The Colors of Fall
There's nothing like the Fall season in the Northeastern part of the United States as we really get to enjoy the change in seasons each year. Quite frankly, I think Fall is my favorite. Why is that? First, the temperatures cool off making it an ideal time for mountain biking. Second, the leaves change colors presenting a wealth of opportunities to photograph the vibrant colors. While I am primarily a street photographer, I also enjoy photographing landscapes- especially of places I frequent quite often. The photos in this blog post are from the past three years in two separate locations, namely Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill, NY and Saratoga Springs, NY. I am drawn to both of these locations primarily for the excellent mountain biking opportunities they offer. However, when Fall comes, in addition to biking, my camera is also with me to capture the Fall foliage.
Blue Mountain Reservation
Peekskill, NY is located about 40 miles north of New York City in Westchester County and is easily accessible via the Metro North rail from Grand Central Station. The trains run on the hour and the ride time is about an hour from NYC. During the Fall the trains out of Grand Central get really crowded as there are lots of people making their way out of NYC up to the Hudson Valley to take advantage of the hiking and biking opportunities. The ride up the Hudson can be quite stunning especially during Fall when the leaves are changing.
Once off the train it's an easy taxi shuttle or bike ride to Blue Mountain (about 2 miles). Blue Mountain Reservation has primarily been a mountain biking destination over the past several years. It's about 1,500 acres and contains about 20 - 25 miles of trails, both double and technical single track. I'll write another blog post focusing on the mountain biking there in the near future.
Once you get into the main parking area there are various ways to go. From a photographic point of view there are two ponds very nearby and when the water is still and the leaves are changing one can get some outstanding photos. Two of the past three years I made a point to attend when it was raining as I like to capture Fall foliage when the leaves are wet as no one is there and I think the precipitation adds a different dimension to the overall feel of the Fall foliage.
The next few photos are more recent but the water was quite still and provided great reflection options.
Saratoga Springs New York
Saratoga Springs is approximately a 3.5 hour drive north of New York City depending on traffic. It's a small town that packs a punch as the locals like to say and I have to agree. There are tons of restaurants, bars and culture that exist here and there are also trails to be explored. Many of you might know about the Travers Stakes which takes place in Saratoga, and by most, if not all accounts, it is the most popular day of horse racing there. This race generally occurs in late August. The horse racing season in general occurs for about 6 weeks during the Summer and during that time thousands of people descend there, the culmination of which is the Travers Stakes. As I am from NYC, I avoid Saratoga during this time because I am around crowds of people all the time but I hear it's a really fun time to be there and great for all of the local businesses. Similar to Peekskill, Saratoga offers a range of photo opportunities. The following photos were taken around the Saratoga Springs area including the Stables trails.
I hope you enjoyed these photos and that you see how much NY has to offer outside of NYC. The next blog post I do about Saratoga and Blue Mountain Reservation will be from a mountain bike perspective. Stay tuned and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.