Exploring the breathtaking fall foliage of New Jersey is an absolute must during this splendid time of the year in the Garden State.

As a true Jersey girl, I've got the inside scoop on some remarkable spots to witness nature's vibrant transformation. And one that holds a special place in my heart happens to be conveniently close to home.

Now, according to AccuWeather, the peak display of autumn's colors won't grace us until mid-October.

But let me tell you, when that prime foliage season hits, you absolutely cannot miss it if you want to bask in the best that New Jersey has to offer.

Allaire State Park is a hidden gem boasting over 200 species of wildflowers, trees, and plants.

It's a haven for leaf-watching enthusiasts in the Garden State. What's even better is that there are four family-friendly trails to explore here, each with varying elevations, ranging from a leisurely 29 to a bit more challenging at 209 feet.

You can take your pick from the Allaire Green (Canal) Trail, the Red Trail, the State Park East Loop Trail, or the Edgar Felix Bike Path.

I’ll be making my yearly trip there soon and I’m always amazed by the array of colors.

But the charm of this park doesn't stop at the colors. Nestled within it, is the quaint and educational Allaire Village, one of New Jersey's beloved living history sites.

This enchanting place showcases 13 historic buildings from the old Howell Iron Works era. While there's a nominal admission fee of $7 at the gate (or just $5 online), rest assured, it's worth every penny. And here's a bonus – children younger than three get in absolutely free.

So, if you're eager to witness the breathtaking hues of autumn and create lasting memories, I highly recommend making Allaire State Park your destination of choice. Trust me; you won't be disappointed.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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