A short, twenty minute, drive from Vassar College, Barton Orchards is set in a lovely rural area of Poughaug, New York. Cars pull up onto their grass to form a temporary parking lot for the unending line of visitors eager to explore this autumn staple.
Among the the masses were church groups, nuclear families, couples, and the general local populace. Although people seemed to be pouring in through the entrance way throughout the day, (in fact, the line only increased in length as the day progressed), I never felt crowded at any point.
There was so much space and so many different offerings that the crowd was very widely dispersed and frankly invisible most of the time. Admission was reasonable, just over ten dollars for access to all that the property has to offer or three dollars for general admission, making it a prime attraction for individuals and families on a budget.
Although primarily a recreational hot spot, Barton Orchards also has a store filled with local food to support the local economy, produce grown on the orchard itself, and general goods. Nonetheless, the storefront is definitely secondary to the rest of the Barton Orchards; it most assists local businesses by bringing visitors to Hudson Valley itself, which is quite a venture in of itself.
They boast many vegetables and fruit that visitors can pick their own of, a petting zoo, a playground, a “mining” set for younger visitors, a bakery, a haunted house, a tractor-pulled hay ride, and a corn maze.
The corn maze is based off of New York City street artist Matt Siren’s work. The maze has various stations that teach wanderers about graffiti art. For more information, check out this post by a Brooklyn Street Art Group, http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/2013/07/28/matt-sirens-ghost-girl-maze-poughquag-new-york/ .
Extremely scenic in a small-town type of way, Barton Orchards embodies what so many visitors to the Hudson Valley picture. The petting zoo has adorable llamas, pigs, chickens, ponies and miniature ponies, a mule, and goats. Many of the animals run right up to the fences, eager to eat fro the palms of giggling children and stone-faced adults, who are apt to crack a smile as furry noses tickle their hands.
Cups of fresh brewed apple cider appear in and out of sight as the noon sun reminds guests
The local charm is only further accentuated by the large apple orchard and pumpkin patch. The gloriously sweet and crisp apples and large, bright pumpkins exemplify what it means to be a Hudson Valley Resident in the autumn. People typically picture such benefits of fall as being beautiful, cracked leaves on the sidewalk and day trips to pick-your-own farms, and Barton Orchards certainly delivers on that expectation.
Overall, a visit to Barton Orchards makes for a memorable day trip that speaks wonders of Hudson Valleys local atmosphere and charm.
To find out more, visit Barton Orchards’ website: http://www.bartonorchards.com