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Long Island fall foliage hot spots to see colors

A Japanese maple in full regalia at Planting

A Japanese maple in full regalia at Planting Fields, a state park and arboretum in Oyster Bay. Credit: Planting Fields Arboretum/Bill Barash

Vibrant reds, oranges and yellows are the marquee colors of fall at Long Island's many park areas that welcome visitors for leaf-peeping. Take a stroll at any of these tried-and-true spots during peak season — that's usually mid-October into November — and you're sure to get your fill of fall's splendor.

BAYARD CUTTING ARBORETUM

WHEN|WHERE 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, 440 Montauk Hwy., Great River

INFO 631-581-1002, bayardcuttingarboretum.com

ADMISSION $8 parking

This state park is a popular spot for it's quiet stroller-friendly paved paths that meander through a four-season garden and evergreen forests, showcasing century-old Spanish firs and holly trees. Don't miss the more rugged river walk that hugs the Connetquot, where you might see ospreys and turtles.

PLANTING FIELDS ARBORETUM

WHEN|WHERE 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay

INFO $8 parking (collected weekends only Sept. 8-Nov. 22); 516-922-9200, plantingfields.org

The 509-acre estate will have lots of colorful foliage, including a maple tree collection with about 50 different species along with showstopping dahlias in bloom, typically from mid-September through October. The Synoptic Garden's five acres of trees and shrubs, some of which produce berries in the fall, will be showing off their striking tones as well.

SANDS POINT PRESERVE

WHEN|WHERE 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays at 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point

INFO 516-571-7901, thesandspointpreserve.com

COST $15 parking

Choose from six trails that wind through the 216 acres of the old Guggenheim estate, where there's plenty of fall foliage to take in. The trails vary in length from a quarter-mile to one mile and feature a mix of landscaped gardens and wooded areas that flourish with fall colors. The site hosts periodic family-friendly guided nature walks during peak season.

CONNETQUOT RIVER STATE PARK

WHEN|WHERE 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, 4090 Sunrise Hwy., Oakdale

INFO 631-581-1005, nysparks.com

ADMISSION $8 parking (collected weekends only Labor Day-Thanksgiving)

The state park in Oakdale has about 50 miles of trails where trees and bushes burst with the colors of autumn. Centered along the river, it's a popular destination for kayakers, horseback riders and those who like to do freshwater fly fishing. Foliage photo ops abound — don't miss the seasonal view of the recently restored Nicolls Grist Mill, one of the last of its kind on Long Island.

QUOGUE WILDLIFE REFUGE

WHEN|WHERE Sunrise to sunset daily, 3 Old Country Rd., Quogue

INFO 631-653-4771, quoguewildliferefuge.org

ADMISSION Free

Explore seven miles of trails at this nature preserve, where you'll see glorious trees in all the shades of fall color centered around Old Ice Pond. Its main trail is stroller- and wheelchair-friendly, while others veer deeper into forests and wetlands.

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