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County-Wide Fall Adventures in Saratoga

Editor's Note (2/9/2021): The following info is from the 2020 fall season. We will be updating the article below for 2021 as details are announced.

Summer may be over, but the fun is just starting in Saratoga County. Fall is jam-packed with a variety of events, fun activities at farms and orchards, and spooky happenings just in time for Halloween. The weather is still pleasant, but there's a crisp feel to the air that makes you feel alive.

This season, explore all there is to enjoy about autumn in the Saratoga area. Celebrate pumpkins, taste sugary cider doughnuts at an apple orchard, and find the best spots to view gorgeous fall foliage—the most beautiful sign that this magical season has arrived.

Pick Crisp Apples & Sample Delicious Cider

close up of an apple treePhoto Credit: Alan Nudi

Saratoga Apple

Saratoga Apple in Schuylerville is a must-stop fall spot. Although they are a working orchard and farm market open every day all year, you'll definitely want to make a point to visit during the fall to take advantage of u-pick apples while they're in season and try their incredible hard cider. And, you simply can't leave without picking up some delectable cider doughnuts!

The Darrow Family has been growing apples for five generations using low-spray techniques and micronutrient fertilization; micronutrients are made up of healthful vitamins and minerals. Saratoga Apple has had a strong presence in the Saratoga area for many years, making an appearance at local farmers markets like the Saratoga Farmers Market.

They also offer two hard ciders now, available for tasting and purchase at the tasting room. They've installed a 12-tap system for New York local hard ciders and beers and you'll find their coolers stocked with a tempting selection for purchase.

Bowman Orchards

Bowman Orchards in Rexford is another Saratoga area favorite when it comes to apple picking. Over 46 varieties of apples are grown at this impressive orchard, going beyond the typical MacIntosh, Cortland, and Empires you're likely to see in this region.

Types of apples listed on their website include lesser-known varieties like Ruby Frost, Snap Dragon, and Autumn Crisp. Just call ahead or check out their website before your visit, so you can be aware of what varieties are available when.

This orchard has a fun backstory - although the Bowman family has owned and operated the establishment for many years, it was originally owned by Elizabeth Shepherd and her family in the 1800s. Elizabeth Shepherd was the sister of John MacIntosh, the man the MacIntosh apple was named after.

Find More Farm Fun & Activities

kids on a jumping padNote: This photo was taken prior to 2020 and does not reflect current social distancing requirements

Ellms Family Farm

If you have kids, this is one fall hotspot you absolutely can't skip: Ellms Family Farm in Ballston Spa. When you think of fall activities for kids, apple picking, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes might come to mind. And, Ellms has all of these. But they also have much, much more.

Ellms actually offers over 30 activities ranging from a spider web climber to a ropes course, duck races, pumpkin bowling, corn and apple cannons, pedal carts, jump pads, a jumping pillow, and more - have we enticed you yet? This place is like a kid's haven for adventure and excitement. Then there's the extra bonus that all this running around and excitement will undoubtedly tire the little ones out for a great night's sleep at home later.

Schuyler Farms

More fall farm fun awaits at Schuyler Farms in Schuylerville. They're best known for their seven-acre corn maze, but they also offer more activities: hayrides, pumpkin picking, farm animals, a rope maze, zip lines, and more. Although you can certainly bring the kids, they always have something going on for all ages.

While their corn maze is family-friendly by day, a haunting begins at night. The Haunted Corn Maze takes place every Friday and Saturday night in October. Every twist and turn will bring a new horror! Read on to see what other spooky spots you can enjoy in Saratoga County.

Embrace Your Spooky Side at These Halloween Happenings

a black and white image of a large house

Haunted Saratoga Ghost Tours

Ready to learn about all the spirits who dwell in Saratoga Springs? Embark on a Haunted Saratoga Ghost Tour, a 90-minute walking tour filled with frights and fascinating tales. Hear bewitching stories, find out fascinating historical facts, and experience dramatic reenactments. Maybe you'll meet a spirit or two along the way! Tours happen every Friday and Saturday from May into October.

Ghost Tours at Yaddo

Editor's Note (4/28/20): Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Yaddo will remain closed for the rest of 2020. Below, you can still read about the Ghost Tours from 2019.

Did you know the gorgeous gardens of Yaddo are haunted? Learn who wanders the grounds when the sun goes down. Ghost Tours at Yaddo will be offered on Friday and Sunday evenings from September 13 to October 27, 2019.

The Yaddo Gardens are rich with history. The tavern at Yaddo was known to be a hangout spot for writers during the 1830s and 1840s - in fact, legend has it that Edgar Allan Poe wrote part of "The Raven" here!

Double M Haunted Hayrides

You have not been on a truly haunted hayride until you've visited Double M Haunted Hayrides in Ballston Spa. For the 2020 fall season, the popular attraction has been transformed into a Dead End Road Drive-Thru Experience to allow for laughs, thrills, chills, and social distancing. This spooky theatrical experience will take place Thursday - Sunday nights in October.

Discover the Best Fall Foliage in Saratoga County

part of a park in fall Photo credit: Gail Stein

Halloween hauntings are always fun, but we can't forget about an integral part of the autumn experience: fall foliage. Saratoga County in particular has some true hotspots where you can have a front row seat to see the brilliant reds, golds, and yellows. Here are our top picks:

Congress Park

Shown in the picture above, Congress Park is a gorgeous spot to walk around and enjoy the foliage, and it's located right in Saratoga Springs. If the weather is warm enough, many enjoy picnicking in this park because of the lush grass, beautiful gardens, and numerous fountains.

Saratoga Spa State Park

If you'd like to embark on a quick hike or walk to enjoy the foliage you should check out Saratoga Spa State Park, which has a number of great trails in addition to plenty of fall foliage. The trails are fairly short, ranging from .22 miles to 1.8 miles, and you can also check out some of the Spa City's famous springs while you're at it.

The Battlefield at Saratoga National Historical Park

Saratoga National Historical Park is located in nearby Stillwater and is steeped with history and filled with foliage come fall. You can relax at a picnic table to enjoy the vibrant leaves, discover several hiking trails, and ride on the Driving Tour Road. Admission is free.

Spend Time Outdoors

view from hadley mountain hike

Looking for fun outside before the really cold weather sets in? In addition to the above places to find foliage, there are more outdoorsy adventures to explore.

Hadley Mountain

If you're looking to incorporate a hike into your leaf peeping adventures, Hadley Mountain is a particularly ideal choice known for spectacular foliage. Hadley Mountain is located about an hour north of Saratoga Springs in the Southern Adirondacks. It's considered to be a moderate, family-friendly hike, and the trail is about three miles round trip.

See more fall hikes in the Saratoga area »

Visit These Fall-Centric Events Throughout The County

several giant pumpkins on displayNote: This photo was taken prior to 2020 and does not reflect current social distancing requirements

Saratoga Showcase of Homes

Editor's Note (7/30/2020): The 2020 Saratoga Showcase of Homes is canceled. You can still view 2019 details below for an idea of what to expect when the returns in 2021.

The Saratoga Showcase of Homes is a hugely popular event, and you'll have three separate chances to check it out. This event takes place over three consecutive weekends and showcases the finest homes in the Saratoga area, built by local home builders and designers. You take a tour of the homes, learn about the latest happenings in the home building and interior design industry, and then you can cast your vote for your favorite.

Saratoga Giant Pumpkinfest

Pumpkins are a quintessential symbol of the fall season, and you can see the biggest in the area at the Saratoga Giant Pumpkinfest. Pumpkin growers come from all over the Northeast to participate in this ultimate pumpkin competition to determine who has the largest pumpkin of all. For the 2020 Saratoga Giant Pumpkinfest, visitors can stop by multiple locations to see the biggest pumpkins of the season from September 30 - October 14.

Saratoga International Flavorfeast

Editor's Note (10/8/2020): The 2020 Saratoga International Flavorfeast has been canceled. The next Flavorfeast is now scheduled for October 9, 2021. Below, you can read about the 2019 event for an idea of what to expect. Check back in 2021 for more info.

Foodies will love this one: the Saratoga International Flavorfeast, happening on the Saturday of Columbus Day Weekend in downtown Saratoga Springs, celebrates cultures and flavors from all over the world. You can taste fare from France, China, Japan, Italy, Mexico, and America.

Have an Awesome Autumn

From the fall festivals to the fall foliage, autumn in Saratoga County is truly special. Whether you're a local discovering new things to love about this area, or you're looking to make the most of a visit, fall is the perfect time to explore the sights, sounds, and tastes of Saratoga.

This article is sponsored by Saratoga County Tourism. Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or view of Saratoga County Tourism or its members.

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