Now that it’s October, people are eager to get out of their houses and enjoy the last months before the dreaded winter arrives. There’s no place better to get outside and appreciate this season than beautiful upstate New York. There are plenty of gorgeous hiking trails, festive Fall activities and spooky Halloween events for you and your family to participate in, while still being safe and practicing social distancing.


1. Apple Picking

Apple picking is a beloved Fall tradition in upstate NY. Get outside and pick some tasty, fresh apples in one of the many orchards in the area. Afterwards, enjoy some fresh donuts and apple cider. Check out some local favorite orchards like Indian Ladder Farms, Bowman Orchards, Riverview Orchards, DeVoe’s Rainbow Orchards, Kristy’s Barn and more.


2. Picking a Pumpkin

Make a tradition out of going to a pumpkin patch to pick your perfect Halloween pumpkin. Carve it into a jack-o-lantern, bake it into a pie or just use it for decoration, one pumpkin can go a long way! In addition to picking a pumpkin, many farms have other activities that you can do while you’re there, such as hayrides, corn mazes and farm animals. Some great local pumpkin patches are Liberty Ridge Farm, Engelke Farms, Pick-a-Pumpkin Pumpkin Patch and many more.

3. Enjoying The Fall Foliage 

One of the most magical things about the Fall season are the changing colors of the leaves. The Capital Region has no shortage of beautiful trees for you to admire while also being outside in the fresh Fall air. Taking a walk around historic Washington Park in downtown Albany or going for a hike along the cliffs at Thacher State Park, there are plenty of ways to get your Fall leaf fix. Check out some more places where you can enjoy the foliage here.


4. Corn Mazes

Kids of all ages will love navigating their way through festive corn mazes. Split up or stay together, working your way through the corn mazes is a great day of family fun. Afterwards, treat yourselves to some tasty Fall snacks. You earned it! Explore the mazes at Ellms Family Farm, Schuyler Farms, Bellinger’s Orchard and more.


5. Adult Halloween Fun

One of the most popular upstate NY Fall attractions are haunted hayrides. Due to the pandemic, some places have had to adjust their spooky fun to be safer for visitors. Double M Haunted Hayrides have introduced “Dead End Road”- a contactless drive-thru experience for those seeking scary Halloween thrills. Drive along a “dead end” road while being scared and spooked by the creepy things that await! One of the most unique Halloween experiences you can find in the Capital Region is at Howe Caverns, a massive underground cave in Schoharie. This year, they introduced a fully immersive haunted tour including a haunted boat ride called “The Underworld.” Check out some more adult Halloween ideas here. Get ready to be spooked!


6. Family Halloween Fun

A new drive-thru Halloween attraction that’s perfect for the whole family is the  Pumpkin Glow and Lights Show Drive-Thru Experience at Ellms Family Farm. Enjoy driving through a glowing pumpkin wonderland, full of thousands of hand-carved pumpkin masterpieces, all while staying safe and socially distanced! Explore some more amazing jack-o-lantern creations at the Altamont Fairgrounds for their first ever Hallowed Harvest. Some featured creations will be a staggering three stories tall and sixty feet long!


7. Eating Some Pumpkin Flavored Treats

Discover some new Fall inspired pastries and treats from local businesses in upstate NY. Coffee lovers adore the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, which is not only available at Starbucks but also at Stacks Espresso Bar and Uncommon Grounds. For dessert, try a pumpkin ice cream from Guptill’s Coney Express or a pumpkin baked good from Bountiful Bread. Of course, this season isn’t complete without indulging in a delicious pumpkin spice donut from Cider Belly Doughnuts!

Enjoy the wonderful Fall season this year and stay safe!