October is the pumpkin’s time to shine, and what better way to celebrate this colorful fruit than by picking your own at one of the many farms and orchards throughout the Hudson Valley. A stroll through vine-covered fields in the region’s picturesque hillsides in search of the perfect pumpkin makes for a great day trip with friends and loved ones. In addition to pumpkin-picking, many of the farms offer hayrides, corn mazes and other seasonal fruits and vegetables for plucking perfection. Be sure to stop by the orchards’ shops for apple cider doughnuts and fresh-pressed cider.
Orchards of Concklin
2 South Mountain Road, Pomona, New York
The Orchards of Concklin have been a prominent fixture in Rockland County for over 10 generations. Families come to Orchards of Concklin to pick their own produce and visit the popular on-site bakery. After enjoying a day of apple and pumpkin-picking, families can refuel with hot cider, coffee and other delectable treats. The on-premises bakery offers everything from pies and quiches, cookies and cakes from century-old traditional recipes, delicious apple cider donuts and fresh-pressed cider, local honey, and a wide variety of organic, sugar-free and wheat-free foods. If you don’t have the opportunity to visit the orchards, they will ship apples and baked goods directly to you. The orchards are open daily 8 a.m.to 6 p.m., www.orchardsofconcklin.com.
1448 Route 211, Middletown, New York
Settled in 1790, Pierson’s Farm is one of the Hudson Valley’s historical landmarks. The 270-acre farm hosts an annual festival in October that’s a great opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the crisp autumn air. Hop on a hayride to the pumpkin patch, snack on some tasty baked goods and wash them down with some hot cider or hot chocolate. When you’re all set with your pumpkin, be sure to explore the four-acre corn maze, three-quarter acre mini maze, petting zoo and play area. The farm also sells pasture-raised pork, lamb and chicken, grass-fed Black Angus beef and free-range eggs. Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival is held from the last weekend in September to the end of October. www.piersonsfarm.com
Dr. Davies Farm
306 Route 304, Congers, New York
Family-run since 1891, Dr. Davies Farm offers pick-your-own apples on over 35 acres of orchards with 4,000 apple trees; pumpkin-picking, hayrides, farm stand, corn maze and more, all in a beautiful farm setting in Rockland County’s scenic lower Hudson Valley. The Davies Farmhouse was built in 1836, part of a 450-acre farm that ran from Rockland Lake to the Hudson River. Visitors can take in the views on a trailer ride to the pumpkin patch and enjoy fresh cider and apple cider donuts, made fresh daily. The Dr. Davies Corn Maze is the perfect activity for families and backdrop for fall selfies. For more information, visit www.drdaviesfarm.com.
Lawrence Farms Orchards
39 Colandrea Road, Newburgh, New York
Lawrence Farms Orchards is managed by three generations of a family that has been running pick-your-own orchards for over 30 years in the Hudson Valley. This scenic, family-owned farm features a hay bale maze, petting zoo, including its “show chickens” and playful goats as well as a “little village” that’s modeled after an old-fashioned New England farm town. Visitors can eat at the concession stand, which has freshly made food for sale. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pick pumpkins from late September through end of October. www.lawrencefarmsorchards.org