In the summer months, Dutchess County is a popular getaway destination, beloved for its fairs and festivals, hiking and biking trails, river-based recreation, and more. Now, the school year has officially begun and the sun-kissed days of summer are coming to a close, but the Hudson Valley is still an amazing place to visit. Fall in this region is a kaleidoscope of colors, all the ridges and valleys shrouded in rustling patterns of fiery red and gold. And we’re not just talking about leaves—those are the blazing colors of the apples that have grown ripe in the past few weeks.
Since the days of Johnny Appleseed, this region has been covered in apple trees. Not sure how to best take advantage of this bounty? Here are three ways to enjoy apple season in the Hudson Valley.
1. Pick your own apples
The simplest way to enjoy Dutchess County’s apple explosion is to head to a U-Pick orchard and fill up a bushel with your bare hands. This fun outdoor activity is a rewarding way to take advantage of the crisp fall weather and makes a great family outing. Rose Hill Farm, situated on over 100 rolling acres in Red Hook, is a picturesque place for a pick-your-own excursion. They are open every weekend from 10am-6pm for U-Pick. Want to skip the weekend crowd? Greig Farm, also in Red Hook, is open seven days a week from 9am to 7pm. Other nearby apple farms include Barton Orchards in Poughquag and Fishkill Farms in Hopewell Junction (which grows over 80 varieties!). Not sure what to do with all those apples you so eagerly picked? Bake a pie, make a crumble, cook down some apple butter, juice them, share them, or just eat them fresh.
2. Drink a Dutchess County Hard Cider
Craft ciders are all the rage these days and the Hudson Valley is prime pickin’. Treasury Cider is based on Fishkill Farms’ 270-acre property, which has been in the Morgenthau family for over a century. “A product of the soil, the sun, the trees and the people that come together each season to make a new crop possible,” Treasury’s ciders are made using the eco-certified and organic fruit grown on the family farm. It doesn’t get more local than that. Do a tasting any day of the week from 12-6pm. Or head up to Breezy Hill Orchard in Staatsburg to taste and take home a bottle of Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider. Choose from several varieties, including their award-winning brew God Speed the Plough, all of which are made with ecologically grown apples.
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Stop by the farm on weekends and grab a growler of Wild at Heart, our limited edition, rosy-hued, wild-fermented cider steeped with foraged staghorn sumac. It is only available here at the Cider Garden by the glass, or in 32 & 64 oz. growlers. It’s the perfect drink to pair with these breezy late summer days! 🌞
3. Chow down on apple cider doughnuts
Come fall, you can sniff out apple cider doughnuts at practically every local farm stand. Alas, not all cider doughnuts are created equal—you have to know where to go for the real deal sugary autumn treat. In 2016, Barton Orchards won Hudson Valley Magazine’s award for Best Apple Cider Doughnut. That’s pretty convincing. In Rhinebeck, Kesicke Farm also offers a mean cider doughnut. Plus their Fall Festival kicks off on September 15 and runs every Saturday and Sunday through to October 28, from 10am-6pm, with hay rides, a corn maze, petting zoo, and U-pick pumpkins.
For more ideas on what to do and where to eat in the Hudson Valley, visit Dutchess Tourism.