Fall festivities to try
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 22:09
From the crisp red leaves to the abundance of pumpkin spice flavoring, fall is in the air. Beach trips, ice cream and baseball games are all classic ways to celebrate the hottest season of the year, but now that summer has passed, it is time to embrace autumnal activities.
Aside from apple and pumpkin picking, the go-to favorites for fall activities, there are an abundance of corn mazes in the Storrs-Mansfield area. The Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry offers a haunted corn maze full of ghosts and goblins (they are really UConn Drama students) that surprise you around every corner. Upon entering the maze, you are provided a map that highlights 12 spooky scenes to visit, but beware of meeting the witch who was not satisfied with just Hansel and Gretel or the lovely ladies looking for customers at their “Body Shoppe.” Journey through the corn and try not to scream when an axe murderer is waiting around the corner. Bring friends, grab a flashlight and get ready to have your pants scared off. The Nathan Hale Homestead provides an eerie setting as it is one of Connecticut’s most haunted sights and was featured on season nine of “Ghost Hunters.”
For those brave enough to conquer a haunted house, the Dark Manor in Norwich is rated Connecticut’s No. 1 haunted house year after year by The Venue newspaper. Full of gruesome sights and spooky bumps, the Dark Manor is not for the faint at heart. Buy your tickets online to ensure your admission and grab your most fearless friends.
If you are easily spooked, Foster Family Farms in South Windsor offers a corn maze free of hauntings and surprises. With four miles of maze on eight acres, this location promises a fun time navigating the way out. After the maze, visitors can enjoy a rustic hayride to relax.
To enjoy the fall scenery as the leaves change, take a hike through the fall countryside. Nickerson State Park is 20 minutes from Storrs and provides beautiful ponds for fishing and kayaking, hiking trails and mountain biking. Around Halloween the campground provides activities such as pumpkin carving to celebrate the season. Whether you want to camp or simply take a day hike, Nickerson has something for everyone wishing to enjoy the season.
Old Furnace state park is 40 minutes from Storrs and boasts 367 acres, complete with a three mile hiking trail that ends in a 10-mile panoramic view. At the height of autumn this trail will have sweeping views of the foliage that will encapsulate the spirit of fall for any hiker.
For those who want to enjoy the fall scenery from a moving vehicle, look no further than the Naugatuck Railroad. A 1920s styled coach that takes riders through the Naugatuck Valley and Litchfield Hills, leaving from Thomaston. The ride promises spectacular foliage views during the height of autumn.