A Perfect Fall Day in the Hudson River Valley
Just over an hour outside of bustling Manhattan lies the scenic Seven Lakes Drive, an 18-mile parkway that stretches along the western side of the Hudson River Valley, an area dotted with quaint towns offering charming antique shops, amazing eateries, and fantastic views of fall foliage. The picturesque route is an ideal day trip from New York City that offers a chance to slow down and take in autumn in all its glory.
The road along the Seven Lakes area winds its way through some of upstate New York’s finest fall foliage.
Just a ten-minute detour from Seven Lakes lies the small town of Warwick, New York. Its main street is outlined by turn-of-the-century buildings and eclectic antique shops filled with anything from Singer sewing machines to a wall adorned with vintage clocks.
Left: An array of old clocks and desk fans on display at the Eclectic Eye.
Right: The owner of That Place at the Onion, a vintage shop.
At the Grange Restaurant & Local Market in Warwick, New York, chef and owner Jim Haurey sources local ingredients for his menu, which changes daily depending on what’s available and in season.
Left: A delicious spread of cheeses from local Tonjes Farm Dairy’s, including a Rambler and Beachwood Blue served with crostini. The olive oil that’s served with bread comes packed with scallions and fiery red pepper flakes.
Right: One of the Grange’s signature autumnal appetizers is a winter squash soup topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and croutons.
Every dish at the Grange is bursting with flavor and paired with unexpected yet delightful components, like this seared salmon in coconut-lemongrass broth and freshly picked shishito peppers. Tip: The restaurant only seats 19 people, so reservations are a must.
During apple season, Ochs Orchard is the prime spot for picking crimson Cortlands and sweet Honeycrisps. Walk through the maze of trees for a striking view of the valley below and the Catskills off in the distance.
Rolling hills dotted with classic red barns line the road on the way to Ochs Orchard.
The best time of day to wend your way up the Seven Lakes Drive is early morning or late afternoon, when the light bursts through the golden leaves and light winds gently rustle the vibrant, fall-hued trees. Further along the drive lies Lake Welch, an almost glass-like body of water that reflects the colorful maples on the shoreline.
When the weather is just cold enough, a light mist covers the enchantingly beautiful lakes.
The Baker Camp site at Lake Sebago an ideal place to take in the foliage and a popular stop for leaf peepers. Bring a thermos of something warm and your camera.
No trip to the lower Hudson River Valley is complete without a stop at the famous Bellvale Farms Creamery. Lines snake out the door even when the temperatures dip below freezing.
The creamery is known for its inventive flavors (like “Bellvale Bog,” a dark chocolate ice cream with brownie dough and fudge swirl, or “Barn Boots,” peanut brittle and marshmallows in chocolate ice cream). The fresh waffle cones are made on site, plus you can’t beat the view overlooking the valley.