September is the start of a blissful slide into autumn in the Hudson Valley and all it entails. From crisp mornings to campfire-perfect evenings and sunny days that are perfect for a peak foliage hike or family trip to the apple orchard, it’s a majestic time of year in the region. Looking to plan a trip to take in the best of what the season has to offer? A quick drive or train ride to Putnam County, located just an hour from New York City, offers easy access to some of the Hudson Valley’s most beloved natural sights, cultural attractions, and harvest-time bounty.
Here’s a round-up of autumn activities to fill up a day or weekend-long trip to Putnam County to enjoy autumn in the Hudson Valley to the fullest.
Farms and Farmers Markets
Hudson Valley Regional Farmers Market
15 Mt. Ebo Road, Brewster
Open Sundays 10am to 2pm
This year-round farmers market in Brewster offers the best products from local farmers, producers, and artisans. Load up a tote with goodies for a leisurely autumn stay upstate, or bring a bounty of gifts back home. Vendors include Ashbell’s Premium Smoked Foods; General Cochran Farm; Judson’s Farm; Picklelicious; Sacred Grounds Coffee; Smellz Good: Natural Goat Milk Soaps, Lotions & Sprays; South Salem Winery; and Wave Hill Breads.
230 Guinea Road, Brewster
Open daily 9am to 6pm
Established in 1901, four generations of Salingers have farmed the land where they grow 18 varieties of apples, pumpkins, and numerous other seasonal crops as well as pure, local honey. Apple cider donuts, pies, cookies, muffins, strudels, scones, and other treats are made daily in their bakery, and the farm market and café are open year-round.
Historic Sites and Museums
Boscobel House and Gardens
1601 Route 9, Garrison
Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Garrison, Boscobel is a stately historic house museum originally built in the early 19th century by States Dyckman. The house is considered a significant example of the Federal style of American architecture, with an extensive collection of period decor and furnishings. The property also includes gardens, an orchard, sculpture garden and hiking trails, which are picture-perfect in autumn. Visit on a Saturday through the end of October and enjoy the Cold Spring Farmers Market, which makes its home on the grounds every week.
2700 Route 9, Cold Spring
Opened in Cold Spring in 2017, Magazzino is the only American museum dedicated to Italian Art. Its museum and research center are dedicated to advancing public appreciation of postwar and contemporary Italian art. The stunning 20,000 square-foot nonprofit museum serves as an advocate for Italian artists as it celebrates the range of their creative practices from Arte Povera to the present. The new Robert Olnick Pavilion, which opens Sept. 14, adds 13,000 square feet of space and will house exhibition space, a multipurpose room, a café and store, and a gallery devoted to Italian decorative arts, Murano glass, ceramics, and jewelry. Admission is free to the public.
584 Route 9D, Garrison
A dramatic work of design unto itself, Manitoga is the former home and 75-acre woodland garden of American industrial designer Russel Wright (1904-1976). Manitoga is a National Historic Landmark, an Affiliate Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and one of the few 20th-century modern homes with original landscape open to the public. Distinctive features of the house include large expanses of glass allowing for views of the 30-foot waterfall, the quarry pool, and surrounding landscape, including walking trails open to the public from dawn to dusk. Viewing of the house and studio is by guided tour only and runs through November 9.
West Point Foundry Preserve
80 Kemble Ave, Cold Spring
Explore one of America’s most important industrial sites at this “outdoor museum.” The murmur of Foundry Brook accompanies a walk through the preserve—a far cry from the din greeting 19th-century visitors to the ironworks that manufactured some of America’s first steam engines, locomotives, pipes for New York City’s water system, and cannons that helped win the Civil War. Trails pass through the remains of foundry buildings with interpretive features that tell the story of the site’s contribution to the Industrial Revolution and the Civil War, as well as the land’s astonishing ecological renewal. Free and open year-round, dawn to dusk.
Historic Walking Tour of Hamlet of Carmel
Gleneida Avenue, Carmel
Take a short walk down Gleneida Avenue to the shores of Lake Gleneida to see the statue of Revolutionary War hero Sybil Ludington, who rode more than 40 miles through dangerous terrain to alert American troops of an impending British attack. Other historic sites include Drew United Methodist Church; the historic Putnam County Courthouse; and a Revolutionary War cemetery. Keep the charming historic vibes going with a stop at Florrie Kaye’s Tea Room for a traditional afternoon tea.
Hiking and Outdoors Fun
Up for a classic Hudson Valley hiking challenge? Take a breathtaking 3.2-mile hike to the top of Breakneck Ridge and take in the spectacular view of the Hudson River and highlands below. The trail begins at sea level and scrambles up 1,100 feet in less than three-quarters of a mile, which is steeper than any hiking trail in the Catskills.
Fahnestock State Park
Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park is a 14,086-acre park, covering land in Putnam and Dutchess counties where visitors can hike, picnic, fish, camp, and birdwatch. The park is also home to the Taconic Outdoor Education Center, which provides environmental programming, and Fahnestock Winter Park, which includes over 12 miles of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The park is open daily, sunrise to sunset.
By car or by train, take a day trip to Putnam County, where there’s always another reason to say “I Love New York.” Check out visitputnam.org for more information about what to do and see in Putnam County, and visit iloveny.com for more information about a New York State getaway.