.” Which is why the Central Park Conservancy has released its 2018 Fall Guide, complete with a map of the best spots to catch the autumnal bliss, as well as a list of upcoming fall tours.
The mall via Flickr cc
Central Park has 170 tree species spread across 843 acres. As the Conservancy explains:
Each fall, trees shut down their food-making process, called photosynthesis, and begin to store energy for the season ahead. Once a tree’s trunk has filled with the necessary moisture and sugar to survive the winter, chlorophyll — a bright green chemical — starts to break down. Leaves turn various shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple as the colors of other always-present chemicals come to the forefront.
And since many of Central Park’s trees are obscured by shadows from neighboring buildings, and therefore receive distorted angles of light, they typically hit peak foliage later than other places.
The North Woods via Flickr cc
Here are some of the best spots to spot fall foliage in Central Park:
- North Woods, where a rustic lake provides the perfect backdrop for fall colors
- Conservatory Garden with its incredible chrysanthemum display
- The Pool, where you’ll also spot wildlife (turtles, fish, and birds) and a waterfall
- North Meadow and the Reservoir, where two types of cherry trees turn vivid colors
- The Ramble, perhaps the most iconic foliage spot
- The Mall and its collection of American Elms, one of the largest in North America
- Hallett Nature Sanctuary and Pond, a peaceful haven with several scenic overlooks
If you want to get more details on these spots, join the Conservancy for one of their Fall Foliage Walks, where you’ll journey from the Pool to the Ravine in the North Woods and learn easy tips for identifying trees and discovering more about these peaceful landscapes. And for more fall fun, the Conservancy’s signature Pumpkin Flotilla will take place on October 28th.
Explore the full Fall Guide HERE >>
- MAP: Predict when fall foliage will be at its finest in your area
- The best day trips this fall, from cemetery tours to historic mansions to corn mazes
- MAP: The best loops and trails for running in Central Park