Nothing smells as intoxicating as fresh fallen leaves on damp earth, especially in the fall sunlight.
And no music is more beautiful than the crunch of those leaves underfoot.
The leaves still on the trees are such pretty colors and they smile at you and pup, waving in the gentle breeze as you hike down the trail at Clarence Fahnestock State Park.
Less than two hours north of Brooklyn, you can let your heart soar and your pup run, sniff and revel in being alive. So get in your car or your zip car and head up the Taconic Parkway. You are a New Yorker. This is your park. And pup’s.
In over 14,000 acres, there are plenty of trails for you and pup to enjoy. Our super favorite is probably the easiest. Turn left at the first Fahnestock exit off the Taconic on to 301 West and then left again at the first parking lot where you can access a trail around a pond once used in mining iron ore. The trail is about a mile and a half long. Bring your lunch and marshmallows/chocolate bars/graham crackers and a few briquettes for there are plenty of picnic tables and grills for you to enjoy.
Print out a map of the park and find other trails and places. Spend a day and revel in Nature.
You look at pup and say, “This is the same New York we live in?”
Do you want to stay over? There is a Ramada Inn 13 miles up the road that is pet friendly.
And if you want to really dine, you’re in the right part of the world. For although you are highly unlikely to get a reservation at any of the Culinary Institute of America’s restaurants – still further up the road – many of their graduates have settled in the area either opening restaurants or taking positions as executive chef. They refer to these as Alumni Restaurants and you can bet on a great meal. Way less expensive than in Brooklyn. Way!
Sorry, pup, you only get the scraps. If there are any.
Wait, how can you bring some upstate New York back to Brooklyn? Easy!
On your way home, South on the Taconic, exit on Route 6 East and drive about 5 miles until you see Baldwin Farm on your left (it’s just after a traffic light on top of a hill). They are a 7-day Farmers Market where you can pick up locally grown kale, cabbage, potatoes and, yes, Apple Cider and donuts. Apple Cider Donuts made right there right in front of you,
So, pack up pup and head north. Stay a day. Stay the weekend. Live fall upstate. Stay long enough to eat it, drink it, and bring some back, too.