Photo Essay: New England Charm, Hiking, and Apple Picking in Connecticut

October 14, 2013

I am a fervent daughter of the Pacific Northwest but even I will admit that there is nothing quite like autumn in New England. This weekend, we took advantage of the perfectly beautiful, crisp autumn weather and drove up to Connecticut. We decided to spend the morning hiking in Kent State Park, then visit sustainable farms in nearby Easton for some apples.

Photo Essay: Apple Picking Day in Connecticut

After an hour of intense hiking uphill, we were treated with this view from the top. A local told us that on very clear days you can see all the way to the Catskills–we could still see a faint blue ridge on the horizon.

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Coming down was even more of an adventure. The “trail” was very rocky and easily over 45 degree incline in some parts, where we had to slide down on our bottoms. We were all drenched in sweat by the time we reached this easy trail out. The light through the leaves was so dreamlike and beautiful; a half foot of fluffy leaves covered the trail, and every step felt more joyful and relaxing than walking in the city.

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After we finished hiking, we drove to Easton, CT for some apple picking. We stopped by Silverman’s farm, which was brimming with festivities.

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We were famished after the hike so we made a beeline for the old fashioned kettle corn stand. The problem with kettle corn is that they disappear too quickly…

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These hayrides take you to the orchards for apple picking.

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Pumpkin patch was almost as big an attraction as the apple orchard.

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This big sister is weighing a pumpkin–on her little sister’s head.

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Right outside the pie shop was this pumpkin and gourd extravaganza. It reminded me of how intimidating and ugly I found these types of displays when I first came to America at age 9. Now, allow me to explain…

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These pumpkins are cute, right? Right.

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And then there are these things that look just ridiculous or embarrassing or really ugly. But now I just think that they’re ugly-beautiful.

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Because Silverman’s was so crowded, we headed over to neighboring Sherwood farm. This unassuming farm has been continuously run by the Sherwood family for 17 generations, making it one of the oldest existing farms in America. Their history is rich with respect for tradition and eco friendly farming practices, raising vegetables and animals with kindness the same way they’d had for the past 300 years.

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pumpkin_patch New England Charm day trip:

Kent Falls State Park – offers breathtaking scenery, foliage, creek, and hiking trails from easy to challenging. It’s also good for children and pets, and there are picnic tables and camping grounds (camping is closed for the winter season, starting October).

Silverman’s Farm (451 Sport Hill Rd  Easton, CT 06612) – on fall weekends, Silverman’s offers apple picking, pumpkin patch, live bluegrass band (1:30 pm), food stands, homemade baked goods, hay ride, petting zoo, and other fun activities. Most of their pies are vegan (pumpkin and pecan are not). We had the apple pie and it is one of the most memorable pies I’ve ever had, not to mention the best apple pie. However, I would recommend bringing your own picnic lunch and eating on one of the picnic tables as the food options can be limited for vegans.

Sherwood’s Farm (355 Sport Hill Rd, Easton, CT 06612) – Smaller and quieter than Silverman’s farm, Sherwood’s also offers many of the same fun activities but with less of the crowd. This farm is also one of the oldest farms in the U.S., so don’t miss their heirloom apples, which are all more affordable than Silverman’s–and incredibly delicious. (They don’t have pies though, so spread your love and buy something different from each place!) They also have all sorts of beautiful organic vegetables, so be prepared to do some grocery shopping. Afterwards, enjoy the pumpkin patch and the fall atmosphere with happy barnyard animals relaxing in the sun.

Also in Travel: Photo Essay – Vegan Vacation in Portland, OR

Photo Essay – Day of Vegan Food in Brooklyn

Dispatch – Vegan in Guatemala, the Kaleidoscope of Central America

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Photo: Peaceful Dumpling

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Originally from Portland, Oregon, Juhea now lives in NYC with her Oreo cookie cat, Zeus. When she is not writing, she enjoys running in Central Park, yoga, and teaching Barre classes. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, Google+ and Pinterest.

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