There is no time like the present to plan an autumn drive through the Catskill Mountains in New York. This is when the foliage is at its peak, during October, and you will have a wonderful opportunity to see some magnificent orange, red and yellow leaves. Route 30 will take you through charming communities and past some great views.
Start your fall journey in an RV from Hancock and begin to explore. You will be driving from close to the border of New York and Pennsylvania to lovely Esperance, New York. Near Hancock you will also find some terrific dining if you wish to eat out, or you can play some golf before you officially start your drive.
After traveling through some quaint hamlets, you will come to the Pepacton Reservoir and finally end up in the small village of Margaretville. In addition to fishing in the reservoir, you can also venture to some of the local lakes, streams and ponds to cast a line and see what trout you can catch.
You may want to turn right onto New York Route 28 to see some other sights. This includes the Delaware and Ulster Railroad in Arkville. The fall foliage season is the perfect time to take this rail ride so you can see the brilliant displays. You may even get to experience an old-time train robbery on your trip. How thrilling would that be?
When you reach Belleayre Mountain you can get in some hiking. This is the best way to see the scenery and get up close and personal to nature’s fall beauty. Although mainly a winter destination for skiing and winter sports, Belleayre is great in the fall too! You can fish here or perhaps get out on the water in a kayak.
More fishing, hiking and golfing await you at Hunter Mountain. And then there is Kaaterskill Falls, a 260-foot cascade in two tiers. Ensure you have your hiking boots ready and take off on the trails which take you to the top of the falls and to the bottom as well.
Back on Route 30 again, you will come to Roxbury. This is the time to visit Roxbury Depot Museum. Get outdoors again and hike the Catskill Scenic Trail. In town there are a number of historic spots to see including the Walter Stratton House. Right in the middle of town is an 11-acre park where you can walk and enjoy the autumn foliage.
As you drive through Schoharie County you will be amazed at the gorgeous colors and sweet fall air. Stop at Mine Kill State Park if you wish to see an incredible sight. A beautiful 80-foot waterfall cascades through a gorge which you can view from a platform overlook. Perhaps you want to try your luck fishing here. There are plenty of trout, bass and walleye in the lower reservoir.
Next stop will be Fulton and the famous Vroman’s Nose. This is an oddly shaped mountain which is ideal for a short hiking excursion. It is only a two-mile trek on a loop trail of moderate difficulty. You will see why the name once you check out the sight from a distance. And once at the top, you’ll understand why the summit has been nicknamed the Dance Floor.
The Old Stone Fort Museum is located in Schoharie and is an important addition to your itinerary. Look for the cannonball hole in the rear of the structure. It came from a fight between Captain Joseph Brant and the British Loyalists. The entire complex offers a taste of history you can get no place else. Check their website before you arrive for hours. They are open in October through the 27th.
One of your last stops will be the Secret Caverns with its amazing underground waterfall. This is 100 feet of tumbling water under the earth, highlighted by the lovely stalactites and stalagmites. Get a guided tour and learn more about this fascinating cavern.
Your fall drive is about to come to an end. It has the final destination of the village of Esperance. Visit the George Landis Arboretum while here and put off your drive home. You can see thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers from all over the world and can hike eight miles of trails through fields, wetlands and woodlands. What a terrific fall experience this trip has been. You will have to come back next year and take in any sights you missed!