2 professional leaf peepers show off the beauty of Garrison, Putnam County

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, October 20, 2023
One of the best places in NY to catch fall foliage
Dani Beckstrom heads to Garrison, New York, where the fall foliage is a sight to see.

GARRISON, Putnam County (WABC) -- It's the perfect time to think about taking a train or a road trip to go admire the fall foliage. Leaf peeping will hit its peak in the Hudson Valley over the next three weekends.

"Welcome to Garrison," Bill Pugh. "As a place, it's just spectacular and beautiful, it's a small community in Putnam County, we have about 9,500 residents and we have miles and miles of hiking trails and we have a lot of beautiful foliage."

It turns out, being a leaf peeper is an official title.

"I was asked by the State of New York Department of Tourism to be a leaf peeper so I follow the leaves in the community," Bill said.

"I feel like I'm talking to a celebrity because how much time do we spend on that leaf peeping website, this time of year, I'm on it all the time," Eyewitness News Meteorologist Dani Beckstrom said.

"To say I'm an expert is unfair because trying to guess what Mother Nature is going to do is hard," he said.

"Now you know my problems as a meteorologist, you can't control it you can only observe it," Beckstrom said.

Jane Timm is the other half of the Hudson Valley leaf peepers. She says the best way to get out there, is by train.

"It comes up from Grand Central or 125th Street," she said.

"When you take the train, sit on the left side coming up because that's the riverside," Bill said. "And it's a much more beautiful view."

You may have seen this town before if you are a fan of Broadway movie musicals.

"There's a small town here, very small, actually on this Main Street is where 'Hello Dolly' was filmed," Bill said. "There's a wonderful little restaurant here called Dolly's."

"We have an art gallery here in Garrison," Jane said. "There's a rare bookstore and the theater is right here behind us."

One of the best parts about Garrison, you have the town, the trailheads, the restaurant, and these spectacular views, all within walking distance of the train station.

"We are right here where the T is and it says train station, we're going to come down the road here and just come across into this area called Castle Rock Park," Bill said. "It's called Sugarloaf Trail and it's one of the less hiked by the tourist trails, it goes up here, through the field and eventually you end up around the lower edge of that castle, you head south and from the southern areas is where you can see New York City on a clear day."

He says it's not a difficult trail and noted he has friends who walk their dogs there.

"We've been lucky, we've gotten a lot of rain, and the rain, the cool weather, the rain washes the dust off the leaves, makes them prettier, you get the cool weather, the leaves start to change," he said.

"So peak season, all of these trees start to change?" Beckstrom said.

"That would be red, yellow, purple, orange from as far as you can see to the left to as far as you can see to the right," he said.

ALSO READ: Where to find the best fall foliage - check out this map


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