You might want to try the Finger Lakes National Forest. It runs along the ridge between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes at the southern end so the higher elevation should offer more colors.
Just checked the NY foliage report website:
Looking at my area, it's on the cusp of the "mid-point" and "near peak" line, so from what I see the report is, in my mind, a little early (we have a lot of green up along Lake Ontario).
Based on the site, however, I could see a four hour (or less) round trip drive will put you in a peak/past peak area. Take NY79 easy out of Ithaca toward Whitney Point, a nice drive in itself. You'll take that and follow the signs for I81, which you will take south bound toward Binghamton. From there take NY17/I86 east bound toward New York City (you won't be anywhere near NYC, it's just what's on the sign. You'll now be in a peak area, follow that until you get bored, then turn around and come back. There are a couple of of slightly different ways you could come back if you choose.
This is the route described using Deposit, NY as an arbitrary end point.
Thank you for the suggestions. I'm guessing that the National Forest is closed but we can still see the color from the road.
I was really hoping to see some color around the falls but guessing that's not going to happen.
Mid-October is when the best color starts there, runs through near the end. Sorry. I was guessing based on Tuesday there would be a lot more by this weekend, apparently I was off on that a bit.
EDIT: The national forest service/ranger stations may be closed, but as it isn't a limited access area you will have no problems hiking into the forest itself.Edited: 13 October 2013, 12:37
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