"We all have forests on our minds. Forests unexplored, unending." Ursula K. Le Guin
The Thain family forest has grown and thrived in New York for thousands of years. Yes, thousands of years. In 1895, the founders of The New York Botanical Garden selected the site specifically for its beauty and history. As written in a letter by its co-founder to the Board of Directors, the forest had “all the desirable elements of ready accessibility, rich and varied soils, grand natural scenery [and a] dense natural forest.” This dense natural forest soon became the foundation for the Botanical Gardens, and today remains the largest uncut wilderness of New York’s original wooden landscape.
The diverse history of the city comes alive while visiting the Thain family forest. You can walk along Native American hunting trails, see marks left by glaciers and pass by trees that date back to the American Revolution - all without leaving the city limits. Plus, the flora and fauna of the forest have been preserved for generations, providing an impressive testament to nature’s resilience. But above all, it is one of the most spectacular places to see the bold and changing fall colors.
During the month of November, visitors can get lost in the magnificent fall foliage of the forest. Reds, yellows, greens and blues flourish brightly just a short subway ride away from the heart of the city. In commemoration of this special time of year, the Garden hosts “Fall Forest Weekends” with guided hikes, canoe trips, live music, woodworking classes, birds of prey demonstrations and Shakespearean performances. It’s the perfect place to fall into the spirit of the season.