FALL SEASONExplore the Region
Experience Fall in the Region
There is no better area in which to experience fall’s stunning colors than New York’s central region. With the many rolling hills, countless natural parks and lakes, and numerous farms, the LCHP region is in its prime during the fall season. There is a reason people come from all over to see the leaves change color!
If you’re new to the area and aren’t sure what there is to do this time of year, you’ve come to the right place! Even if you’ve lived here for years, there’s so much to do you’ve probably not done everything! There is plenty to do, especially if you like partaking in classic fall activities like apple picking, haunted hayrides, donning your lederhosen or dirndl at an Oktoberfest, picking out pumpkins, attending a fall festival, or braving haunted house and ghost tours!
New York State is in second place for being the state that produces the most apples in the United States (second to Washington State)! There are so many apple orchards in New York State, all worthy of visiting. Some great orchards worth visiting are Middlefield Orchard (Cooperstown), Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard (Fly Creek), Altamont Orchards (Altamont), Indian Ladder Farms (Altamont), Sharon Orchards (Sharon Springs), Wratten’s Apple Orchard (Leonardsville), Windy Hill Orchard and Farm Market (Cassville), and Ingalls Blueberry Hill (Milford). If you love apples, but only in donut form, check out Chuck D’Imperio’s article on the best apple cider donuts in Upstate New York!
Fall drives. Perhaps it isn’t a tradition all families have but it should be! Driving around the LCHP region during the fall season means being able to see leaves of every shade between green and burnt brown. There is an unmistakable feel of nostalgia and moodiness that seems to permeate the air in the autumn season. Fall drives tie these feelings and visuals together perfectly. With some atmospheric music or a creepy audiobook playing, leaves changing and falling, farm stands by the road, and birds flying south, fall drives are a hallmark activity for any and all nature lovers and people who enjoy exploring the old and new places before winter comes along and blankets everything in white for a few months! The best part about going on fall drives is the company. Bringing along family or friends and reminiscing or telling stories is the perfect situation in which fond memories are created and remembered for years to come. Historic Route 20, between Duanesburg and Fayetteville, is considered a scenic byway. On this route, you can see the sprawling layout of the landscape going through Cherry Valley, historic towns like Bouckville and Sharon Springs, antique shops (many of which are located in Bouckville), and cozy eateries, like the Brae Loch Inn in Cazenovia.
The Spooky Spiel
Spirits and apparitions might not be in everybody’s bucket of beliefs, but they can be fun for hyping up the spookiness of Halloween. The best part about partaking in a ghost tour in the LCHP region is the fact that the region is so historically rich and abundant in ghost stories and haunted houses. Cooperstown is home to the Cooperstown Candlight Ghost Tour. The Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum may not sound spooky, but there is so much rich history there and they also host ghost tours! Middleburgh is home to Dr. Best House & Medical Exhibit, which has been around for over 300 years, plenty of time for ghosts to check-in and never leave. If you go to the Bull’s Head Inn in Cobleskill, you might get to meet the famous Mrs. Steacy, an apparition dressed in white. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts or spirits, these tours are entertaining and steeped in local historical facts. A fun time to be had by all, indeed!
Fright Nights and Spooky Delights
If ghosts aren’t your thing, there are still many places you can go that celebrate every other category of scary. In Chittenango, a kid friendly event- Flashlight Safari and Halloween Nights- is hosted Friday and Saturday nights at the Wild Animal Park. If you enjoy some boos with booze, you can go to Empire Brewery’s Fright Night at the Farm in Cazenovia. For a truly spooky experience, you can go to Schoharie and visit the Night Terrors Haunted Farm for haunted hayrides and ghostly encounters. This attraction has received numerous awards as being a “must-see haunt” in New York State by thescarefactor.com and The Haunted Attraction Association.
Searching for the Perfect Pumpkin
In addition to the numerous apple orchards, there are also many farms across the region that have pumpkin patches. It’s hard to imagine a halloween that goes by without pumpkin carving! Some great farms worth checking out this fall include (but are not limited to!): Cullen Pumpkin Farm (Richfield Springs), Our Farm (Cazenovia), Highland Pumpkin Farm (Richfield Springs), Scruff and Pups (Richfield Springs (Definitely need to spend a day or two here!)), Barber’s Farm (Middleburgh), and Donnelly Farm Stand (Walton). Wherever you choose to go, just know you will be supporting local farmers!
The LCHP region LOVES fall festivals. It’s no surprise given how deeply connected we are to farming and the harvest. There are countless festivals to attend across the region, it’s hard not to list every single one of them. To start, there is a Harvest Festival, hosted by Beekman 1802 in Schoharie Springs. Critz Farms hosts a Fall Harvest Festival every year as well. There is also a Steampunk Festival in Cortland for a unique festival experience. Delhi hosts a festival every fall called Taste of the Catskills Festival. The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown hosts a Fall Harvest, as well as a Tractor Festival.
If Oktoberfests make you hoppy, then you’re in luck. The LCHP region and surrounding areas host spectacular festivities related to beer, brats, hops, and German culture. To start, the Madison County Hop Fest in Oneida is a great festival devoted to hops and craft beer. For a slightly different take on the classic Oktoberfest, Hamilton hosts a Great Chocolate Wrecktoberfest at the Good Nature Farm Brewery. This event celebrates Oktoberfest as well as the anniversary of the mysterious crash of a train that was transporting chocolate through Hamilton over 50 years ago! Cooperstown hosts BREW: New York’s Craft Beer Revival, which typically starts in May and ends around Halloween. The Red Shed Brewery also hosts an annual Oktoberfest.
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