Ways to Enjoy Fall in the Great Western Catskills

Fall is one the best seasons to get out and experience all that the Great Western Catskills has to offer.  From taking scenic drives to view the beautiful fall foliage, visiting you-pick pumpkin farms, enjoying craft beverage producer taprooms, attending one of our fall festivals, or catching a spooky movie at our Great Western Catskills International Film Festival, you’ll discover that the Great Western Catskills has everything you need to help you celebrate the fall season!

-Leaf Peeping-

The Great Western Catskills is the perfect location to observe the stunning color changes of the fall foliage. A great way to figure out the best time to explore our scenic byways this fall, is to check the I Love NY Fall Foliage Report Website. This website documents and forecasts all the fall foliage color changes that occur throughout New York State, so you can be up to date when planning your fall vacation to the Great Western Catskills.

The Catskill Scenic Route 30

The Catskill Scenic Route 30 stretches from Hancock to Grand Gorge, NY, and in totality, passes through 5 towns and many villages and hamlets that rest along the way. This stretch of road also passes through forever wild forest preserves hugs close to the famous fishing waters of East Branch of the Delaware River, as well as the shorelines of the Pepacton Reservoir.

The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway

New York State Route 97, is consistently lauded as one of the most breathtaking drives in regional and national publications. It traverses the western borders of Orange, Sullivan and Delaware Counties along a 70 mile stretch of the Delaware River with rock cut landscapes and long valley vistas along the way.

The Catskill Mountain Scenic Byway

Carved deeply through the highest peeks of the Catskill Mountains rests the stunningly beautiful Catskill Mountain Scenic Byway. This  52-mile road passes through the heart of the Catskill Park’s highest peaks, from the Ulster County town of Olive to the Delaware County town of Andes, NY. You’ll pass through many of our wonderful villages that are home to renowned restaurants, cideries, art galleries and so much more.

 

-Get Ready for Halloween-

The Donnelly Farm

Get ready for Halloween this season this season by visiting some of Delaware County’s famous pumpkin farms.  The Donnelly Farm which has been in the family since 1964, sits quietly along side the beautiful West Branch of the Delaware River on East River Road in the town of Walton, NY. The Donnellys grow a large selection of quality gourds, squashes and pumpkins that are all for sale at their farm stand. Visitors to the farm also love walking through and enjoying the elaborate displays constructed out of pumpkins and gourds, from weddings to spooky graveyard scenes. You’ll be sure to find the spirit of Autumn here.

 

Holley Hill Farm

Another local favorite for buying pumpkins and gourds, is Holley Hill Farm. Holley Hill Farm, located at 269 County Highway 23 in Walton, NY, is a fully operational dairy farm where they milk a Holstein cow herd, and in early autumn, operate a farm stand. The Holleys grow and sell a variety of carving pumpkins, squash, gourds, and ornamental goods like Indian corn. Columbus Day Weekend is typically the busiest time for the Holleys as locals and visitors are enjoying the peak of the change in colors of the fall foliage. The Holley Hill Farm stand is open to visitors throughout the whole month of October until October 31st.

 

-Get a Taste of Scary Movies at Our Film Festival-

The Great Western Catskills Film Festival comes to Andes, NY from October 19th through October 21st, where they will be screening films from all over the world in 3 wonderful screening locations. Part of the film festival programming will include screenings of  “Thrilling and Chilling SHORTS,” as well as three horror/thriller films by director and producer Larry Fessenden, all which will surely put you in the mood for Halloween!  A full schedule of the festivals horror/thriller movies is as follows:

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20

3:00PM, Wayside Cider:
The Films of Larry Fessenden
Manitou Valley short
1 minute 58 seconds
Animation
USA
Directed by Larry Fessenden
Teaser for an animated series based on characters from Larry Fessenden’s film Wendigo.
Wendigo
1 hour 31 minutes
Horror / Thriller
USA
Directed by Larry Fessenden
An urban couple and their 8-year old encounter horrors in the country, real and imagined.
The Last Winter
1 hour 41 minutes
Horror / Thriller
USA
Directed by Larry Fessenden
In Arctic Alaska a team of oil explorers succumb to an unknowable fear.
Larry Fessenden Q&A

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21

1:00PM, Wayside Cider:
Thrilling and Chilling SHORTS
Little Ghost Girl
3 minutes 56 seconds
Experimental
USA
Directed By: Adriane Little
Inspired by Karen McCadden’s poem ‘Little Ghost Girl’ as read by McCadden, the film translates the brief and lyrical exchanges between loss and that which haunts us.
Scarecrow
9 minutes
Dark Comedy
United Kingdom
Directed by Lee Charlish
A bickering couple, Thomas and Natalie, are stranded on a deserted, country lane, in a car that has run out of fuel. Lost and disorientated, they happen upon a creepy looking scarecrow.
A Season To Come
10 minutes
Science Fiction
USA
Directed by Christopher A. Hoffman
Franklin Messer, a clinical hypnotist, struggles with a life-changing event and its future ramifications. Inspired by H.G. Well’s “Things To Come.”
Monsieur James
18 minutes
Thriller
France
Directed by Colin Van der Straeten
A hitman on the wane who refused to honor a contract, is forced to go into exile in the countryside.
The Girl
7 minutes 25 seconds
Thriller
USA
Directed By: Austin Rappold
A man who seems to have found a dead girl along the side of the road. With a troubled past he must figure out what to do with her.
An Exquisite Task
4 minutes 45 seconds
Animation
USA
Directed by Beck Underwood
A vintage doll, a mysterious barn spirit and some mischievous farm critters come together in this stop motion short about motherhood, creativity and letting go.
Slapface
8 minutes
Thriller / Horror
USA
Directed by Jeremiah Kipp
A boy deals with the loss of his mother by creating a relationship with a dangerous monster.
Zombied
15 minutes 38 seconds
Comedy / Horror
USA
Directed By: Matthew Van Vorst
A normal night shift at Priced Less Supermarket–restocking, fighting social injustice, and transitioning into a zombie.
You can view the festivals full schedule, film descriptions, and purchase tickets in advance by visiting the festival webpage here.
-Enjoy the Craft Beverages of Delaware County-
Another “must do” while visiting the Great Western Catskills this Fall, is to tour one of our wonderful craft beverage producers located right here in Delaware County. Delaware County is home two cideries, one brewery and one distillery, and all have built wonderful taprooms for visitors and locals alike to enjoy.
Muddy River Farm Brewery
Muddy River Farm Brewery, located on a beautiful hop farm next to the Susquehanna River, is new to the craft beverage scene in Delaware County and we are so thrilled to have them!  The Muddy River Farm Brewery uses their own locally grown hops to make a variety of fantastic beers right on site. One of the more eye catching features of the bar are the 8 taps that the crew has affixed to a piece of of Susquehanna River drift wood.  The taproom is open weekends on Friday from 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. , Saturday 2:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. , and Sunday 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Awestruck Ciders
Awestruck Ciders, located in village of Sidney, NY, has been making their handcrafted and custom hard ciders since their founding in 2013. The cidery features a taproom with ample table and bar seating and even a lounge set up in a vintage bus! Patrons have will have no shortage of options to choose from when selecting a cider flight, or pint from the bars 17 taps! Awestruck also has a full bar food featuring a variety of sandwiches and cider infused deserts.  The cidery taproom is open Thursday through Saturday all year round, from 3:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Union Grove Distillery
Union Grove Distillery has been with us since their grand opening in February of 2016 in Arkville, NY. The distillery produces vodka distilled from New York State apples and wheat, a Catskill Mountain Maple spirit as well as bourbon and rye whiskey.  They have a beautiful tasting room with a copper top bar where one can come and taste their spirits and enjoy a delicious cocktail. The distillery also has a kids room where the little ones can play while you enjoy a tasting, tour, and cocktail.  Guided tours of the production room are given regularly. Visit their Facebook page to read the latest news about their products and keep up to date on the special events that they hold there.  The distillery is open Wednesday and Thursday from 12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 12:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Wayside Cider

Alex Wilson & Irene Hussey started Wayside Cider in 2014 after meeting at the Catskill Amateur Cider Making Contest at Table on Ten. Irene won the competition. Alex came second, but maintains to this day he “was robbed.” Forged in a shared love of the wild and abandoned homestead apple trees, the pair made 3,500 bottles of “methode champenoise,” unfiltered mountain cider in their first year or production.  Wayside has since built an absolutely beautiful taproom that features their handcrafted ciders, local spirits and a delicious menu that focuses on sourcing ingredients from local producers. The taproom is open Thursdays and Fridays from 5:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m., Saturdays from 12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Visit their website for more information.

 

-Hit the Fall Festivals & Enjoy Local Products-

The Great Western Catskills is home to several fall-themed festivals that feature the bounty of goods and products that are made here. Vendors include farmers, value-added food producers, restaurants and farm-to-fork business owners who showcase the tremendously valuable resources we are so lucky to have here in the Great Western Catskills.

-Get a Jump on Holiday Shopping now-

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the unique shopping in the hamlets, towns and villages of the Great Western Catskills. Main Streets and off-the-beaten-path locations offer great finds to check off your holiday shopping list: antique shops, sporting goods specialty stores, beautifully curated gift shops, handmade local products, artisan goods, old-fashioned general stores, and so much more.

Axtell Antiques and the Rookery Bookery

In 1968 the House of Axtell Antiques, also known as The Rookery, was born. This lovingly restored inn now houses some of the best examples of early Americana with emphasis on scarcity, unusual form, and superlative, untouched condition of museum-quality offerings: baskets, stoneware, treenware, redware, folk art, iron hearth accessories, country furniture, textiles, art work, glassware, and early lighting devices.

 

Lucky Dog Organic Farm and Store and Cafe

The Lucky Dog Farm Store offers an exceptional variety of produce from the farm, prepared meals and baked goods from the cafe, local products from neighboring farms such as cheese, milk, vegetables, fruits and berries, beef, pork and poultry, as well as maple and honey. Shelves are lined with local gifts of soaps, pottery, yarns and woodworks. Bulk dry goods such as nuts, grains, beans and spices at affordable prices mingle with staples such as marinara and olive oil. All store products are chosen consciously and most are organic.

 

Barbara Alyn Artwear Luxury & Mercantile

Barbara Alyn’s colorful fantasy art is available as artwear (wearable art), on canvas, or in a slew of whimsical jewelry, pocketbooks, household essentials and non-essentials must haves. Fabulous fabric, textiles, beads, all odds and ends remade into original one-of-a-kind pieces that stand out in a crowd. Learn more about her wonderful store by visiting her Facebook page!

 

A full list of businesses and shops that are located in the Great Western Catskills can be found here.