by Samantha Wilson

When the autumn season is in full swing, the Mount Saint Mary College is located in one of the best places to be. In the Hudson Valley, the fall season is full of apple picking, pumpkin picking, and leaf peeping. Here, in Orange County, there are multiple Apple Orchards, Pumpkin Farms, and Hiking Trails where you can admire the autumn foliage. Right Across the bridge in Dutchess County there are even more possibilities.

1. Apple picking
Have you been planning on going Apple picking, but unsure of where to go? Orange, Ulster, and Dutchess County are all filled with orchards.

The closest orchards in Orange and Ulster County are:

  • Lawrence Farms Orchards Inc. in Newburgh, NY
  • Kent Farms in Milton, NY
  • Weed Orchards in Marlboro, NY
  • DuBois Farm in Highland, NY
  • Wilklow Orchards in Highland, NY
  • Twin Star Farms Inc in New Paltz, NY
  • Jenkins & Lueken Orchard in New Paltz, NY
  • J.A.M of New Paltz Inc. in New Paltz, NY
  • Dressel Farms LCC in New Paltz, NY

The closest Apple Orchards to Dutchess County are:

  • Keepsake Orchards in Fishkill, NY
  • Meadowbrook Farms in Wappinger Falls, NY
  • Fishkill Farms Apple Orchard in Hopewell Junction, NY
  • Barton Orchards in Poughquag, NY (my personal favorite)

If you cannot get to a local orchard to pick your own apples, a great alternative is taking a trip to Adams Fairacre Farms grocery store on Rt. 300 in Newburgh. At Adams, all fresh produce sold is from local farmers, croppers, and/or grown on their very own farm in Poughkeepsie, NY.

If you’re worried about the season for apple picking coming to a close, no need to worry. Orchards in the Hudson Valley are open until the second and third week in October, or until they are all picked out. For More information on Apple Orchards and picking, check out this website: HYPERLINK “http://www.nyapplecountry.com/pick.php?county=orange” http://www.nyapplecountry.com/pick.php?county=orange

2. Pumpkin picking
While apple season is dying down, Halloween season is beginning to pickup. When you think of Halloween, what is the first thing to pop into your head? (Besides candy of course). I hope you’re thinking what I am: pumpkins! As a kid, you might have went on field trips with your class to pumpkin patches, went on hayrides in corn mazes, and then to go to pick out your very own pumpkin. Maybe you have memories of carving pumpkins with your family in anticipation for the holiday. Just because you are out of grade school and off at college doesn’t mean you can’t decorate for Halloween. The Hudson Valley is full of pumpkin patches.

In Dutchess County the closes patches for you to check out are:

  • Barton Orchards in Poughquag, NY
  • Fishkill Farms in Fishkill, NY
  • Secor Farms in Wappinger Falls, NY

In Orange and Ulster County the closest patches for you to check out are:

  • Lawrence Farms Orchards in Newburgh NY
  • Overlook Farm Market & Country Store in Newburgh NY
  • Weed Orchards in Marlboro NY
  • DuBois Farms U-Pick in Highland NY
  • Wilklow Orchards in Highland NY
  • Perison’s Evergreen Farm in Middletown NY
  • Jenkins-Lueken Orchards in New Paltz NY
  • Apple Hill Farm in New Paltz NY

For more information on pumpkin picking, visit: HYPERLINK “http://nymetroparents.com/article/Where-to-Pick-Your-Own-Pumpkins-in-NYNJand-CT-2009-Guide” http://nymetroparents.com/article/Where-to-Pick-Your-Own-Pumpkins-in-NYNJand-CT-2009-Guide or HYPERLINK “http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/nysepumpkins.php” http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/nysepumpkins.php

3. Leaf peeping
Each autumn season, people travel to the beautiful Hudson Valley to go leaf peeping. Are you unsure of what leaf peeping is? According to Webster’s Online Dictionary, it is “an activity that one might partake in during autumn in areas where the foliage changes colors. It is the act of admiring autumn foliage for its beauty.” Simply, it is the act of watching the leaves change in color.

You haven’t experienced the autumn season until you have experienced it in the Hudson Valley. From simply driving on the highway, hiking trials or looking at the view from the Mount’s campus across the river, it’s simply breathtaking. Some of the best spots to view the leaves change colors include a little bit of hiking.

Mount Beacon, which takes about an hour to hike and is about 10-15 minutes from Mount Saint Mary College’s campus, will give you a work out and a beautiful view of the Hudson River and the surrounding areas.

You can travel up to Poughkeepsie/Highland and walk the walkway over the Hudson River. The walkway over the Hudson River is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the area. When you reach the center and look over the river, you can see the beautiful valley and all of the colors at approximately 212 feet above sea level.

In New Paltz, NY at Mohonk Mountain House they have mountain biking, hiking, trail rides via horseback, carriage rides, and mountain climbing. Although a day pass at Mohonk is $25 and some supplementary activities are additionally priced, the views are absolutely breathtaking.

There are multiple hiking trails at Bear Mountain State Park, Anthony’s Nose, which is towards Bear Mountain, and Break Neck Mountain in Cold Spring.

With winter right around the corner, jump into the fall season and enjoy all of the activities the Hudson Valley has to offer. With tons of apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and hiking trails to go leaf peeping, there is no excuse to sit around on a Saturday and do nothing. Go out and explore; you never know what you might find.