EXPERIENCE THE SEASON OF FALL IN A NEW WAY
As the seasons change, so do the leaves. Pumpkins, apple pie, and everything in between can be found right here! The Lebanon Valley has everything you’ll need to make sure your family gets a full and true autumn experience!
1. Help the farmers harvest their apples – pick fruit right off the tree.
Visit Seyfert’s Apple Orchard, a family run orchard with a variety of apples as well as baked goods, other produce and homemade jarred items to pick from at their fruit stand. Sycamore Spring Orchard has 10 different varieties of apples to choose from. Pick fruit from their rows and rows of apple trees and browse autumn themed decorations such as gourds and mums. Make sure to pick up some Pennsylvania Dutch favorites fresh from their kitchen like baked apple dumplings, whoopie pies, soups, and even try some pumpkin ice cream.
At Gray’s Apple Ridge Orchard, you can pick your own apples as well. Offering 8 different varieties of apples, you can visit their website to find out the best time to pick your favorite kind of apple. During your visit, make sure to visit with the cows and check out their cider press they use to make their own delicious apple cider! (pictured left)
For apple recipes and ideas, check out our apple picking blog here: Apple Picking in Lebanon Valley – Visit Lebanon Valley, Pennsylvania
2. Pick your own pumpkin – straight from the pumpkin patch.
If you’ve ever carved a pumpkin, you’ll know that picking which pumpkin to carve is half the battle. Short, stout, round, or oval, pumpkins come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Gray’s Apple Ridge Orchard not only has apple picking opportunities, but also gives you the chance to explore their pumpkin patch and pick which one you want right off the vine.
Risser Marvel Farm Market has seasonal fresh produce and during the fall they also offer you the chance to pick your own pumpkin in their pumpkin patch. In between corn maze attempts and hayrides, pick your own pumpkin out at Seyfert’s Corn Maze.
Check out our previous pumpkin blog here: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Lebanon Valley – Visit Lebanon Valley, Pennsylvania
Photo right: Christine Sheetz
3. Visit a farm market – pumpkins, fresh produce, and baked goods, oh my!
Get a true farm market experience at Risser Marvel Farm Market. This family-owned market is open from the beginning of summer through the fall and has fun activities for the whole family. If you’re feeling brave, venture into their corn maze and try to make it all the way through. Browse through a wide selection of fresh produce and baked goods, locally sourced eggs and dairy products, and even some fall decor. Don’t forget to pick a pumpkin from their pumpkin patch.
Find foods such as ice cream, sushi, soups, baked goods, subs, burgers, and more at the Lebanon Farmers Market where delicious homemade items are easy to come by.
These and other local farmers markets can be found on our Market & Orchard page here: Markets & Orchards | Visit Lebanon Valley | Lebanon, PA
Photo left: Samuel Olmedo
4. Experience the wonder of a sunflower field and try to find your way through a corn field – two of our favorite outdoor fall adventures!
Apples and pumpkins aren’t the only thing we love to see in the fall. Sunflowers bloom in the late summer, helping us greet the autumn. Royal Oaks Farm, home to a pick-your-own flower garden, has a designated spot on their land for only sunflowers and the different varieties that grow. Their estimated next sunflower bloom is Oct. 1 – 15 and it’s something you’ll definitely want to catch. Grab some photos of your family and then snip off one that may have caught your eye during your time there.
Corn mazes are one of the best fall activities and in the Lebanon Valley, it is a local favorite and an autumn “must-do”. After trying your hand at the Risser Marvel Farm Market corn maze, you can give the Seyfert’s Corn Maze a try! What started out as a high school sophomore’s school project, has since grown into a 14-acre corn maze full of twists and turns that will have you wanting to try it more than once. While you’re there, look through fall decorations, enjoy some delicious food, and go for a hayride on their 140-acre farm.
Photo right: Photography by Kaylyn at Royal Oaks Farm
5. Attend Historic Schaefferstown’s Fall On the Farm & Visit the Cornwall Iron Furnace – history come to life!
The Alexander Schaeffer Farm comes to life for Fall On the Farm hosted by Historic Schaefferstown on October 22, 2022. From 5pm-9pm, take your family trick or treating right on the farm! During your visit, play fall games, make s’more by the bonfire, take scenic hayride, enjoy a hot drink, or have bowl of chili by Boothy’s BBQ. Take some time to learn about local history and go on a self-guided tour of the Historic Schaeffer House and the Heirloom Garden. Don’t forget to visit the farm animals!
If you can’t get enough of our areas history, take a visit to Cornwall Iron Furnace, the oldest surviving blast furnace in the United States. Visit the museum and take a tour of the furnace and grounds. The furnace has so much history to experience that families are guaranteed to enjoy and historians and engineers alike will appreciate. Stop by on October 22, 2022 and learn about Civil War Engineers during their Living History Event.
Learn more about Historic Schaefferstown and Cornwall Iron Furnace here: Lebanon History and Architecture – Visit Lebanon Valley | Lebanon, PA
Photo left: Leilani Rooney
6. Participate in the 2022 Fall Libations Trail – it’s not autumn without an Oktoberfest!
Sign up for our digital pass and take a tour of our local breweries and restaurants that serve their products. This fall, our local brewers have created their own Oktoberfest beers specifically for the Libations Trail. Come drink with us and see which brew you like best.
The 2022 Fall Libations Trail kicks off on September 17 and runs until November 10. Enjoy the products of our local brewers: Mt. Gretna Craft Brewery, Rotunda Brewing Company, Rotunda Brewing Company, Snitz Creek Brewery, Under the Bridge Hard Cider, Isaac’s Craft Kitchen and Brewery, and Lebanon Valley Craft Brewery. You can even gather check-ins from local restaurants such as Funck’s Restaurant, Mt. Gretna Hideaway, The Rising Sun, Quentin Tavern, Gin Mill, and Mick’s All-American Pub.
Learn more about the Libations Trail here: Drink Local and Raise a Glass to the Craft | Lebanon Valley Libations Trail (visitlebanonvalley.com)
Viewing Fall Foliage
Experience one of nature’s greatest performances and watch the seasons change right before your eyes. Swatara State Park, the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail, Mt. Gretna and other areas of the Lebanon Valley offer large areas of vibrant colors that are perfect for taking photos or going for a quiet, leisurely stroll or bike ride. The DCED estimates our best weeks for leaf peeping this Fall in the Lebanon Valley are October 21-27 when the leaves will be approaching the best color while October 28- November 3 and November 4-10 should be the best time to spot color.