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There Will be Cider: Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Fall

By the editors

With fall well underway now– the leaves are turning, the air is crisp and thick with the memory-rich smell of the season– it’s time for the editors of the Mile to present their list of the top 5 fall activities. So pull on a sweater and take advantage of living here, where autumn is more autumn than anywhere else in the country.

1. Take a trip to Lakeside Farms– cider donuts, ‘nuff said.

My family made it a point to visit here at least once during the fall, and still does. The cider donuts are some of the best and a little closer to Halloween they have a woman dressed as a witch stand on the roof and toss candy down to kids – Ryan

The cider donuts are a seasonal rite of passage for me. Even when I was away at school, my mom would find a way to send me a bag of donuts from out there in Ballston Lake. I would image our annual Columbus Day visit will be in order in this week. - Bob

These donuts will be my downfall. – Eric

I was always an Indian Ladder Farms man, but I imagine the experiences are similar: sweet apple aromas, weathered red barns, indian corn, apple cider, cider donuts, apple pies… anything apple, really. It’s like a little rupture where the pure essence of autumn erupts from the earth. – Kyle

2. Visit Knickerbocker Mansion in Schaghticoke. Maybe see a ghost.

I have to admit that I have never done this. I’ve driven past it but never tried to go inside or anything. I’m pretty sure it’s trespassing. – Kenny

As far as historical sites, Knickerbocker Mansion is up there with the Saratoga Battlefield in terms of historical significance. On top of that, the property carries with it a reputation of being haunted. Being a bit of yellow-belly, I won’t be checking that out. – Bob

Being the supreme introvert, I always found myself strangely attracted to supposed haunted places. Maybe it’s the sense of the mystery. If you want a mild freak-out with the bonus of learning something, I guess this would be the place.- Eric

I don’t believe in ghosts, but that doesn’t stop me from being afraid of haunted places. I’ll be joining Bob at the yellow-belly cafe on this one. And it probably is trespassing. So, for the record, the editors of The Mechanicville Mile do not encourage trespassing. If you want to go, check out their “Knick at Night” Oct. 26 and 27, featuring dinner and ghost tours starting at 5 p.m. . – Kyle

3. Go to Red Raider Football games under the lights

I was going to suggest fall sports in general. Something about the fall– the mild temperatures, the wind, something– always reminds me of soccer (I’m sure ex-football players probably think the same thing) – Kenny

I don’t think I can put this much better than I did when I wrote about the games for my photo essay. In short, they’re electrical. - Kyle

I remember football games being the event of the week. Though sometimes they were more a venue for social interaction and the game would almost be secondary. - Ryan

As a kid, Friday nights were all about walking across the MHS campus to the theater-like setting of Red Raider football games. Now that the lights are back, perhaps that atmosphere can return. The team’s pretty good this year. – Bob

4. Hike a mountain

Crane or Hadley since they’re relatively close, short and the views are great – especially for foliage. If you’re not too keen on hiking, you can drive up the top of Whiteface Mountain and see the breaktaking foliage amidst Lake Placid. – Kenny

My Uncle Bill and I got lost hiking up measly Prospect Mountain a few years ago. The views and weather were ideal for hiking. Unfortunately, our mental compasses were not. – Bob

We live in such a rich area for this– the Adirondacks just to the north, the Catskills a bit south, the White Mountains in New Hampshire and the Green Mountains in Vermont. To keep it close, hit up the southern Adirondacks. You’ll get beautiful views for relatively easy hikes. There’s no better way to get down to the earthy essence of autumn then to get out in nature for a while. - Kyle

5. Get lost in the corn maze at Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke

I remember trying to make my way through the maze a few times in high school.  It always seemed so easy going in, but it would be a few frustrating hours before finding my way out. – Ryan

I feel like the corn maze at Liberty Ridge Farm would bring back a rush of teenage memories. Wonder if the maze has become more tamed or more diabolical. – Bob

Ah memories. Haven’t done this in years but I would love to go back because I’m a sucker for nostalgia. Always a good time. – Eric

Like all things fall, I love the corn maze. And, like all things fall, I love it because of the strong associations with happy childhood memories. This really is the best season, hands down. – Kyle

I never get lost. – Kenny

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So there you have it– a tidy list of ways to get out there and roll around in autumn. But just in case that’s not enough for you, here are some of the ideas that didn’t quite make the cut:

Hayrides at the Double M Ranch

It was a family tradition when I was a wee boy to hit the hayrides at Double M and the haunted house afterwards at least once a year. I’d like to think that I wasn’t afraid of the haunted house but I was. – Kenny

Don’t worry, kids! The man dressed as the monster who just popped out of the woods can surely never catch up to our slow-moving tractor. – Eric

Strolling through the tree-lined West Side residential neighborhood

This is one of the best times to run/walk/jog through the West Side. The brilliant foliage cut against the Victorian architecture of many residences makes for truly unique scenery in Mechanicville, striking enough to help finish off your exercise for the day. – Bob

Kayaking amidst foliage

Never done it, but sounds awesome – Ryan

I almost got a kayak this fall for this very purpose. Taking a walk across the pedestrian bridge from Saratoga Avenue to Tenandaho Park gives you a glimpse of the possibilities. – Bob

Making leaf-filled trash bag people

I never made leaf bag people.  When I was younger I stuck to making leaf piles and then jumping in them. - Ryan

The worst part was have to rake them up first. My first tackling dummies as a kid. Of course, I was never that good of a tackler so perhaps it didn’t build the best fundamentals. - Bob

I don’t know what this means, and I don’t like the sound of it. – Kyle

Like Bob, I always tried to tackle the leaf-filled trash bag people to see if I can make them explode. I’m sure that made parents happy – having to rake all those leaves again. – Kenny

 

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