The Art of Living Blog

The Best Views of Autumn in New Jersey: Where and When to Catch Fall Foliage

| 09/8/21


Blog image

Fall foliage in New Jersey is truly a sight to behold. For residents who grew up in the area, the dramatic color show each autumn comes with a hint of nostalgia and a lifetime of fond memories. Those who are new to the region or considering settling here will quickly come to appreciate this seasonal gift from Mother Nature.

Even if you have some favorite vantage points scoped out, the options for observing New Jersey’s fall glory are practically endless. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to view fall foliage in New Jersey so you can revel in the most amazing fall colors you can imagine.

Scenic Drives

When it comes to appreciating fall foliage, scenic drives in New Jersey are the way to go. You’ll be surrounded by beauty along the way, and scenic stops are a great place to stretch your legs, snap some photos, and grab a snack.

Two of our favorite drives that take you to some of the best places to view fall foliage in New Jersey are the Millstone River Scenic Byway and the Delaware River Scenic Byway. Each is an easy drive from the Montgomery area and clocks close to 30 miles. However, you’ll want to be sure to allow plenty of time for sightseeing along the way, so plan to make each one a daytrip. 

Hiking

On a sunny, blue-sky autumn day, there’s nothing quite like a hike (or a leisurely stroll) to access the best places to view fall foliage in New Jersey. Some of our favorite spots nearby include: 

Hacklebarney State Park: Foliage along the Black River is a sight to behold during the autumn months, and this park offers numerous options for short and beginner hikes, including paved and gravel paths for easy navigation. The park is just north of Montgomery in Morris County. 

Black River County Park: Like nearby Hacklebarney State Park, this park offers incredible scenery along the Black River during the peak season. Starting at the old Cooper Mill, you can choose your distance with a short 1.4-mile jaunt or a slightly longer version to explore the remains of Kay’s Cottage. Note the path is fairly even, but does include some roots and rocks, along with some rather  steep climbs in places.

Destinations

In nearby Middlesex County, Cheesequake State Park offers a unique perspective on fall foliage; it’s the only place where you’ll see the sea-level meeting of a northern hardwood forest and southern pine barrens ecosystem. It’s also an inviting setting for a picnic and other recreational activities. 

If you enjoy exploring natural history and geographic features, Pyramid Mountain Natural History Park in Morris County may top your list of the best places to view fall foliage in New Jersey. Rock outcrops, waterfalls, and scenic looks are all part of the package—along with views of the Manhattan skyline. 

Time It Right

Knowing the best places to view fall foliage in New Jersey is just one piece of information you need to fully appreciate the splendor of the display. Catching the leaves in all their colorful glory can vary a bit depending on temperatures and precipitation. The higher elevations, along water sources, and farther north tend to change first. You can expect to see leaves in their boldest glory in early October in the northern portion of the state, while the central communities see the most vibrant hues in mid-October. Farther south, the color peaks toward the end of the month.

Fall in Love with a New Place to Call Home

If watching the vibrant colors emerge each fall in New Jersey every autumn appeals to you, it may be the perfect setting for your retirement. Our beautiful grounds at Stonebridge at Montgomery feature plenty of green space and walking trails so you can enjoy the outdoors year-round.  Nearby Princeton and a number of state parks within easy driving distance offer plenty more scenic sites that make living in the area a true reward.

Contact us to arrange a tour and begin imagining  yourself living in a beautiful community like Stonebridge.