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5 ‘Off the Beaten Path’ NYC Parks to Photograph This Fall

Curators’ Corner

5 ‘Off the Beaten Path’ NYC Parks to Photograph This Fall

Every New York City photographer should see Central Park in fall. But once you pay that obligatory visit, it’s time to venture out. NYC has beautiful parks in every corner of every borough, all of which burst with burnt orange, ashen red and bright yellow in autumn. Here are five lesser-known parks we recommend visiting this fall:

Thain Family Forest, The Bronx

Also known as the New York Botanical Garden, the Thain Family Forest features walking trails that map Native American hunting routes and are shaded by trees that date back to the American Revolution. The enchanting Rose Garden, where 650 roses line iron gates and stone paths, is a must see for any photographer. Also check out the Herb Garden and its shrub maze, as well as the tree-lined lake of the Native Plant Garden.

NYC Parks Botanical Garden


Van Cortlandt Park, The Bronx

The city’s third largest park may also be its best kept secret. Home to 1,000 acres of nature, as well as attractions like horseback riding, bike trails, golf courses, and even a museum, Van Cortlandt Park boasts something for everyone. To catch the park’s oaks and hickory trees just as their leaves change colors, head to the east lawn, where you can also glimpse common horsechestnuts and white ash trees surrounding the oldest mansion in the Bronx.

NYC Parks Vancourtland Park

© NYC Parks

Fort Tyron Park, Washington Heights

North of Central Park and south of the Bronx lies an 8-mile stretch of pathways, gardens, and playgrounds in Fort Tryon Park. Truly a photographer’s dream landscape, the gardens — made up of more than 500 types of vegetation — sit along the banks of the Hudson River, with the romantic Cloister ruins as a backdrop.

NYC Parks Fort Tryon

© NYC Parks

Bloomingdale Park, Staten Island

If you’re itching to escape the city without heading too far, try catching the ferry to Staten Island’s Bloomingdale Park. 138 acres of fall foliage await! In addition to the park’s oaks, maples, sweet gums, and other trees are wetland shrubs native to the island. Explore the different views by touring the park’s 650-yard bike path.

NYC Parks Bloomingdale Park

© Staten Island REALTORS

Alley Pond Park, Queens

Sculpted from glaciers during the last Ice Age more than 15,000 years ago, Alley Pond Park has both freshwater and saltwater wetlands, plus tidal flats, meadows, and forests. To capture the park’s full beauty, check out the “Alley” located at the north end, where natural springs and Little Neck Bay salt water merge, drawing in all sorts of wildlife.

NYC Parks Alley Pond Park

© NYC Parks

What’s your favorite place in the city to capture the colors of fall? Tell us and share your fall photos using the social media buttons below!