Imagine a place of lasting beauty carved by time and tradition, with seasons of ageless stories to tell and new stories to create. A place where your senses will explore the ever-changing landscapes. All nestled in a twelve-thousand-year-old glacial valley.
That’s Madison County. And their leaves are turning.
This rural area in Central New York State is where you can gaze upon a vibrant sea of red and orange amongst the windmills at the FREE Center in Fenner. And discover the relationship between art and nature when wandering the trails of Stone Quarry Hill Art Park’s 104 acres of conserved land. Or hike the gorge trail at Chittenango Falls State Park and feel the mist at Delphi Falls County Park as you inch closer and closer to the water.
And the brisker autumn weather is perfect for wandering through an apple orchard and getting lost in a corn maze at Critz Farms in Cazenovia. Just up the road at Golub’s Our Farm, watch Boris, the pumpkin-throwing catapult, launch a pumpkin 200 feet across a field!
Looking for a good scare? Guests at the Brae Loch Inn in Cazenovia have reported a ghostly girl in a long blue dress offering to show them to their room. Thieves and murderers often lurked along the Erie Canal in the 19th century. It’s no wonder many believe the victims’ spirits may still roam the towpath at Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum. Both sites are stops on the New York State Haunted History Trail.
Wonderful as all this is, and it is wonderful, it was Madison County’s craft beverage scene that first caught our eye. It all began in the 1880s when New York produced 80 percent of the nation’s hops, with most of them grown in the county and surrounding area. Prohibition (and a few other factors) put an end to that.
But now Madison County is experiencing a new beginning at the forefront of the craft beverage movement.
Today you’ll find Good Nature Farm Brewery offering “farm to glass” brews in Hamilton. They’re one of the state’s first, and largest, farm breweries. Head to Cazenovia for award-winning wine at Owera Vineyards (try their “Betty’s White”) and award-winning hard cider at Critz Farms Brewing & Cider Company. Or go micro at Canastota’s Erie Canal Brewing Company then round out your experience with a tasting of Applejack brandy at Old Home Distillers in Lebanon.
And how’s the food?
Check out the Colgate Inn in Hamilton for farm to tavern cuisine by the fireplace and Cazenovia’s Brewster Inn, where all menu items are made from scratch (ask about their Wine Spectator award-winning cellar). And indulge in the “Best Ribs in New York State,” as proclaimed by Food Network, at Ray Brothers Barbecue in Bouckville.
All this awaits you in Madison County. But there’s no rush. The county has been here for generations and will be here for generations to come. Its breweries, restaurants, farms and more pleasantly anticipate your arrival. And yes, Madison County’s breathtaking autumn colors will return next year, just as they always have—and always will.
Let www.madisontourism.com/fall inspire your next adventure.