Spectrum recommends: fall into the fall
Life begins again when it gets fresh in the fall, or at least that’s what novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald would have said.
The cool weather, the vibrant colors of the leaves, and the spooky evenings make it America’s favorite season. In the Queen City, students can treat themselves to several beautiful hikes, pumpkin fields and corn mazes, not to mention the various sporting and cultural events that characterize the region’s fall season.
Here’s a look at the best things to do in the fall, from Spectrum Staff:
Hollow harvest – Altamont
If you don’t care about the spooky productions that typically define the Halloween season, fear not. The Hollowed Harvest, open on select dates until Halloween, features thousands of pumpkin lanterns set against breathtaking scenery. At night, the Hamburg Exhibition Center transforms into an ornate exhibit that you won’t want to miss. If you’re looking for a party day trip, the Mayer Bros. Cider Mill. is a great place to stop for fall treats, decorations and more.
Chestnut Ridge Park – Orchard Park
Chestnut Ridge Park is a hub for all of your favorite outdoor activities for the fall and winter seasons. You can cycle through the woods and watch the leaves change color in September, then head out again in December for cross-country skiing. There are mapped trails classified by difficulty, making an afternoon hike accessible to enthusiasts of all ages. You can even visit the Eternal Flame, a natural gas leak causing an almost constant flame in a cave. Chestnut Ridge Park is the perfect place to visit for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors, even during the colder months.
Letchworth State Park – Castile
While its nickname, “The Grand Canyon of the East,” is a bit of a stretch, Letchworth State Park is one of the best places in New York State to enjoy fall foliage. Students making the hour and 15 minute drive from the north campus to Castile can enjoy 66 miles of hiking trails through the hanging leaves, stunning views of the park’s three waterfalls, picnic areas -nique and even night camping. Visitors can also stop in the nearby town of Mt. Morris, with a main street that offers various local shops, family-friendly restaurants, and a small-town fall aesthetic.
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Highmark Stadium Ticket Games – Orchard Park
Step into your local Wegmans or Student Union during the fall, and you’ll be greeted by Bills-themed merchandise and a plethora of people wearing Bills clothing. Cheering on the Bills at Highmark Stadium on a blustery Sunday afternoon is an experience you will never forget. From fans jumping through tables to legendary hatchbacks to stadium blowout on big fourth-place conversions, there are few sites in the league that can match that atmosphere. Buffalo is known for its unpredictable weather, so if you’re heading to a game in Orchard Park, fall is the best time to do so – avoiding the miserably wet September games and freezing cold January contests is the way to go.
Smith’s Orchard Cider House – Lockport
Apple picking is in full swing in Erie County, especially in Smith’s Orchard in Lockport, the home of the cider slush. Just a 17-minute drive from the North Campus, Smith’s is a family-run farm that lacks the usual gadgets. The orchard is open Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and currently has Cortland, Empire and McIntosh apple varieties. It’s free to walk around the park and take photos with your friends and family. Best of all, apples only cost $ 1.25 / lb. Once you’re done picking apples for the day, don’t forget to grab an apple cider donut and some freshly squeezed apple cider – or have it slushy.
Corn Maze at the Great Pumpkin Farm – Clarence
Nothing like getting lost in the vegetation with your friends on purpose or, as it is called otherwise, going through a corn maze. The Queen City’s must-see almond maze can be found at The Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence. This year’s five-acre maze aptly depicts a Buffalo Bills player rushing into the end zone, but past designs have paid homage to Jurassic Park and Batman. Are you looking for a bigger challenge or trying to terrify your friends? Experience the Maze’s “Zombie Nights”, when the actors roam the labyrinth for added terror. Finally, celebrate the end of the maze with a hard cider from The Witch’s Brew, the farmhouse bar and bakery, before resting your feet on a hay walk. Don’t forget to choose a pumpkin when you go out!
Devil’s Hole State Park – Niagara Falls
About a 30-minute drive from the North Campus, Devil’s Hole State Park is the best local hike for viewing fall foliage. Devil’s Hole runs parallel to the Niagara Gorge and offers scenic vistas and stairs down to the gorge that bring hikers close to rippling currents and rapids. The gorge is the political border between the United States and Canada, and Canadian hikers can often be seen waving to their American counterparts on the other side. Devil’s Hole is located next to Whirlpool State Park and just minutes from Niagara Falls. When hiking Devil’s Hole make sure you bring plenty of water, good shoes, and a willingness to tackle plenty of stairs – all worth it for the quintessential fall views.
Drive-in Transit – Lockport
For me, fall means one thing and only one: Halloween. The holidays are my favorite of the calendar year and inspire trips to the Transit Theater to watch horror movies on crisp fall weekends. The drive-in is the perfect place to watch your favorite movies, especially at night, with the stars above your head. From “Scream” to “Us”, the Transit Theater brings movies to life better than any indoor theater.
Buy fall clothes
Autumn means cool weather in the Queen City. Summer-defining shorts and t-shirts are quickly being replaced by heavier, more comfortable September clothes. The sudden change in the weather encourages locals to go out and buy new, comfortable clothes. Perhaps the best part of shopping for fall clothes is buying all the variations of layers – from turtlenecks and oversized sweaters to scarves and gloves. And that type of shopping doesn’t need to break the bank – there are great options for all your fall needs at thrift stores like Savers and Goodwill, the perfect places to get all your clothes without making your wallet cry.
Few things can affect a writer’s process more than the writer’s block. Whether it’s a bad day or a day when you can’t even put pen to paper, that feeling is the worst. But fear not, there is little that can resolve writer’s block like a positive change of scenery. For me, relaxing on a friend’s rooftop or in a grassy field, the warmth of the sun hitting me with a cool autumn breeze mixed in, is the perfect antidote to my writing problems – and a great way to get the serotonin I need so badly. Whether it’s for a class, a journaling session, or a personal project, I implore any self-proclaimed writer to change it up with a natural setting. You can thank me later.