Discover the Best Fall Foliage, Food & Drinks Right Next Door
Home-style cooked meals, seasonal craft beer, and striking fall foliage - this is what the season is all about. Don't think that because the summer is coming to an end you have to stay inside. On the contrary! An abundance of fall food, drinks, and foliage is just waiting to be discovered along the eastern shores of Lake George and all through Washington County.
Explore Apples, Cider Doughnuts & More at Apple Orchards
Photo credit: Alan Nudi
Going apple picking is a staple activity to partake in when the leaves start turning and the air gets crisp. Washington County is home to some prime apple orchards, including the oldest u-pick orchard in the entire state.
Hicks Orchard in Granville has been offering u-pick apples since 1905! They grow over two dozen varieties of apples for eating, baking, and cider production. This orchard offers so much more than just apples, though - they have a hard cider tasting room, apple wood fired pizza, melt-in-your-mouth cider doughnuts, and barnyard animals to visit.
You can find McWhorter's Orchard in Argyle, where they offer apple picking, cider doughnuts, pumpkins, squash, and more. They also have a petting zoo, and free wagon rides to and from the orchard. Just imagine taking an old fashioned wagon ride through an apple orchard. It will be the absolute essence of fall!
Apple Hill Orchard, located in Whitehall, is a family-owned and family-friendly orchard that is perfect for bringing the whole family to. Pick your own apples, choose from pre-picked apples, find pumpkins, and more.
Indulge in Savory Fall Comfort Foods
One of the best parts of fall is the food. Fall food goes hand in hand with classic comfort foods like freshly baked bread, hearty soups, and fresh fall vegetables.
Sweet Beet Bistro is a farm-friendly eatery situated in a historic building in Greenwich. They source local, fresh products that come from area farms and producers. You can sit back and relax at this charming restaurant as you enjoy a decadent meal like roasted squash risotto. They also have homemade desserts!
Craving chilis and soups? Or maybe you love a great wood-fired pizza in the fall. Check out the Round House Bakery & Cafe in Cambridge, where they also offer great omelettes, sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. You can't leave without picking up some of their specialty artisan bread - bread options range from traditional choices like multi-grain and rustic white to pull-apart challah bread.
If it's pub fare you're thinking about this season you'll want to check out the Boar's Nest Bar & Grill in Fort Ann, where they have an extensive menu of wings, burgers, pizza, wraps, and sandwiches. Try a grilled chicken sandwich with a sweet chili pepper sauce, or allow yourself to splurge a little and go for the Bo Duke Bleu Burger: a sirloin burger with sauteed mushrooms and creamy bleu cheese.
See Vivid Fall Foliage
Washington County with its rolling fields, lush countryside, and dense forests is a prime leaf peeping opportunity for those who can't get enough of that gorgeous fall foliage. On your way to and from some of the delicious destinations in Washington County you'll definitely want to take some time out of your day to explore areas where the foliage can best be seen.
Note: Peak fall foliage in this area tends to be the first and second week in October, but this ranges from season to season.
Hike at Gull Bay Preserve
Gull Bay Preserve in Putnam Station is on the east side of Lake George and contains forest, wetland swamps, ponds, and more. In the fall, a large number of migratory waterfowl rest in the wetland before heading south. The western side of the preserve offers a picturesque view of Lake George.
The hike is considered to be moderate and family-friendly, and is about 2.6 miles round trip. If you're not up for a full hike, the overlook is only about .3 miles from the parking area, following an old logging road. Or, you can just drive along Gull Bay Road and see great views of both the lake and foliage.
Check Out a Wildlife Sanctuary
The Denton Wildlife Sanctuary in Greenwich has walking trails that vary from one to three miles in length and go through mixed hardwoods, forest habitats, and open thickets that offer prime fall foliage. This area also happens to be great for birding, and fall is when you can see the woodpeckers, as well as other species who will be hanging out before flying south.
Take a Scenic Drive
Take Route 40 north from Argyle up to Granville and you'll go through countryside, farms, and lots of fall foliage. Take a right onto Route 23 and you can end your drive right at Hicks Orchard. You could also take Route 196 from Hudson Falls that connects to Route 40, which is another great drive route to enjoy the countryside.
Take a Self-Guided Cheese Tour with Wine and Beer
Cheese is already one of the best foods in existence, but when you pair with wine and beer? Perfection! Each year in the beginning of September you can take a self-guided tour of farms and cheesemakers through the annual Washington County Cheese Tour with Wine and Beer.
Take a relaxing drive through the beautiful countryside as you visit the farmers and cheesemakers. The following farms participated for 2017: Argyle Cheese Farmer, Consider Bardwell Farm, Dancing Ewe Farm, Moxie Ridge Farm and Creamery, R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery, and Victory View Vineyard.
A few tips: Wear clothes and shoes that are suited for being outside, as you may be walking into livestock areas. (Although don't go into unauthorized areas or pet farm animals unless invited to do so.)
You may also want to bring a small cooler with ice packs with you, so you can keep your cheese purchases fresh as you make your way along the tour.