Life After Peak Foliage

Leaf season has mostly wrapped up for this year in the Hudson Valley, and peppermint has already ousted pumpkin spice as the latte flavoring of choice. But despite the end of "Starbucks Autumn", there's still no shortage of reasons to explore north of New York City.

Though the foliage is an obvious draw in early fall, I find that November is probably my favorite month here. Distant hillsides and water bodies previously hidden by leaves now peek through picture windows; it's cold enough to use the fireplace, but there is no sting to the air. 

If you're thinking of doing some exploring this weekend, the weather looks perfect for hiking. If you're feeling ambitious, consider a climb to the top of Mount Beacon - you'll be rewarded with views of the Manhattan skyline, and the whole panorama of the Hudson Highlands. More info here: http://www.scenichudson.org/parks/mountbeacon

If you'd rather not break a sweat, take a short walk from the Beacon train station to Dia:Beacon and explore thought-provoking art in a remarkable setting. Weekend tours start at 1pm: http://diaart.org/program/calendar/public-tours-at-diabeacon-tour-2016-08-27

While in Beacon, stop by the Roundhouse for lunch or brunch - take a window table if you can!

If you still have the energy, spend the afternoon shopping. The Stormville Flea Market is hosting its "Christmas in November" market this weekend. It's about 20 minutes' drive from Beacon. If you'd rather not stray from the river, drive or take the trolley down to Cold Spring. Don't miss Burkelman (fine home goods) and Cold Spring Apothecary. I did nearly all of my holiday shopping last year in Cold Spring - I expect to do the same again this year!

Have a great weekend & happy trails - KW