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High Point Monument as seen from Lake Marcia

Fall is here, and soon the leaf peepers will be out in force–myself included.  Here in the NJ, NY, and PA tri-state area there is no shortage of leaf peeping opportunities.  Some venues you can drive to, some require moderate hiking, and some require a little more effort.  Today I am going to concentrate on the drive-tos.

One of the best places to take in the autumn colors is at the High Point Monument in High Point State Park, Montague, NJ, where you have panoramic views of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.  You can even climb to the top of the monument for a better view.  Check with the park hours.  Map

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View from High Point Monument. In the distance is the Mid-Delaware bridge which connects Port Jervis, NY to Matamoras, PA
© Dawn J. Benko

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View of New Jersey farmland from the High Point Monument
© Dawn J. Benko

In New York, there are a couple of great spots where you can drive and park to take in the views.  One is Elks-Brox Memorial Park, which overlooks historic Port Jervis, NY.  Local lore has it that Point Peter, which is in the park, was the inspiration for Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle.

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Point Peter
© Dawn J. Benko

In August 2008, Port Jervis was named one of the “Ten Coolest Small Towns” by Budget Travel magazine.  Map

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View of Port Jervis, NY from Elks-Brox Memorial Park
© Dawn J. Benko

Just outside of Port Jervis is the “Hawks Nest”, which is a section of State Route 97 that winds along the Delaware River.  Frequently seen in automobile commercials, this portion of highway was originally a one-way dirt road dating back to 1859.

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A section of NYS Route 97 knowns as the “Hawks Nest”
© Dawn J. Benko

At the foot of the Hawk’s Nest stand sturdy stone walls which are remnants of the Delaware and Hudson canal that ran parallel to the river here.

There are a number of pull-offs, where you can park and take in the great views of the Delaware River.  Map

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In New Jersey, National Park Service Rt. 615 traverses parts of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  There are an abundance of places along this route to take in views of the Kittatinny Ridge.  Map

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Autumn colors pop below the Kittatinny Ridge in Walpack, NJ.
© Dawn J. Benko

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