County-Wide Fall Adventures in Saratoga
This article is sponsored by Saratoga County Tourism.
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 just 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
Photo credit: Alan Nudi
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's Orchard 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 area.
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
Ellms Family Farm
If you have kids, this is one fall hotspot you absolutely can't skip: Ellms Family Farm in Ballston Spa, which opens for the season on September 15th. 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, 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.
More fall farm fun awaits at Schuyler Farms in Schuylerville. They're best known for their seven-acre corn maze, which has a Wizard of Oz theme for 2018, 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 Field of Screams 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
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 in 2018 through November 16th.
Ghost Tours at Yaddo
Did you know the gorgeous gardens of Yaddo are haunted? Learn who wanders the grounds when the sun goes down. Ghost Tours at Yaddo last one hour and are happening Fridays and Sundays starting in mid-September and going through October 28th.
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. The hayride makes its way through haunted woods with frights at every corner and spooks behind each tree, and the terror only continues from there. Once the hayride ends you'll continue on foot through a zombie-infested prison and further horrors. This is considered to be one of the top haunted attractions in the Capital Region.
The haunted hayrides start on September 29th and occur on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and a couple of select Thursdays through October 28th; there is also an Extreme Night happening on November 3rd.
Discover the Best Fall Foliage in Saratoga County
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:
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.
Make sure to see the historic Canfield Casino while in the park, which hasn't been used as a casino since the late 1800s, but offers spectacular architectural detail to check out as you're admiring the foliage.
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 seeped with history and filled with foliage come fall. In particular, the Visitor Center at the Battlefield provides a picturesque view of the fields. You can relax at a picnic table to enjoy the vibrant leaves, or there are several hiking trails as well.
Spend Time Outdoors On the Lake & Hiking
Looking for fun outside before the really cold weather sets in? In addition to the above places to find foliage, there a couple more outdoorsy adventures to explore:
Adirondack Cruise & Charter Co.
Just because summer is over doesn't mean you can't get out on Saratoga Lake! Adirondack Cruise and Charter Co. hosts foliage boat tours, ghost ships, and a pumpkin picking tour where you can pick your own pumpkin off the beach. These guided cruises are perfect to enjoy with family or a few friends.
If you're looking to incorporate a hike into your leaf peeping adventures Hadley Mountain is a particularly ideal choice, known for the 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.
Visit These Fall-Centric Events Throughout The County
Saratoga Showcase of Homes: September 15 - 16, 22 - 23, and 29 - 30, 2018
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: September 30, 2018
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 2018, prizes total $8,500!
Saratoga International Flavorfeast: October 6, 2018
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.