Getting to Know Plattsburgh · Things to Do in Plattsburgh NY

An Adirondack Autumn: Plattsburgh Edition


“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

― William Cullen Bryant


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Say ‘hello’ to Autumn! Our North Country foliage gently shifts from neutral greens to a beloved frenzy of oranges, yellows, and reds.  We eagerly replace our sandals with boots, cover our tank-tops with sweaters, and relinquish our shorts for jeans.  The drink of choice is no longer cold brew, but a warm cup of joe instead (a PSL if you fancy that kind of thing).  The ADK community cherishes the vivid sights, the crunchy sounds, and the earthy smells.

It’s finally fall here in Plattsburgh, a most special time of the year.



If you’re new to the area, and you enjoy this time of year, you’re in the right place. An Adirondack Autumn is brimming with donuts, day trips, and outdoor activities.  If you’ve experienced Plattsburgh in the fall, you know that locals love this time of year.

Below is our guide to Autumn in Plattsburgh: finish up your reading, edit that essay, and remember that sweater weather is very brief–so, get out there and celebrate fall!


Food & drink

  • Apple cider donuts

These cake donuts are flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and actual apple cider.  Usually topped with granulated sugar, these donuts literally taste like fall in your mouth.  You can find good, homemade donuts at one of the surrounding orchards (see below!) or at local grocery stores. 

  • Apple cider (hot or cold!)

We all have our preference: warm n’ toasty, crisp n’ chilled, this brand, that brand. Either way, this Autumnal drink is perfect for a long study sesh or in apple cider style mimosas!

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  • Wholesome soups

Nomnomnom, don’t forget to take advantage of the fall bounty: carrots, potatoes, parsnips, pumpkins, leeks, sweet potatoes, squash, and the list goes on!  Here are some recipes for fall soups to store in your freezer.

  • Farmer’s markets

Eat with the seasons: local markets this time of year are beautiful in color and in taste. The Plattsburgh market is Wednesdays 10am-2pm and Saturdays 9am-2pm. 


Day trips: have a destination

  • Lake Placid, NY

This destination has a variety of quirky shopping venues, delicious restaurant options, and a preview of fall foliage!

autumn in lp

Fall in Lake Placid; Mirror Lake Inn


  • Burlington, VT

From the ferry ride to walking down Church Street, there is much fun in visiting Burlington.  If you love fall as much as we do, then Burlington is the place to be.  There are cozy coffee & tea shops, a Sock’s Market, a Barnes and Noble, and the list goes on: it feels like this street was made for fall.



  • Chazy Lake

Heading up to Chazy Lake makes for a great day trip to get out of your home and relax.  There is beautiful fall foliage to enjoy on the drive there, and a cute little park you can sit at and enjoy the sunshine (while we have it).  We would recommend bringing a few layers, because it does get much colder when you head up the toward Lyon Mountain.

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  • We asked our resident hiker, and Director of Graduate Admissions, Betsy Kane, to give us the inside scoop on Autumn hiking locations. Here’s what she suggests:
Lyon Mountain is a great destination from Plattsburgh and beautiful in the fall.  You could also take a day trip to Lake Placid to explore the High Peaks Region.  Fall is really one of the best times to hike in the Adirondacks because the trails are usually at their driest, and the foliage is so breathtaking.

There are a lot of great local hiking challenges that you could get started on and chip away at over time – the big one is obviously the 46ers, which entails hiking the 46 highest peaks in the Adirondacks (all are ~4000+ feet in elevation).  Cascade and Porter are the two 46ers that most people start with because they are some of the easiest and most accessible.  Driving out to Wilmington to hike Whiteface is a great option too.  It’s about 50 minutes from Plattsburgh and is known to have one of the best views of any peak in the Adirdondacks.

There’s a much more do-able challenge in Saranac Lake called the Saranac 6ers.  This is just 6 peaks, that really vary in length and elevation.  None of them are 46ers.  If you do all 6 in one day you become an ‘ultra 6er’!

And then there’s the Fire Tower Challenge, which requires hiking many of the mountains in New York state that still have fire towers on top (Lyon is one).  Some of the fire towers are still in functional order and you can climb up the tower for an incredible view.  Fire towers were used for preventing forest fires in the Adirondacks up until the 1980s.”


lyon mountain


Orchard, mazes, and ghosts?!

  • Rulf’s Orchard 

This well-known orchard has a flashlight corn maze on October 14 and 21, 2017, from 5 pm – 9 pm.  Don’t forget to bring your own flashlight!

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  • Banker’s Orchard

Also popular, this orchard always has delicious pies and treats.  After you fill up on fall goodies, be sure to feed the goats, horses, donkeys, and llamas!

  • Country Dreams Farm

At this quaint farm you can participate in a classic North Country fall activity: “U-Pick Pumpkins.” Relax and take a carriage ride out to the pumpkin field and pick your own! When winter is finally upon us, they also have winter sleigh rides so you can channel your inner prince(ss) or ice king/queen.

  • Tucker Farms

This farm is creative! They hold fall-themed corn maze each year: the theme this year is Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang.  Be sure to take a break from studying, because this is something you don’t want to miss out on!


This unique company is especially fitting for an Adirondack fall! They offer tours on the old military base, on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus (grad meetup pending! Look out for more info!), in downtown Plattsburgh, and in more spooky locations! Learn about some twisted history–student discount is $12.50!


Indoor Activities

When it’s too chilly to run through corn mazes or pick apples, consider participating in an indoor fall activity! For instance, in the Plattsburgh area many locals travel to Lake George for this spooooky event.

This year, FENT (an awesome campus organiztion) is hosting a trip for PSU students to Fright Fest at a DISCOUNTED PRICE!!! Gather your friends and get planning!



  • The Strand Center for Arts in Downtown Plattsburgh 

This local art center makes a point to incorporate fall-themed classes into its classes/events schedule. This fall they offer classes from fall-scented soap making to Halloween melted crayon art–usually for all ages!


The Graduate Admissions Team loves fall!


     Audra Buchanan: Office Assistant II 

IMG-0527“In the Fall, I like to go with my family to Banker’s Orchard and get apples for snacking and making pies, go on hay wagon rides, and pick a pumpkin for Halloween.  I love the cool, crisp air and the smell of fresh doughnuts and cider that lingers on your clothes long after you’ve left the bakery.  I love walking with my daughter and my husband through the fall leaves: *kritch, krunch, kritch, krunch, shuffle, shuffle.*”


Molly Martindale: Staff Assistant, Graduate Student in Adolescent Education M.S.T program (English)



“I love fall candles (especially marshmallow fireside and sweater weather from Bath and Body Works), and I love being able to start wearing boots and comfy sweaters.  I also love reading outside in my Saranac backyard and hearing nothing but the leaves fall to the ground.”



Sam Loreman: Staff Assistant, Graduate Student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program



“My favorite thing about fall is the cider, for sure–great for a cozy day in or fun with friends!  I love that it can be hot, cold, or mixed to make a great adult beverage (champagne or fireball!).   Rulf’s Orchard is my go-to for all of my cider needs.”




Tammy Bergen: Staff Assistant, Graduate Student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program  



“The first thing that comes to mind about some of my favorite things living in Plattsburgh, is the beautiful mountains, lakes, and breathtaking views that surround us. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, as I love all the colors this season brings to the Adirondacks.  Check out this website for some amazing spots for fall leaf peeping.  Enjoy!”


Skylar Hunyadi: Graduate Assistant, Graduate Student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program

Snapchat-5662206“My favooorite part of Autumn is…….I have too many ideas running through my head.  I’ll do this stream of consciousness style: layers, baking with apples, carving pumpkins with friends, walking through crunchy leaves in my moccasins, using heat bags before bed, drinking hot apple cider (with a dash of cinnamon!), going home to Lowville to see my parents, drowning in blanket scarves, brewing fall-flavored teas, smelling ‘crispness’ in the air, watching spooky cartoons, lighting candles and bundling up on a chilly night.  Okay, enough said :-).”



There you have it!  Our guide to Fall in Plattsburgh.  If you have any questions about our October grad events or things to do in the area, contact our office at

(518) 564-4723 or


Happy Fall from Graduate Admissions!



And this squirrel.


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