It’s no secret that fall is my favorite time of year, especially in our neck of the woods. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty special year round, but the changing leaves, the apple orchards and pumpkin patches, and all the nostalgia that comes along with it help to make this time of year all the more special.
Tom and I often remark that Glens Falls is a pretty perfect place to live. I know, we’re biased, but hear me out ;) We’ve got cities like Saratoga, Albany, and Schenectady within easy reach, but we’ve also got the rolling hills and the red barns of the countryside to escape to for some peace and quiet. We’re constantly reminded that we don’t have to go far to get away.
And with that, we’re excited to share some fall favorites that are right outside our door and over the bridge in upstate New York’s Capital-Saratoga Region!
The Pumpkin Stand at Tiashoke Farms | Easton: Run, do not walk, to this magazine worthy pumpkin stand! A pumpkin house (complete with a cornstalk roof!), the most beautiful selection of pumpkins (50+ varieties grown on the farm!), all with red barns and a white farmhouse tucked just beyond. A must this season for sure!
Gardenworks Farm | Salem: A favorite year round, Gardenworks shines in the fall for raspberry picking, pumpkins + gourds, and perhaps the best part - the Cheese + Cafe. Our Sunday drives inevitably end up here for a glass of wine from Victory View, a cold beer from R.S. Taylor (another favorite just up the road!), and the freshest, most delicious lunches. Did I mention you get to enjoy said lunches on a patio next to their barn, surrounded by pumpkins and mums?! The Cafe is open through Columbus Day, but they still have plenty of goodies in their shop through the holidays!
Hicks Orchard | Granville: I grew up apple picking here, so it’ll always hold a special place in my heart - so many great memories! I have yet to find a cider donut that I love more than these (and now they offer a maple glazed option!), and the gorgeous orchards, red barns, and of course their friendly goats just can’t be beat. Bonus: Slyboro Ciderhouse tastings on-site!
Goose Island Potatoes | Argyle: Fall is all about apple picking, but we were psyched to try out another kind of picking this season - potato picking! Goose Island opens for u-pick two weekends in the fall (the last weekend is this coming weekend, October 5-6, so don’t miss it!). The drive out to their field was stunning, with amazing views and some near-peak fall color. And what a fun experience to fill our basket with potatoes fresh from the ground! We’ll be having mashed potatoes for dinner for the rest of the year ;)
Vischer Ferry General Store | Vischer Ferry: If we lived closer, I’d be here every day. This is my dream general store - a shop section perfectly curated with both new and vintage finds, coffee and the most delicious baked goods (don’t leave without a scone and a sea salt chocolate chip cookie!), and the most delightful atmosphere (you pick - front porch, inside, screened back porch, or out on the patio in the sunshine!). And if you’re a can’t sit still type like me, you can borrow one of their sunny yellow cruiser bikes to explore the adorable hamlet of Vischer Ferry.
Ellms Farm | Ballston Spa: If you love fall, this will be your Disneyland. Activities abound, including a classic corn maze, a pumpkin patch, farm animals, apple cannons, a jumping pillow, and basically everything a kid (or a kid at heart!) could want! And while it’s great for families with kiddos, there’s plenty for adults - live music, beer, wine, and hard cider, and all the fall food you could imagine. Sign me up! A perfect fall day for adults and kids alike!
Lakeside Farms | Ballston Lake: Bring on the comfort food and baked goods! We love swinging by Lakeside Farms any time of year, but especially in the fall. Their cider donut trailer is parked out front, the farm stand is stocked with fall produce, pumpkins, and gourds, and the shop is filled with the sweet smell of apple pie. On our list for next time is breakfast in their cafe - the Apple Fritter French Toast is calling my name!
June Farms | West Sand Lake: Can’t say enough about this gorgeous farm. Our first visit here was an overnight in one of their stunning cabins (find them on Airbnb!) this past winter, and we woke up to a light snow and a view of the Shire horses and Scottish Highland cattle just outside our window. As an animal lover and a barn lover, June Farms is pretty much a dream. But just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, The Pony Barn is open for cocktails and food through the summer and fall. Rosé, animals, and barns? Yes, please.
Windy Hill Orchard | Castleton-on-Hudson: Formerly Goold Orchards, we were excited to see all of the changes happening at Windy Hill! With an old pick-up truck at the entrance filled with pumpkins and mums, we knew it had to be good. It’s a massive orchard with over 13,000 trees, and we love the family friendly atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. The baked goods in the farm store are always a hit, and we were excited to hear their plans to renovate their 1890’s barn into a cidery + winery for next season! P.S. if you go this weekend (October 5+6), you’ll catch their annual apple festival!
Breweries: We were traveling through in the morning so unfortunately we didn’t get to stop in, but high on our list for next time is a visit to a brewery or two! S&S Farm Brewery in Nassau looks like a blast (and they’re having a Fall Fest on October 12!), and Brown’s Walloomsac Taproom in North Hoosick is high on our list to visit as well with its outdoor seating on the river.
Second Wind Coffee | Johnstown: Now this is the kind of place that’ll get me to drink coffee! Newly opened this year, Tom stumbled across the Second Wind Coffee Instagram account when the owner, Shawn, was in the midst of renovating the space (which, by the way, he did by himself - amazing!). The atmosphere here is right up our alley and we loved the attention to detail and history in the design. Plus, two thumbs up from Tom on the coffee and from us both on the baked goods. A new favorite stop when we’re in the area, without a doubt!
Rogers Orchard + Cideryard | Johnstown: Just outside of downtown Johnstown, Rogers Orchard is a beautiful orchard with a quintessential red barn farm store. We couldn’t help but notice Rogers Cideryard on site - a cider pub and taproom serving their own cider, and beer and bites, too. It was a bit too early to partake on our morning visit, but we can’t wait to head back for a cocktail soon!
The Red Barn Antiques | Northville: Not one to pass up a good antique store, we loved perusing The Red Barn (and the sweet village of Northville in general!). With a little bit of everything from books to dishes to furniture and so much more, this is definitely worth a stop! On our wish list: an old first aid kit (perfect to store the essentials for inevitable break-downs in the Wagoneer!), and a couple of blue and white planters to add to my collection. They’re open through Columbus Day and will open back up in the spring (once it’s warm enough in the barn!).
Forts Ferry Farm | Latham: A perfectly styled farm stand (with gorgeous produce grown on site!), a beautifully curated shop, and tables overlooking the farm with string lights overhead. We loved absolutely everything about Forts Ferry Farm, including the baked goods (don’t leave without a toffee chocolate chip cookie with sea salt!) … and we couldn’t help but notice their “company car” - a Willys pick-up truck parked around the bend! Our first visit here was definitely not our last, and we can’t wait to head back for bagels and beer on a Sunday afternoon.
Albany Pine Bush Preserve | Albany: Tucked in amidst the hustle and bustle of Albany, we loved stretching our legs a bit on the gorgeous trails at the Pine Bush Preserve, where we immediately felt a world away. While we chose one of their shorter trails (with a fantastic view!), there are 3,300 acres and 20 miles of trails in the Preserve to explore - and it’s the perfect time to do it, with the fall colors just starting to appear!
Altamont Orchards | Altamont: An apple lovers paradise! Apple butter, apple sauce, apple jam, apple barbecue sauce, apple cider mustard, apple salsa - apple everything! We loved perusing the aisles at the farm market and making note of all of the creative ways to use our harvest. Next time, we’re coming hungry so that we can sample a little of everything in their bake shop, too (and enjoy it on the tables out front!).
Riverside Maple Farms | Schenectady: After our stop here this past summer, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pop in again this fall for some more of their Maple Soft Serve (best enjoyed on their Adirondack chairs out front!). It’s just so good, and let’s just say it’s a good thing we don’t live closer because we’d be here way too often. We also picked up some Maple Kettle Corn this trip, and I’m embarrassed / proud to say that I ate the entire bag myself. Love being able to enjoy their maple treats year round!
Mabee Farm | Rotterdam Junction: Another favorite from our trip to Schenectady this summer, we loved popping in to see the start of the fall colors emerging. They’ll most certainly be at or near peak for the Fall Foliage Festival here on October 15 which sounds like such a blast with live music, a craft fair, cider donuts, and beer!
The Stockade Historic District | Schenectady: It’s always a good day for a stroll through the historic Stockade District (where we just started to see a few touches of fall in window boxes!), as well as a walk downtown. We were bummed to have missed the Greenmarket (outside on Sunday mornings through October), but we’re always up for a stop at Bluebird Home Decor and at Liza’s nearby for a smoothie. We were also excited to hear about (okay, or stumble across on Instagram) revitalization plans for Arthur’s Market, a historic market in the Stockade that’s on the road to becoming a favorite cafe and gathering place.
Happy Fall! And if you have some fall favorites in the area to add to our list, we’d love to hear!
This post was in partnership with our friends at Capital Saratoga Region, a destination close to our hearts and just outside our door. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support The Yellow Note.