By Melissa Guay, PostStar, link to original post
The colors are changing, the temperature is dropping, and the weather is just perfect to grab a sweater and take part in the best of what the season has to offer. Here’s your guide to getting outside in the Adirondacks this fall, and reap the benefits to the mind, body and soul that only nature can offer.
Hick’s Orchard, located 18 Hick’s Road in Granville
The orchard boasts a cornucopia of events during harvest weekends. After picking apples in the orchard, get lost in the 3-acre corn maze open on weekends, weather permitting. There’s also a bouncy barn slide or bouncy obstacle course right in the barnyard. Fee is $3
A Make your own Scarecrow craft for $13 is also open during U-Pick weekends. All supplies are provided, in addition to helpers that show you the secret to making a scarecrow that stays together.
Kids can also visit, feed and talk with the small herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats and one big goat named Theo Van Goat, or enjoy a scenic wagon ride through the orchard.
Ellms Family Farm, located at 468 Charlton Road, Ballston Spa
Take an old fashioned Halloween hayride and enjoy scenic views of the farm’s Christmas trees and Amazing Maize Corn Maze on the way to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch.
The Amazing Maize Corn Maze is a unique spin on the outdoor family fun activity. As one journeys through the field to discover the far reaching influence corn has on daily life, an interactive corn maze puzzle adds an additional objective. This “agri-tainment,” as the Ellms family puts it, provides exercise and family fun in a wonderful outdoor environment, according to the family’s Web site.
The farm also boasts an amazing Jumping Pillow that for kids of all ages. Much like a ground-level trampoline, the equipment is ideal family fun for all shapes and sizes.
In addition, there are the 20-foot Magic Maze Slide and 60-foot Big Slide, and the farm’s ever-popular MooMooChooChoo — a cow wagon ride that tours the grounds.
General admission is $9.50 per person and includes: Jumping Pillow, MooMooChooChoo, hay ride, expanded farm play area, kiddie mazes, zip lines, pedal carts, barnyard mazes, and more. The farm is free for those under 2 years old. A nominal fee applies to other activities on the farm.
Gore Mountain, located at Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek, (518) 251-2411
Enjoy the beautiful scenery of an Adirondack hike with ease of smooth ride on a lift up the mountain at the Northwoods Gondola Skyrides. The scenic sky rides are a great way to spend a half hour at Gore, or the entire day, providing stunning views of the High Peaks and Southern Adirondacks. There are also hiking trails and picnic spots. Adults ages 13 to 69 are $15, and juniors and seniors ages 7 to 12 and 70 are $8. Kids
6 and under are free.
The mountain also offers downhill and cross-country mountain biking. The lift has racks for bikes on the Peaceful Valley trail only. The challenging terrain, serviced by the Northwoods Gondola, descends 1,700-feet vertical. Mountain bike tickets include unlimited use of the Northwoods Gondola, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Helmets are required, as well as a completed assumption of risk agreement. Full day adult passes for ages 13 to 69 are $30.
One adult ride/X-Country Ticket is $15. A full day junior pass for ages 7 to 12 is $18.
One Junior Ride/X-Country ticket is $8.
Crown Point State Historic Site, located at 21 Grandview Dr., Crown Point
The ruins of Fort St. Frederic, “His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point,” and surrounding lands were acquired by the State of New York in 1910. The site remains open to visitors, allowing them to explore the ruins of the original 18th-century structures in a beautiful setting on Lake Champlain.
Visitors are able to tour the newly renovated museum, which includes an auditorium where visitors can watch an award-winning multimedia orientation program before touring the exhibits and grounds. Admission to the museum is $4 for adults, and $3 per senior/student, with children 12 and under free. There is no fee to tour the ruins.
Across the street, the historic Crown Point Pier and recently restored Champlain Memorial Lighthouse are open to the public, according to the Historic site’s Web site.
History of the site finds its origin long before the American Revolution, when the British and the French both claimed Crown Point in the struggle for a North American empire.
“Four failed campaigns to oust the French between 1755 and 1758 were mounted by the British. It was not until 1759, however, that the abandoned French Fort St. Frederic was taken over by the British.
The British constructed “His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point.” This extremely ambitious fortification complex contributed to the British conquest of Canada, the last French stronghold, and control of Lake Champlain as a communication highway.
In 1775, at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the rebellious colonists captured the fort and secured sorely needed cannons and heavy ordnance. Crown Point was occupied by General John Burgoyne’s army in 1777 after the American evacuation to Mount Independence and remained under British control until the end of the war,” reported the Historical Society.
Prospect Mountain, located at the intersections of routes 9 and 9N, Lake George
On a clear fall day, the views from Prospect Mountain are a spectacular conglomeration of natural color. The trip can be made on foot or by car.
Hiking is free, with the marked trail starting on the western edge of Lake George Village, crossing the Northway on a screened in bridge. The trail from the bridge then crosses the Prospect Mountain Toll Road to become a normal Adirondack trail with a few steep sections.
Visitors can wander around on the park-like summit and take in the panoramic views of historic remains, views of Lake George, and of the High Peaks. It has three overlooks: The Narrows, Lake George and The Eagle’s Eye. On summit, one can take the escorted shuttle ride to view the remains of the world’s largest cable railroad.
For a small fee and less work than the hike, the drive up the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway is a beautiful 5.5-mile drive to the 2,030-foot summit. The parkway begins at an intersection with Routes 9 and 9N in Lake George. The parkway passes through a gate, heading up the base of Prospect Mountain. The route is very scenic, with trees on both sides of the road until one reaches the summit.
Fort William Henry Ghost Tours, located at Fort William Henry in Lake George
Get into the Halloween spirit with guided ghost tours that take place every Friday and Saturday night until October 23.
The tour is very story-driven, so participants should be of an age that stories hold their attention. The family fun ghost tour traverses both the museum grounds and spots in the Village of Lake George. The tour does require walking and includes stairs and hills. It is
not recommended for expectant mothers, or those with a history of neck or back conditions, heart trouble, or conditions aggravated by exertion. The tour begins at 7 p.m., with adult tickets priced at $14.95. Children ages 3 to 11 are $7.95. For more details, please call 518-668-5471.