Though the intensity, drama and rate of change of autumn leaf color varies from autumn to autumn, there is no doubt that the Northeast’s transition from summer’s lush green foliage to winter’s skeletal remains is indulgence worthy. Like the Aurora Borealis, its occurrence is predictable, its timing not so much.
Short of taking a driving tour, a walk through Central Park may be your best way of appreciating it, and to kill several birds with one stone you could walk along The Mall with its allée of Elms — one of the last stands of this magnificent species (because of the ravages elsewhere of Dutch Elm disease) — from the cluster of sculptural writers at its south end to Bathesda Terrace at its north, then over the Bow Bridge into The Ramble, stopping when you leave it for refreshments at the Loeb Boathouse Restaurant and bar.
Other noteworthy nearby park sites are Cleopatra’s Needle and Strawberry Fields (which is also ‘forested’ and, where the path enters from Central Park West, stand several Katsura trees which, in their Autumn death throes, burst forth with the kitchen aromas of caramel and baked sugar. There, on every hand are Sugar Maple, Black Locust, Pin Oak, Black Oak, Hornbeam and London Plane, Juniper and Gingko, whose foliage can be found as 270 million year old fossils.
The Central Park Conservancy issues a Fall Guide proclaiming this dazzling spectacle which includes a map.
You should download the app describing it all, called ‘Central Park‘. Very useful.