Autumn has arrived! The days grow shorter and cooler, and many of us revel in the crispness of the air and the absence of humidity. Fall brings lots of opportunities to spend time outdoors. The South Shore offers all sorts of traditional fall activities – you just need to know where to find them.
Apple Picking – Quick, before it’s too late! Mounce Farm at 481 Union Street welcomes visitors to its orchard on Saturdays and Sundays from about 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can pick your own apples for $5.00 per bag, or buy them pre-picked. The orchards will only be open the last two weekends of September, and maybe the first weekend in October, so act fast. Or check out C.N. Smith Farm at 325 South Street, or Singleton Orchards at 160 Pine Street, both in East Bridgewater.
Pumpkin Picking – You can pick your own pumpkin, then bring it home and make a jack o’ lantern. Most pumpkin picking begins in October and is weekend-only. Check out the pumpkin patches at The Baker Farm, 101 Bakers Lane, Marshfield — but call first: 781-834-4021. Or visit Cretinon’s Farmstand, 86 Landing Road, Kingston, the aforementioned C.N. Smith Farm and Singleton Orchards, or Beaver Brook Farm, 645 Summer Street, East Bridgewater. Also, at Sauchuk Farm at 234 Center Street in Plympton, you can take a hayride around an 8-acre field of corn to a giant pumpkin patch and find just the right one to grace your doorstep on Halloween. You’ll find a similar hay ride/pumpkin picking opportunity at Bog Hollow Farm, 80 Wapping Road (Route 106) in Kingston. There, from October 11-13, you can also get lost in “The Maze,” try the hay jump, visit the animals check out farm equipment like tractors, truck and excavators, and even pose in a fireman costume with an antique fire truck.
Corn Mazes – Sauchuk Farm, just off Route 58 in Plympton offers a giant corn maze. From the air, you can see its elaborate design, with three jack o’ lanterns, two spiders, and the name of the farm all carved into the cornfield. From the ground, it’s just a sea of corn and you’ll do you best to find your way through (don’t worry there are clues, plus two tall overlooks from which you can gauge your progress). The corn maze is open weekends through October 26. There you will also find hayrides, (see below), a cow train (where children can ride in “cows” created from barrels that are towed behind a tractor), a corn box (think sandbox, but with dried cow corn), and more.
Hay Rides – What fun to ride in the back of a tractor-drawn hay cart and observe the landscape of a local farm! Mass Audubon’s South Shore Sanctuaries, based in Marshfield, offers 1-hour hayrides for up to 30 people at their Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary. Call 781-837-9400 for more information. Hayrides are also available at Singleton Orchards in East Bridgewater.
Watch a Cranberry Harvest – Southeastern Massachusetts is home to a number of cranberry farms. In general, the farmers don’t mind if you stop to watch them harvest their crop – as long as you respect private property and stay out of the way of the equipment. Most cranberry bogs feature farm stands where you can buy freshly harvested berries, too (it’s not okay to help yourself directly from the bog). Check out these bogs, featured on the Cranberry Harvest Trail Guide. Many feature farm stores and offer tours by appointment: Flax Pond Cranberry Company, 1 Robbins Path, Carver; Bog Hollow Farm, Kingston (see above); and Cranberry Hill, 103 Haskell Road, Plymouth.
View the Fall Foliage – One of the best ways to see the rainbow of changing color in the fall foliage is to take a walk in the woods. Check out the trails along the Indian Head River, via Luddams Ford in Hanover, or the paths overlooking the North River at Nelson Memorial Forest in Marshfield. Take a stroll at World’s End in Hingham, or Willow Brook Farm in Pembroke. Really, anywhere you go where there are trees, you’re bound to find a spectacular view at this time of year.
By Kezia Bacon-Bernstein
Kezia Bacon-Bernstein’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to the preservation, restoration, maintenance and conservation of the North and South Rivers and their watershed. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit www.nsrwa.org. Visit http://keziabaconbernstein.blogspot.com for an archive of the last 12 years of Kezia’s articles.