October is pumpkin-picking season and for thousands of people each year that means a trip to the North Fork.
But once you load that last pumpkin into the car, where do you go? Please don’t tell us straight home.
Traffic congestion might be a deterrent, but each farm has something close by that’s worth checking out. Here’s four picks for an activity after you’ve gone pumpkin picking at some of the most popular spots on the North Fork this month.
After Lewin’s Farm take a hike Wildwood State Park
Autumn is the best time of year for a hike as many tick species are not active (still be sure to check yourself though!) and the leaves change colors before falling from the trees. Wildwood State Park is tucked away from the busy roads on the northeastern tip of Wading River.
Breathe in the crisp air as you hike this 767-acre Robert Moses creation on the Long Island Sound. The underrated Michael Anthony Food Bar is a short drive away, too, if you’ve worked up an appetite.
After Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm taste North Fork Chocolate
For most people, pumpkin picking is a family activity (sorry to the guy whose girlfriend dragged him out on an NFL Sunday!).
And what better way to cap off time with the kids than by grabbing some chocolate? In Riverhead, pumpkin pickers often hit up Snowflake for ice cream, and Magic Fountain in Mattituck also packs them in all season long.
At North Fork Chocolate Company, however, you can get a sweet taste of the good life with everything from truffles to bon bons made from award-winning gourmet chocolate.
After Harbes Family Farm grab lunch at Case’s Place
By the time you get to Harbes Family Farm this time of year, you’ll want nothing more than to get off the main roads. So grab lunch on the New Suffolk waterfront instead. Case’s Place is just a six-mile drive from the farm and it’s a ride you’ll love this time of year.
Check out the fall foliage as you drive down New Suffolk Avenue to the restaurant, which is very kid-friendly.
On a warm day, be sure to dine outside and order the soft-shell crabs.
After Krupski Farms sip vino at Lenz Winery
Krupski Farms is the pumpkin-picking destination of choice for folks looking to stay away from heavier traffic at points west. Located in Peconic, it’s definitely your best bet if you’re staying anywhere east of Mattituck.
You won’t have to wander far if you’re looking to do something afterward as Lenz Winery is located directly across the street. In fact, its tasting barn is a former Krupski family home.
Established in 1978, Lenz is one of the earliest North Fork wineries and also one that embraces wine education. Visit lenzwine.com to see what events are happening in October to establish the perfect fall pairing with Krupski Farms.
This article was originally published in October 2019.