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From pumpkins to hiking: the ultimate 2019 Central New York fall bucket list

From pumpkins to hiking: the ultimate 2019 Central New York fall  bucket list

Fall is officially here in Central New York, which means it’s time to break out the sweaters, boots and beanies as we prepare for colder weather. It also signals the return of a plethora of activities only doable during the next couple of months, which capitalize on the activities, scenery and food fall has to offer. 

For those looking to get out and enjoy all that autumn has to offer, here’s Livable CNY‘s official fall bucket list 2019.

Apple Picking 

Contributed photo from once_photography.

Whether you know it or not, many of the apples you enjoy on a regular basis come from the farms that dot Upstate and Central New York. There are numerous varieties of apples grown in the local area such as Cortland, Empire and Rome. Picking apples is a fun activity to do with friends, family and significant others and Syracuse has no shortage of orchards within 10 miles of downtown. Head to Navarino Orchard, Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards or Deer Run Farms Orchard for a fun day in Apple Country. 

[Related: Check out our recommendations for apple picking in CNY]

Take a Hike

Contributed photo from Seaq68.

As the leaves begin to change, there’s no better way to enjoy the scenery than hitting the trail to take in the beauty of local foliage. Parks like Green Lakes State Park, Clark Reservation State Park, Pratt’s Falls Park and Woodchuck Hill Field and Forest Reserve are quick drives from downtown that offer numerous trails of varying lengths. Even better, you get to take a drive down some of Central New York’s more scenic routes, which offer just as beautiful views of the region’s landscape. 

[Related: Livable CNY’s guide to enjoying Letchworth State Park]

Attend a Festival

Contributed photo from amiera06

From Oktoberfests to jazz, grapes, ski lifts and pumpkins, there’s no shortage of festivals in Central New York. If you’re a fan of craft beer, try the HallowHops BrewFest on Oct. 26 at Destiny USA. For the artsy, try the Syracuse Country Folk Art Craft Show at the Fairgrounds from Oct. 18-20 and for Harry Potter fans, check out Ithaca’s Wizarding Weekend from Oct. 26-27, which transforms downtown into Diagon Alley. For a complete list of festivals, check out this list from New York Upstate. 

[Related: Check out our guide to fall dates in CNY]

Pick some pumpkins 

Contributed photo from Pexels.

What would fall be without some pumpkin picking and Jack-O-Lantern carving? Like apple orchards, Central New York has no shortage of patches for you to pick from. Try The Pumpkin Hollow and Tim’s Pumpkin Patch near Syracuse or my personal childhood favorite, Pumpkinville in Ellicottville for a day full of tasty treats, pumpkin chuckin’ and, of course, picking pumpkins. While you’re at it, try out the corn mazes, hayrides and haunted houses found at many of the patches. 

Enjoy local wines and spirits

Contributed photo from distel2610.

Although wine trails are open for most of the year, the beautiful fall foliage makes the experience all the more enjoyable. With the Finger Lakes so close, making a quick weekend getaway to one of the region’s award-winning wineries is a must-do this fall. From America’s first wine trail Cayuga Wine Trails, which has numerous stops, Lakeland Winery in Syracuse or Anyela’s Vineyards in Skaneateles, there’s no losing when there’s wine involved. 

About The Author


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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