LEAVES, APPLES AND WINE, OH MY!A GUIDE TO PLANNING YOUR
AUTUMN LEAF-PEEPING TRIP
In autumn, in the Northern USA, autumn is a time for some Northerners to close their summer residences to snowbird in warmer climates. As they're leaving town, they pass by others who are headed north to enjoy the magnificent visual feast the leaves offer. Read on to know what to know before you go (and plan).
1. Where to go: the public and national parks. Out West, parts of Northern California, Washington State, Upper Idaho, Montana and Oregon provide the calendar worthy landscapes that photographers drool about. Mountainous areas such as Tennessee, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Western North Carolina are all beautiful. In the Northeast, the sights are seen in New England, upstate New York, the Poconos of Pennsylvania and upper New Jersey. These mentioned areas provide extra special backdrops such as mountains, lakes, waterfalls and small picturesque towns.
2. When to go: Brilliant fall colors are dependent on various climate factors during the summer. Late August and early September give good indicators when foliage will reach peak colors and how vibrant the leaves will be. Cool summer weather might lead to less than fantastic colors. Hot wet summers, a gradual cooling September and later frosts might yield great color. A rainy windy and cold September might knock the leaves off sooner without them giving their full potential of color. Use a weather website and fall foliage maps to help you plan.
3. What else to do: After sightseeing, enjoy the areas where the leaves are: farms, orchards, wineries, antique shops. Activities at local farms include u-pick-ur own produce, with hay rides, mazes, pumpkin patches, face painting, booths, homemade jam, cider and baked goods, hot corn and baked potatoes (see below).
In the NYC Metro area:
~Lewin Farms in Calverton, Long Island is a huge operation. With over 1100 acres, it seems to dominate the LI scene but there are other farms. From May to October, you can pick berries, peaches, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins and of course, apples. Because of the variety of produce, they have several locations, with the apple orchard in a different location than the farmstand. For the apples, they charge by the pound (whatever you can carry). You can bring your own bags and they sell the old fashioned wooden baskets.
~Nearby is Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, a fun filled vineyard (check the website for live music) complete with horse rides. Combine Lewin and Baiting Hollow (with the nearby Tanger Outlets in Riverhead) and you have a day trip guaranteed to please all ages in the family.
|Baiting Hollow is charitable as well as fun!|
~Other farms in the area (and they will let you know by the homemade signs along the way) are listed on longisland.com.
Instead of east, with NYC as a center point, one can head north. Tourists are surprised to learn that New York is a top agricultural producer, one of the top five states in the country. Just one hour out of NYC and you'll be in farm country (you see the Catskill Mountains looming ahead of you on I-87).
|Maskers Orchard: Family Fun Area (Editorial Use Only)|
In the Family Fun Area was a full scale "festival:" country store, pony rides, haunted house, apple maze, face painting, pizza, apple pies, pumpkins, ATM machine (they do take credit cards, no Amex), and, hallelujah, rest rooms. By the way, be prepared to have your car checked for bootleg apples. They mean what they say about paying on your way out. No honor system here.
|Maskers Orchard's Country Store (Editorial Use Only)|
~Further up Route 17 or I-87, depending on how fast you want to get there, are several in New Paltz. The benefit of these farms is the proximity to several vineyards, Minnewaska State Park and the charming town of New Paltz itself, with its funky college vibe and historical French Huguenot houses. Apple Hill Farm, Dressel Farms and Wilklow Orchards are all good all have family fun.
In every region, be prepared for traffic galore. Between the outlets, vineyards, farms and every day life on the week-ends (school football games, etc), my suggestion is to be at the farm by 10AM. When you are ready to leave around 12 noon, you will see the crowd heading in and you'll be glad you got there early.
Click the social media icons to share. Spread the word. Happy Travels.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr. Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on Shutterstock, ImageKind, mcraytonphoto.com, iStock by Getty Images , and Dreamstime.
All Photos Copyright Marcia Crayton, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).