Summer is sadly coming to an end, but luckily for us, the Fall Equinox is upon us. The days of blistering heat, swimming and sipping on cold drinks poolside may be a thing of the past, but that just means cool fall days are in order. Just picture it, a crisp autumn day, the leaves are changing all around you and the smell of apple cider donuts lingers in the air. You’re spending your days at the farm with the family, picking pumpkins that will later be carved into funny faces. Maybe you’re picking apples and preparing your famous apple pie recipe. Or, perhaps you’re attending a fun festival with a delicious craft beverage in hand.
No matter what your autumn itinerary entails, all of fall’s fun activities are easily accessible via Amtrak. Whether you’re traveling to the Hudson Valley, the Capital Region, Central or Western New York, fall enjoyment is at your fingertips. Take a look at some of New York by Rail’s favorite fall activities.
Distance from Pier 15 to Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station (NYP): 3.6 miles
If you live in New York City, you won’t necessarily have to travel far to experience some fall festivities. Oktoberfest NYC at Pier 15 runs from Sept. 2 to Oct. 31. If you’re a beer enthusiast, this is the place for you. Enjoy authentic German beer while partaking in the traditional Oktoberfest experience. Try classic German food like giant pretzels and brats. The festival is free, but make sure to reserve a free RSVP before attending. Why travel to Munich, Germany when all of the fun is right within your reach?
Distance to Cortlandt Manor from Croton-Harmon Station (CRT): 0.7 miles
We still have some time before Halloween, but the holiday surely makes the fall season extra special. Westchester is home to plenty of fun fall activities, but one of its greatest is the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Cortlandt Manor, which is accessible via Croton-Harmon Station. This spectacular event runs from Sept. 16 through Nov. 20 and has both indoor and outdoor activities. Peruse a fantastic, decorative array of jack o’lanterns throughout the property. Some popular themes are repeated at the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, so keep an eye out for some unique pumpkin displays. Some past favorites include Undersea Aquarium, Skeleton Experience, Buzzing Beehive and Flesh-Eating Plants.
Distance from Ulster Park to Poughkeepsie Station (POU): 13.6 miles
Rent a car from Enterprise! Enterprise picks you up at POU and takes you to your rental car. Use the code, NYTRAIN, for a discount when making your reservation. Click here to reserve your car or call Enterprise’s Poughkeepsie office: 845-485-2222.
Can’t get enough of Halloween? If you’re looking to get a head start on your favorite spooky season festivities, you’ll want to head to Poughkeepsie Station. Nearby is Ulster Park, which hosts the annual Headless Horseman Haunted Attractions. The establishment is celebrating its 30 years of business! Starting Sept. 24 and ending Oct. 3, you can enjoy an experience that’s hauntingly fun. New this year is The Headless Horseman Night of Shadows, a haunted walking trail experience. Whether you’re celebrating or embarking on the haunted walking trail, you’ll be sure to have some spooky fun.
Distance from Small World Avenue to Rhinecliff-Kingston Station (RHI): 15.5 miles
Rent a car from Enterprise! Enterprise picks you up at RHI and takes you to your rental car. Use the code, NYTRAIN, for a discount when making your reservation. Click here to reserve your car or call Enterprise’s Kingston office: 845-336-4700.
Garlic lovers, come one, come all! The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in Saugerties is back this year in 2022 from Oct. 1 – 2. This year, the fall favorite will host garlic farmers, food vendors, craft vendors, live music on three stages and the Arm of the Sea Theater. There will also be chef demonstrations and lecturers for any food lovers looking to learn more about cooking with garlic.
Distance to Chaffee Art Center from Rutland Station (RUD): 0.7 miles
New York may be filled to the brim with great fall activities, but it’s not the only state boasting fall fun that’s reachable by Amtrak. The Fall Foliage Art in the Park festival at the Chaffee Art Center is easily accessible when taking the Ethan Allen Express to Rutland Station. Art in the Park is a prime Vermont event in both summer and fall. From Oct. 8-9, you can witness fine arts and crafts. Aside from the fantastic art, the festival will be serving products from some of Vermont’s greatest vineyards, breweries and distilleries.
Distance to Heritage Hill Brewery from Syracuse Station (SYR): 16 miles
Rent a car from Enterprise! Enterprise picks you up at SYR and takes you to your rental car. Use the code, NYTRAIN, for a discount when making your reservation. Click here to reserve your car or call Enterprise’s Syracuse office: 315-423-0022.
More interested in craft beverages than pumpkin picking? There is an abundance of breweries, wineries and distilleries in Syracuse, but Heritage Hill Brewhouse certainly shines bright, especially during the fall. Not only does the brewery serve seasonal brews like the Oh My, Pumpkin Pie beer, but it’s also hosting its own Oktoberfest Anniversary party from Sept. 30 – Oct. 2. Enjoy the 176th anniversary of the farm with family-oriented activities like hot air balloon rides and a children’s bouncy house. Experience classic Oktoberfest experiences with German fare, live music and a Biergarten.
Distance to Wickham Farms from Rochester Station (ROC): 10.4 miles
Rent a car from Enterprise! Enterprise picks you up at ROC and takes you to your rental car. Use the code, NYTRAIN, for a discount when making your reservation. Click here to reserve your car or call Enterprise’s Rochester office: 585-423-2220.
I think we can all agree that one of fall’s greatest highlights is apple picking. Apple pie, apple strudel, apple crisp or just plain apples, apple picking is always a tasty way to enjoy your fall. Many might think of the Hudson Valley and Long Island when they think of apple picking, but the rest of New York has plenty of locations. Out in Western New York, Wickham Farms has Honeycrisp, Jonamac, Gala and soon, McIntosh. Wickham Farms also hosts its own Fall Harvest Festival that runs until Oct. 31, so be sure to take in all of Rochester’s fall amusement while you’re there.
Distance from Great Pumpkin Farm to Buffalo Depew Station (BUF): 12.3 miles
Rent a car from Enterprise! Enterprise picks you up at BUF and takes you to your rental car. Use the code, NYTRAIN, for a discount when making your reservation. Click here to reserve your car or call Enterprise’s Buffalo-Depew office: 716-565-5400.
If you’re looking to venture further West than Rochester, Buffalo is home to its own fall attractions. The Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence is another farm hosting a fall festival. From Sept. 17 through Oct. 31, each weekend at the Great Pumpkin Farm has its own unique event. Although the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest has passed, you can look forward to live music, the World Pumpkin Weigh-Off, Pumpkin Olympics, zombie corn maze and so much more. If you’re not visiting on a weekend, you can still engage in some autumnal excitement. Pick pumpkins, ride the cow train, embark on the zombie paintball train,
Amtrak has taken several initiatives to ensure the safety of its passengers. They have committed to requiring face masks for all passengers, converting the cafe car to takeout only, adding social distance signage, and much more.