10 Best Things To Do In The Hudson Valley This Fall

10 Best Things to do in the Hudson Valley this Fall

By Joseph Crispino III

            With Summer coming to an end and beautiful Fall weather right around the corner, what better time than the present to start planning some fun day trips around the Hudson Valley! Make the most of the season by visiting new places you haven’t been to before and create new memories that will last a lifetime.


Have you hugged an alpaca today?

1.Lilymoore Alpaca Farm

            What better way to celebrate Fall than with a visit to Lilymoore Alpaca Farm! Located in Pleasant Valley, the farm has been open since 2015, with visits available by appointment. Lilymoore Farm was announced as a finalist for the Family Entertainment Award of Distinction by Dutchess Tourism, with the winner being announced in November. On October 23, 24, and 29-31, the farm is hosting A Very Fluffy Halloween. The event will consist of alpacas in Halloween costumes, a farm tour, fun crafts, and plenty of picture opportunities. On the farm is also a store that sells products made from soft alpaca fibers. This event is a can’t miss for people of all ages, for more information and tickets for the event, visit lilymoorefarm.com.

2.  Barton Orchards

            With apple picking season approaching fast, why not spend a day at Barton Orchards with your family? Throughout Fall, Barton Orchards is hosting several events, like Oktoberfest on September 18-19, the Fall Festival on September 25-26, and the Country Music Jamboree on October 2-3. At the 175-acre apple orchard and vegetable farm, there is also an ice cream stand as well as the Tap Room, an outdoor seating area where you can enjoy local craft beer, wine, and cider.

Olana State Park

3.  Olana Historic Site

Located approximately an hour from Poughkeepsie in Hudson NY is the beautiful Olana Historic Site. The site was the primary home of famous Hudson River School landscape painter Frederic Church. The grounds are open every day from 8 AM until sunset, and tours are available Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM-4:15 PM (the tour takes about an hour). Head to the house and take in the stunning views of the Hudson Valley, especially around sunset! Head to olana.org for more information.

4.  Vanderbilt Mansion

            Since 1940, Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park has been a National Historic Landmark. It’s a great way to spend your day whether you’re walking the grounds, going by the water, or just taking in the exceptional views and architecture. The grounds are open every day from 8 AM-7 PM, and limited audio tours of the mansion are available on Fridays through Mondays from 10 AM until 3 PM with the purchase of a ticket prior to arrival. For more information, visit nps.gov.

Mount Beacon

5.  Mount Beacon

            If you’re looking for a challenge with a wonderful view, then hiking Mt Beacon may be the challenge for you! After an intimidating uphill climb of around 2.5-7.5 miles round trip, you can sit back and take in the outstanding views, or if you feel up to it, walk another mile and climb up the 60-foot-tall fire tower and take in the breathtaking views. On a clear day, you can see all the way to New York City! But be wary, if you have a fear of heights, the panoramic view of the fire tower might not be for you. Mt Beacon is open and free all year round, from dawn till dusk.


Falling Waters Preserve

6.  Falling Waters Preserve

            Located in Saugerties is the wonderful Falling Waters Preserve. Full of beautiful spots to stop and take pictures of the water and the woods, this a great way to spend a day in nature. Go with a friend, or why not bring your dog (as long as it’s on a leash). There are also several spots with benches, so you can take some breaks to really appreciate the scenery. The preserve is open and free all year from sunrise till sunset.

7.  Home and Museum of Franklin D. Roosevelt

            If you have a love for history and being outdoors, head over to the Home and Museum of Franklin D. Roosevelt. You have the option to walk the grounds every day from 8 AM to 7 PM or take a limited tour that’s offered every Friday through Monday with a reservation and purchase of ticket prior to arrival (the Visitor Center is open every day from 10 AM to 4 PM). It’s a great way to spend your day and learn more about the 32nd President of the United States. For more information, visit nps.gov.

long dock park in Beacon NY

8. Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park, Beacon

            Formerly used in the 1800’s as a terminal for ferrying rail cars, Long Dock Park has been rejuvenated into a beautiful park where you can walk the trail, sit and enjoy the water, or even rent a kayak or paddleboard (rentals available until mid-October). At the end of the trail, you can view a wonderful, rocky waterfall. If you’re not up for the trail, there are plenty of benches available where you can sit and take in the views of the Hudson River! For more information, head over to scenichudson.org.

9.  Walkway Over the Hudson

            A well-known, easily accessible option with great views is always the Walkway Over the Hudson. The world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge is having several events in the coming weeks, like Walktoberfest Farmers and Makers Market on October 2nd and 3rd, where from 12 until 5 PM over 100 vendors will be offering products for tasting and/or purchase. There will also be farm-fresh products, food from local restaurants, beer, wine, as well as art, locally made goods, and a special area for children’s activities. For more information, visit walkway.org.

Mills Mansion

10.  Mills Mansion

            Lastly is the Staatsburg State Historic Site, Mills Mansion. The grounds offer wonderful views, tours, as a well as a pleasant walk in the woods. The Mansion contains 65 rooms, and 14 bathrooms. The Mills family mostly stayed in the house during the Fall, until the estate was passed down to their son in 1929. Since 1937 the house and 192-acre property has been donated to the State of New York. The grounds are open Thursday through Sunday, 11 AM until 5 PM. For more information, visit parks.ny.gov.


Bonus: Hudson River Valley Ramble

            The Hudson River Valley Ramble, which will be in its 21st year throughout September, is an annual event that celebrates history, culture, and everything in between regarding the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. Visit hudsonrivervalleyramble.com for a digital guidebook and more information regarding the month-long event.

The Benefits of Alpaca Fiber

Alpaca Fiber is truly a blessing to wear.  Once considered only worthy of royalty, now it is available to the masses.  We think that alpacas and alpaca fiber are amazing! 

Below are our top 10 reasons why we love this amazing fiber:

  1.  Alpaca Fleece is 30% warmer than the wool from most breeds of sheep.
  2. In general, alpaca fleece is stronger, lighter, and more resilient than wool.
  3. It is hypoallergenic, meaning it does not irritate your skin.  Unlike sheep’s wool, alpaca fleece does not contain lanolin.
  4. It is odor resistant.
  5. There are 22 natural alpaca colors; it can easily be dyed other colors.
  6. It is naturally water resistant.
  7. It is a renewable fiber.
  8. It is flame resistant.
  9. It looks and feels amazing.
  10. It is natural and biodegradable.

See for yourself how incredible this eco-friendly fiber is. We have a large assortment of products to choose from.





The Art of Alpaca Farming

When people think of Dutchess County, NY they often think of scenic views with lush fields, deep woods, and babbling streams as well as its delicious restaurants and delightful specialty stores.  Few realize that Dutchess County also has alpaca farms where residents can interact with alpacas and buy goods made from their fiber.  Alpacas are adorable, friendly animals that resemble llamas.  They are fiber animals – their fiber is used to create a variety of products, including hats, blankets, sweaters, purses, socks and boot inserts.

Only a limited number of farms raise alpacas in New York.  Since fiber is particularly important, farmers need to be very selective when choosing alpacas to breed.  They attend shows all over the country to identify alpacas with the highest quality of fiber.  Alpacas come in 22 official colors although specialty colors, such as champagne and maroon, are also possible.  This allows for a variety of color options for products without having to dye the fiber.  The fiber from alpacas is hypoallergenic, warmer than wool, and odor resistant.

Alpaca’s have their fiber shorn once a year usually in the Spring.  The fiber is then sorted into categories and cleaned of all debris.  The fiber can then be used in a variety of ways – often to produce yarn and / or clothing.  The blankets (the fiber on the midsection) are used  in knitwear whereas thirds are used in items such as boot inserts or purses.  Typically, an average alpaca produces 5 – 10 pounds of fiber.

Alpaca’s generally give birth to one baby, called a cria.  Gestation takes 11.5 months.  Pregnancy is confirmed with a spit test.  When a female isn’t interested in breeding because she is already pregnant, she spits at the male to tell him to go away.  While they are not 100% accurate, they are a very good indicator if an alpaca is pregnant.  Cria usually weigh  between 10- 20 pounds.   In the Northeast, cria are usually born between May – September.  Ours are due between May – July this year.

Alpaca farmers provide their herds with grain, hay and plenty of fresh water.  They live in barns or run-in sheds and they enjoy spending time outdoors.  They generally prefer winter to summer – they need fans to keep cool in the summer.  Typically farmers have at least an acre for every  10 alpaca so they have room to graze.  Alpacas are naturally pack animals and enjoy being around other alpacas.  You should never have just one alpaca.

Alpacas are naturally docile and curious.  They can be skittish if startled upon encountering a large group or an unknown circumstance.  However, if they are worked with at an early age, most are very friendly and will even let people walk them on leads.  They seem to recognize repeat visitors and often come to greet them.

This article originally appeared in The Art of ….. digital magazine

Article by Diana Bellissimo