Horseback riders from Babylon Riding Center, take a ride through the...

Horseback riders from Babylon Riding Center, take a ride through the fall foliage at the Southard's Pond Park.  Credit: Heather Walsh

It’s autumn — time for Long Island to show its true colors — as captured in brilliant fall foliage popping from local roadways and in state parks.

And there are many ways to really see this lovely tapestry instead of trying to take it in quickly while riding in your car or stopped at a light. You can always take a bike ride or a walk to get a better view, but why not do something different and learn about the sights you're seeing at the same time by going on a guided fall foliage tour on horseback by pontoon boat or by kayak?


WHEN | WHERE Hour-and-a-half Discovery Wetlands Cruise (through Oct. 31). Ride through Stony Brook Harbor to the surrounding 88-acre wetlands at West Meadow Creek with a naturalist aboard to discuss the ecology, geology and history that are part of the experience. A  special photo cruise will take place on the Oct. 28 scheduled excursion. 

The 27-passenger boat leaves from Stony Brook Marine Services, 51 Shore Rd., Stony Brook.

INFO 631-751-2244,

COST Adults $28, Seniors 60 plus and students $25, children under 6, $18.


WHEN | WHERE Paumanok Tours and Tri-Spy Tours together offer a two-hour kayak trip (by appointment through Nov. 15) Stops include Benjamin Tallmadges' birthplace, Anna and Selah Strong burial ground, and vista points of Strong's Neck. Get a historical look at marine life and history in the Three Village area while experiencing the beauty of Setauket Harbor and learning about its role in George Washington's spy ring. 

The kayak leaves from Brookhaven Town Beach, Shore Road, Setauket.

INFO 631-404-6447,

COST $60 per person 


WHEN | WHERE One-hour trail rides through Belmont Park that includes a trip around scenic Southard's Pond and viewing reflections of the fall foliage in the water. Someone from the Babylon Riding Center will also be available to take photos of riders, because taking selfies or bringing personal cameras to memorialize your trip on horseback isn’t encouraged. All horseback riding skill levels welcome; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at Babylon Riding Center, 1500 Peconic Ave., Babylon.

INFO 631-587-7778,

COST $50 per person, $75 for a private ride

WHEN | WHERE One-hour trail rides through Connetquot River State Park, located on more than 35,000 acres of woods, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week at Parkview Riding Center, 989 Connetquot Ave., Central Islip. Spectacular autumnal and water views and you might catch a glimpse of deer, foxes or turtles. Riders, from beginners to advanced, are welcome. For guided tours, you must be 8 or older.

INFO 631-581-9477,

COST $50 per hour, $65 for a private ride

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated photo cruises are regularly offered, and that kayaks, paddles and flotation vests are offered on cruises.