Vibrant autumn colors are on display across the North Fork as the leaves turn from bright summer greens to golden yellows and striking reds.
On the East End, fall foliage is quickly approaching its midpoint, with spotters at The Nature Conservancy on Shelter Island reporting red and yellow leaves “of average brilliance” at 40% transition, according to a report published on iloveny.com.
Between the bountiful harvest and pretty scenic views, late October is one of the most beautiful times on the North Fork. Here are some of our favorite spots for admiring the changing colors this time of year:
Indian Island County Park, Riverhead
Aside from being one of my favorite and most frequented local trails, the afternoon light here is gorgeous. There are several miles of marked trails that wind through 275 acres of woods, wetlands and along the shoreline but also seemingly endless quiet spurs to explore. This time of year, the trees along the quiet creek put on an enchanting display.
— Tara Smith, digital content director
Ruth Oliva Preserve at Dam Pond, East Marion
If I had to pick one spot this time of year it would be the Ruth Oliva Preserve at Dam Pond. It’s not just the beautiful foliage but being so close to the water and the sounds and smells. We are lucky to have access to real life immersive experiences on the North Fork, no ticket required!
— Cerria Torres, sales & production manager
Mashomack Preserve, Shelter Island
This is my favorite time of year to visit Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island. The fall air is fresh and crisp. About 1.5 miles in, you get a gorgeous view where you can stop and see the bay glisten through the orange and yellow leaves.
— Kimberly Gersic, display sales assistant
Horton Point Lighthouse, Southold
Horton Point Lighthouse is a great spot for breathtaking views all year round, but I especially love visiting in the fall. Around this time, the 58-foot lighthouse is surrounded by hues of deep red and orange, and the park’s picnic tables make it the perfect place to admire the North Fork’s foliage over a fall picnic.
— Victoria Caruso, staff writer
Hallock State Park, Riverhead
Meandering through Hallock State Park Preserve always tops my list of favorite North Fork things to do but doing so this time of year is especially standout as the leaves put on their fall show with shades of red, orange, yellow, and gold.
The 1.1-mile blue trail paired with the .2-mile blue trail will take you on a loop through much of the preserve, where you’ll experience leaves so vibrant that you blink a few times to make sure they’re real.
— Michelina Da Fonte, content director