Follow Union Street to off-campus wonder


Don’t lie: You’ve spent the last 365 days missing autumn. Sweater weather, leaves changing, pumpkin spice everything. We all try to make the most out of the season.

Here in upstate New York, we only have a small window of time to enjoy fall before the trees go bare, and we’re stuck in winter parkas trying not become human icicles while walking between classes.

To maximize the enjoyment of our short, long-awaited autumn, here are a few options for students to get off campus and enjoy the season. (Warning: most of these ideas involve having a personal vehicle, so first years, make sure to grab your upperclass friends.)

Go apple picking at Bowman Orchards! Bowman offers 98 acres of beautiful farmland, filled with a variety of over 46 different kinds of apples, plus a pumpkin patch!

Bowman Orchards is located approximately 22 minutes away from campus, in Rexford, N.Y. The address is 141 Sugar Hill Rd. You can visit any time, from Monday to Sunday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Bowman Orchards offers apple and pumpkin picking, as well as a store with fresh farm produce, bakery items and more. It’s the perfect autumnal farm destination, and it’s ripe for a group visit.

Walk the corn maze at Ellms Family Farm! Located at 448 Charlton Rd., Ballston Spa, N.Y., it’s 30 minutes from campus. Ellms is the perfect corn maze to wander through with friends.

After the corn maze, you can pick pumpkins in the pumpkin patch or snack on what reviewers claim to be the best apple cider donuts in Saratoga County.

At Ellms, you can also visit the family farm animals, or go down the 60-foot slide labeled “Big Black.” Ellms is both a beautiful and adventurous fall destination for college students.

If you want to spend more time in nature this fall, taking a hike gives you the opportunity to spend time amongst the changing leaves and gorgeous upstate New York scenery.

The Kelly Adirondack Center is the closest and most popular place to go hiking, only a 10 minute drive from campus, in Niskayuna, N.Y.

Surrounded by 111 acres of wildlife sanctuary, the Kelly Adirondack Center’s hiking trails take you through the most beautiful parts of upstate New York’s landscape.

If you are in the mood for something spooky this fall, the most haunted place in Schenectady is right here on campus — Jackson’s Garden!

Legend says that Jackson’s Garden is haunted by the ghost of Alice Van der Veer, who fell in love with a man her father did not approve of.

When her father killed her forbidden lover, both Alice and her father were captured by an angry mob and burned alive in Jackson’s Garden.

Also a close walk from campus is Vale Cemetery, the largest and most haunted cemetery in Schenectady.

Vale Cemetery opened in 1857, and has henceforth been the siting of ghostly figures and “bleeding” statues. Crying and singing in the middle of the night have also been reported.

Double M Haunted Hayrides in Ballston Spa, N.Y., is the No. 1 haunted attraction in the Capital District, and only a half hour drive from campus.

With haunted hayrides going through new sites such as “The Stockyard,” “Salvage” and “Clown Carnevil,” Double M is the best spot for a good Halloween scare.

General admission includes all shows and attractions, and is $24 per person, with free parking.

Make sure to make reservations at Double M before you go. Reservations are all by phone, so call 518-884-9122 to reserve your ride!

Erin Wade | Concordiensis As the leaves fall and cover Union’s campus, consider going off campus to one of the many local activities you can only catch in the autumn.
Erin Wade | Concordiensis
As the leaves fall and cover Union’s campus, consider going off campus to one of the many local activities you can only catch in the autumn.


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