The middle of autumn is peak time to see fall foliage in New Jersey. The leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow throughout the Garden State — but they don’t last long.
Within a month of turning beautiful fall colors, most NJ leaves have turned brown and fallen. The window to see the leaves in New Jersey is short, but it’s certainly worth the trip.
So where are the best places to see fall foliage in New Jersey? No matter where you live or travel in the Garden State, there are a few perfect places to take in beautiful autumn views.
We’ve ranked 12 beautiful places to see New Jersey’s fall leaves — 4 in North Jersey, 4 in Central Jersey, and 4 in South Jersey. From state parks to arboretums and farms, there’s guaranteed to be a vantage point you’ll love visiting.
Before we get to our list of places to visit, let’s answer a few key questions about New Jersey’s fall foliage.
5 Facts About New Jersey Fall Foliage
Where is fall foliage in New Jersey?
Everywhere! There are opportunities to see fall foliage virtually everywhere in New Jersey. However, there are certainly places with better views than others.
State parks, state forests and public gardens are the best places to see fall leaves in NJ. There are also some great NJ drives for fall leaf viewing — Route 15 through Sussex County offers a wonderful view of golden and orange leaves in October, for example.
When can you see fall colors in New Jersey?
The peak time to see fall colors in New Jersey is between the second week of October and the second week of November. If you are visiting Northern New Jersey, aim earlier rather than later — the air is slightly colder and causes leaves to brown and fall earlier.
If you’re in South Jersey, late October is the best time to see the fall colors.
How long does fall foliage last in New Jersey?
Fall leaves last about 5 weeks in New Jersey. Most leaves have turned by the second and third weeks of October. Most will fall from trees and/or turn brown by the middle of November.
What colors do the leaves turn in New Jersey?
Expect to see red, orange, gold, yellow and bronze leaves during fall in New Jersey. But don’t expect them to stay the same year to year. No two autumns are exactly alike!
Each year, temperature, sunlight and moisture levels dictate how much sugar stays trapped in leaves. The more sugar and light that stays in a leaf, the redder in color it becomes.
New Jersey has many types of deciduous trees — meaning they lose their leaves in winter. There’s birch, pine, hickory, oak, walnut and more! That means a wide variety of fall colors.
Where should I go in NJ in the fall?
We’re about to tell you! Below, we’ve listed the 12 best places to see the gorgeous color of New Jersey’s fall leaves.
These are our favorite places to see fall foliage in New Jersey. Let’s start with 4 locations in North Jersey, and work our way south.
Where to See Fall Leaves in North Jersey
Allamuchy Mountain State Park
Waterloo Rd, Stanhope, NJ
Allamuchy Mountain State Park has 14 miles of marked trails (and 20 miles of unmarked trails) that are perfect for seeing fall foliage. The full park offers over 9,000 acres of lakes, ponds and mountains to explore.
The park is designated as a mixed oak and hardwood forest. That means lots of deep red and orange leaves everywhere you look.
353 E Hanover Ave, Morristown, NJ
Frelinghuysen Arboretum exists to feature the beauty of North Jersey trees, so it’s no surprise that “leaf peepers” flock here in late September and October. At 127 acres, it’s NJ’s largest horticultural park.
The Frelinghuysen Arboretum grounds are open from 8 a.m. to sunset year-round. The Haggerty Education Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday (except conservation holidays).
High Point State Park
1480 NJ-23, Sussex, NJ
Manhattan residents can get to High Point State Park in an hour and 15 minutes from the George Washington Bridge. The reward? High Point offers North Jersey’s highest vantage point for viewing fall leaves. At 1,803 feet above sea level, you’ll see gorgeous fall foliage for miles from the summit of Kittatinny Ridge.
If you stay into the evening, High Point State Park is also one of New Jersey’s best locations for stargazing. Cabin rentals are available through mid-October for affordable group rates.
Stokes State Forest
Stokes State Forest has 63 miles of trails that connect with some of the East Coast’s most notable locations — the Appalachian Trail and Tillman’s Ravine, to name a few. Visit Stepping Stones Falls and watch the leaves change next to a beautiful waterfall.
Take a morning hike up Sunrise Mountain for a lovely view from above the trees. At 1,653 feet, it’s the second-highest mountain in New Jersey.
Where to See Fall Foliage in Central Jersey
Allaire State Park
4263 Atlantic Ave, Farmingdale, NJ
Allaire State Park is a great choice for leaf peepers who like variety. The park features over 200 species of trees, wildflowers and shrubs to enjoy. Start your journey at Allaire’s Interpretive Nature Center and chart your course based on the trees you want to see.
There’s much more to look at than just the leaves at Allaire State Park. You’ll see over 200 species of wildlife on its hiking and multi-purpose trails. You can also visit one of New Jersey’s most famous ghost towns, Historic Allaire Village.
Branch Brook Park
Park Avenue & Lake St, Newark, NJ
Branch Brook Park is notable for its spring cherry blossoms, but the park is just as beautiful in autumn. It’s an ideal spot for leaf lovers who need extra activities for their kids to enjoy. The park offers roller skating, live music and arcade games for children and families.
Not only is Branch Brook the largest public park in Newark, it was the first-ever county park in America. Take in the history as you stroll 360 acres of trees and well-maintained paths.
1112 Dukes Parkway N, Hillsborough Township, NJ
Duke Farms is a 2,700+ acre nature preserve devoted to environmental education and protection. It’s always free to visit Duke Farms, but parking passes are required on Saturdays from April through October.
If you’re passionate about trees, enroll in programs like the Autumn Dendrology Workshop. You’ll learn about the preserve’s 113 tree species.
After you’re done seeing the leaves, stay at Duke Farms for the Orchid Range. It’s a gorgeous indoor facility with two displays, one for subtropical orchids and one for tropical varietals.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
20 NJ-33 Business, Manalapan Township, NJ
In June 1778, the Battle of Monmouth raged as one of the American Revolution’s longest conflicts. Today, Monmouth Battlefield stands as a testament to this battle, and to the area’s beautiful landscape.
Take a history hike and learn about the Battle of Monmouth while you take in the lovely fall foliage. Expect to see red-tailed hawks, red foxes and various birds along your route — as well as a variety of autumn colors.
Where to See Autumn Leaves in South Jersey
Belleplain State Forest
1 Henkinsifkin Road, Woodbine, NJ
Belleplain State Forest covers over 21,000 acres of Cumberland and Cape May Counties. It’s a treasure trove of oak and Atlantic white cedar trees. The result is one of New Jersey’s best “fall color shows”, with every shade of autumn foliage on display.
Choose the East Creek Loop Trail for your fall foliage hike. It’s one of the Garden State’s top-rated hiking trails, with plenty of opportunities to take in the changing leaves.
Cape May Point State Park
Light House Ave, Cape May Point, NJ
Residents of Cape May County aren’t excluded from seeing fall foliage! Cape May Point offers a unique vantage point for “leaf peeping” — you won’t see the sheer quantity of leaves that state forests provide, but it’s a lovely change of pace.
There’s an added bonus to checking out the fall leaves at Cape May Point State Park. The park sits directly in the path of the annual monarch butterfly migration. Choose the right weekend, and you’ll see a massive butterfly show along with the changing leaves.
Parvin State Park
701 Almond Rd, Pittsgrove, NJ
Parvin State Park is called the “hidden gem” of South Jersey for good reason. The best place to enjoy autumn leaves here is on either of Parvin’s 2 lakes — rent a kayak or canoe and see the orange and golden leaves from on the water.
Parvin State Park is just 40 miles south of Philadelphia, making it a quick leaf viewing trip for Philly residents. Campground reservations can be made through the NJDEP website.
Wharton State Forest
31 Batsto Rd, Hammonton, NJ
The largest NJ state forest, Wharton State Forest has 122,880 acres of gorgeous nature views. The popular Batsto Lake Trail features mostly pine trees — opt for the Tom’s Pond (Orange) Trail for a better leaf show that features some lovely wooden bridges. (Note: This trail isn’t very wheelchair accessible.)
Deciduous tree species in Wharton State Forest include Atlantic white cedar, oak, and some maple in swamp areas. Visitors can combine leaf peeping with some great bird-watching — bald eagles, purple martins, marsh hawks and ospreys frequent the area.
Come See Fall Foliage in New Jersey
Fall is a beautiful time to visit New Jersey. The air is crisp, farmer’s markets are open, and the autumn leaves turn beautiful colors everywhere you look.
If you live in New York City, take a short trip to North Jersey and see the leaves in High Point State Park or Stokes State Forest. If you’re a Philly native, head to Wharton State Forest or Parvin State Park for a look at NJ’s fall leaves.
With 49 state parks and state forests to choose from — plus gorgeous reserves like Duke Farms and Frelinghuysen Arboretum — chances to see fall foliage in New Jersey are all around you.