Charlie & Kim were hoping to take their engagement photos while the Hudson Valley still had its autumn foliage. We were able to catch a day in late October where the weather was nice and the leaves were still around.
Planning for the fall leaves can be tricky as the start time and longevity change every year depending on what part of New York you are in. Typically, I find it safe to plan for the vibrant colors in the Hudson Valley & Catskills anywhere from late September through October, with the last leaves hanging on until the first week of November. We decided on Minnewaska State Park as the perfect spot to get some scenic views of the Catskills, along with the finale of the autumn leaves.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve, is a state park located in Ulster County, New York. It’s open all year round and has waterfalls, lakes, and trails for hiking and biking. It’s one of my favorite places to shoot for a couple of reasons. First, the rock ledges that overlook the water. There are a ton of them around the main lake (Lake Minnewaska) that give beautiful views to the park and the Catskill mountains in the background. Also, some of the cliffs are only about a 5 minute walk from the parking lot, making it an easy scenic spot for those of us who aren’t crazy about hiking miles for views.
However, there is a ton of diversity at Minnewaska and it has plenty of longer trails for those who like to hike. My personal favorite is Gertrude’s Nose, about a 4 hour hike with beautiful scenic views and is typically less crowded in the morning.
Second, the sunsets at the lake are gorgeous. I’m all about getting that golden hour sun flare light (aren’t we all?) and Lake Minnewaska is the perfect place to catch the sunset just before it dips behind the trees.
The preserve is large and has plenty of trails to follow, but the main lake can get a lot of foot traffic, so I always suggest shoots take place on weekday evenings as weekends are hectic and get a ton of visitors & tourists and parking fills up fast. Things slow down a bit in winter, but it’s still open and when it is covered in snow transforms into a gorgeous winter wonderland.
Overall the preserve is worth checking out if you come to the area and is a beautiful location for engagement sessions or even elopements at any time of the year.
If you’re interested in having a session at Minnewaska State Park you can contact me here!