Whether you’re visiting the Park in person (socially distanced, of course) or enjoying it from afar, our OFFICIAL Central Park Conservancy Fall Guide will help you make the most of this new season in the Park.
Each fall, many of Central Park’s approximately 18,000 trees transform into vibrant shades of yellow, orange, red, and more. It’s one of the Park’s most photogenic times of year! If you’re looking for a self-guided adventure to find the Park’s most amazing autumn colors, don’t miss the following landscapes.
Before you go, bookmark these handy resources: Our alerts and closures page contains the latest on major disruptions and scheduled closures in Central Park. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest on Park happenings.
Why do leaves change color?
Each fall, trees shut down their food-making process, called photosynthesis, and begin to store energy for the season ahead. Once a tree’s trunk has filled with the necessary moisture and sugar to survive the winter, chlorophyll (a bright green chemical) starts to break down. Leaves turn various shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple as the colors of other always-present chemicals come to the forefront.
While temperature and moisture play a big role in when this process happens, so does light. Trees detect the upcoming winter not only from colder temperatures, but by the angle at which the sun hits its leaves. Because Central Park’s trees are often obscured by shadows of surrounding buildings, they can have a distorted sense of the seasons. This often results in a later—though no less beautiful—foliage turn than other parts of New York.
Restoring the Park This Season
The Conservancy's team of designers, planners, architects, and more work with the public to continually improve Central Park. Here are a few locations closed for construction this fall—discover how we're improving these landmarks for Park visitors.
Central Park from Home
Virtually Explore the History of the NYC Marathon
Though the TCS NYC Marathon is canceled this fall, the community spirit it creates is stronger than ever in the Park. Explore the marathon's relationship with the Park, read our interview with the first woman to serve as Race Director of the marathon, or plan your next jog in the Park.
Discover how Central Park has been a part of the New York City Marathon since its founding in 1970.
Mary Wittenberg, former President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Road Runners, shares her favorite running routes in the Park, NYC Marathon memories, and more.
Central Park is a runner’s paradise. The Park offers a wide variety of loops and trails, and there is no shortage of groups that use the Park as their running hub.
Take a Virtual Tour
Get an insider’s look at the world’s greatest urban park from the people who know it best. Led by Conservancy guides, our virtual tours provide a behind-the-scenes perspective on the history, design, and ecology of the Park. These programs take place on Zoom each week.
Enjoy the sweeping vistas of the Great Lawn from the newly restored Belvedere Castle while learning about its rich history and the Conservancy’s work to preserve this architectural gem.
Just steps from the bustling midtown streets are some of Central Park’s most serene and exquisite landmarks.
Discover some of the scenic, sculptural, and architectural elements Central Park has on this virtual highlights tour.