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The Best Leaf Peeping Spots in New Haven this Fall

In New Haven, leaf-peeping season is arguably the best season of the year. With fall foliage colors peaking now through November 8, there is no better time to plan an autumn adventure. From East Rock to Westville, we’ve narrowed down the best spots to take in nature’s fireworks show in New Haven. So grab your pumpkin spice lattes and a pair of hiking boots and let the leaf-peeping commence!

East Rock Park

Rated as one of TripAdvisor’s top ten things to do in New Haven, East Rock Park is a must-visit spot for leaf peeping this autumn. Open daily from sunrise to sunset, East Rock Park features some of the best walking, hiking, and biking trails for all skill levels, surrounded by the warm hues of fall foliage. Feeling adventurous? Climb the rock stairs to the summit for panoramic 360-degree views of the Elm City.

While you’re in the neighborhood, treat yourself to a warm drink and a meal at some of the city’s most incredible hidden gems, including Gather, a community-driven coffee house and meeting space; The Pantry, an iconic breakfast staple among East Rock residents; and Atticus Market, a cafe serving fresh baked goods, local treats, and even personal homemade pizzas on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

West Rock State Park

Located in the Westville neighborhood, West Rock State Park is another must-visit spot for leaf-peeping this autumn season. As the second largest state park in Connecticut, West Rock features nearly 23 miles of trails for hiking and dog walking along with specially designated trails for mountain biking and horseback riding. From now until the end of October, take a scenic drive to historic Judges Cave and the South Overlook above Westville Village, to be greeted by expansive views of South Central Connecticut, including the Sleeping Giant, New Haven and the harbor, and Long Island Sound.

And while you’re there, you can also head on over to the nearby Edgewood Park, home to the famous Yale Bowl. The park offers countless outdoor activities from walking and bird watching to tennis and skateboarding at its skate park.

For morning fuel, Pistachio Cafe, a new modern destination for specialty coffee and a savory brunch, has you covered. In the mood for freshly baked pastries? Brace yourself for the largest selection of Baklava in all of New Haven. Or check out Manjares Cafe, a wonderfully cozy cafe serving up all-organic and locally-sourced homemade breakfast and lunch dishes.

So, get ready and mark your calendars because peak fall foliage season is soon upon us. Happy leaf peeping!

First Published: October 12, 2020 (3:30 pm)
Updated: October 10, 2023

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