Apple Picking Adventure
Apple Picking in New York City
I love the city, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing for me quite like stepping outside of my apartment and feeling right in the middle of Manhattan. I love having all the restaurants, the shops, the people, the crowded trains within a hand's reach ... I love the messy streets, the traffic, the horns honking at all times and just that engulfing feeling of belonging that only a city can give you.
But when Fall comes, nothing sounds better to me than spending a day out in the country somewhere along the Hudson River, or Upstate New York. One of my favorite activities for the season, and probably one of the most popular as well, is -- Apple Picking!
It's an easy and fun adventure. You just need to pick your favorite Farm, drive there, pay for your admission, grab a bag and start walking around the Orchard to fill it up with delicious locally-grown Apples.
I guess you can find the kid inside of you while climbing up the trees to taste the different kinds of Apples, getting lost in the Hay Maze, riding the Hayride and stopping by the Farm to get some fresh apple cider and homemade cinnamon donuts. It can't get better than that!
This past weekend, we ended up trying the FishKills Farm located in Hopewell Junction which is about 1-hour and 45-minute from Manhattan by car. The drive there can be a journey in itself since you will be surrounded by beautiful mountains and colorful trees.
Depending on where you are leaving from, you will end up on either the New Jersey Side of the Hudson with the Palisades Interstate Pkwy to Montgomery, or if you are staying on the New York Side, you will take either the Saw Mill River Parkway or the Sprain Brook Pkwy, either one leading you to the Taconic State Parkway before rerouting you towards US-9 along the Hudson River for the last 20-minute of the drive.
Whichever way you decide to go, you will still enjoy the beautiful scenery with the trees starting to change colors from green to yellow, orange and red. In about 10 days, the Foliage will probably be at its peak though-out the Hudson Valley.
On Sunday, it didn't feel like Fall at all, it was warm, 75F, and Sunny, but it was just a perfect day to pick some Apples. We left the city around 10 am on Sunday morning, and we drove to Cold Springs, NY along the Sprain Brook Pkwy. First order of the day was a Starbucks stop on the way for some much needed Joe, and then Brunch, of course!
COLD SPRING, NY - 1st Stop
We had Brunch with our friend at the popular eatery Hudson Hil's Café located right on Main Street in Cold Spring. If you are in the mood for some fresh, homemade cooking, farm to table type, this is the place for you!
We had Eggs with Prosciutto and Figs, Eggs with Focaccia, Tomato and Spinach, and of course, we couldn't skip the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Berries. Everything was super fresh and delicious, but you can see that for yourself from the photos below.
Note: The line can be quite long but it's worth it. Leave your name and check-out the lively Main Street with beautiful Antique Stores while you wait for your table.
Right after Brunch, we walked to the River to enjoy the beautiful scenery that Cold Spring offers. If you love small historic towns, it is definitely something you want to check out. Located on the East bank of the Hudson River, right across from West Point, Cold Spring is known to have been an important artillery center during the Civil War as well as home to one of the most important figures in the Union Army -- General Gouverneur K. Warren. In Cold Spring, the famous West Point Foundry operated from 1817 to 1911 producing munitions, artillery, as well as iron-made products for civilian use. The Foundry was especially famous for the Parrott rifle used during the Civil War. Due to the decline in demands of cast-iron, the Foundry ceased its operation in the early 20th-century after filing for bankruptcy. Thanks to its important role during the War, the West Point Foundry, and to the many 19th-century buildings, the historic center of Cold Spring is on the National Registry of the Historic Places.
What to do in Cold Spring
You can visit the Putnam History Museum to learn more about the history of Cold Spring, the West Point Foundry Preserve, and outdoor museum, to check the remaining ruins of the Foundry and learn more about its history and important role in the American Industrial Revolution, and of course, you can leisurely stroll along Main Street and check out the many, beautiful, antique stores and general stores. If you are in the mood for some home decor and furniture shopping, you will find great deals!
Fun Fact: In early 1800s, two sailboats used to do trips from Cold Spring to New York to carry local produce and woods to sell in the city. These trips took about a week!
FISHKILLS FARM, NY - 2nd Stop
THE APPLE ORCHARD
We left Cold Spring by 2 pm heading to the Fishkill Farms in Hopewell Junction, about 25-minute drive. Here, you pay $10 per person to get access to the Farm, you can buy a bag from 5$ to 30$ based on the weight-capacity, and then you go inside this gigantic Orchard.
There are over 12 different kinds of apples, it all depends on time of the year. They ripe at different times between end of August and mid November, so you can check the chart on the back of the map to know which apples are in Season during your visit. Bag in one hand, and map in the other, we went around the Orchard to find our perfect Apples! We also jumped on the complimentary Hayride that they offer around the Farm because ... I mean, Why Not??!
After spending few hours between trees and hay, we stopped at the Farm to get their famous donuts! Something out of this world. The line for the Donut can be 1-hour alone, but let me tell you, it's so worth it. The freshest, most flavorful, donuts you ever had, they will melt in your mouth. In the Farm, you can buy organic pumpkin, cheeses, apples of course, and other local produce. The Farm sits atop a hill from where you can enjoy such a great panoramic view. If you are in the mood for something more savory, you can order a burger, or stick with the donuts, or just grab both, and sit at one of the open camping-style tables that they have around the Farm and enjoy the fresh-air while the sun sets down behind the hills.
Apple Picking is a great way to spend a day away from the city, especially if you have kids or are with friends looking to do something fun, I highly recommended it! Next time, I'll do some other type of "picking", I'll go pick different Beer glasses up from the counter ... I'll soon be going exploring a local brewery that does beer tasting!
I guess the last thing left to ask is "how'bout them Apple"?!