10 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Connecticut

By Kiera Hufford

10 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Connecticut

Being in the northeast, Connecticut is (without choice) full of fall cheer, simply because of the crisp weather and changing leaves. The colorful foliage symbolizes a time of year full of apple cider, pumpkin spice, jack o’-lanterns, and all things spooky. So, if you’re in the area during the season, why not check out some of the great fall activities the state has to offer?

Pumpkin picking at Belltown Hill Orchards

This pick-your-own farm is located in the rolling hills of Glastonbury, complete with a farm market offering fresh pie, local produce, and apple cider doughnuts! Right around the end of September through October is when their pumpkins are at their peak—the perfect period to snatch one up and have it carved just in time for trick-or-treating. Before that, though, the apples sit ripe on the trees and are available for picking!

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Trail of Terror, Wallingford, CT

The Trail of Terror is a haunted maze through the woods, where actors lurk in the trees (ready to pounce when you least expect it). In the past, the mazes have imitated Halloween classics and usually revolve around some kind of theme. This trail isn’t for the faint of heart, as the sets use loud music and sound effects, special effects, strobe lights, theatrical smoke, and often have uneven ground. Trail-goers are forbidden from attending in costume, so if you’re brave enough to stop by as your real self, give it a shot.

The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce, Bristol, CT

Returning in late September, Lake Compounce’s haunted graveyard aims to make your weekends terrifying. At dusk, you can go on a one-mile journey through dark catacombs, a graveyard, a vampire’s haunt, a witch’s lair, and then a misty lake, complete with an ancient temple. There are also rides available starting at 5 p.m. to enjoy before your scares.

Chowder Days Festival, Mystic, CT

Fall days are cool and crisp, so why not compliment them with a nice bowl of chowder? On Columbus Day Weekend, Mystic Seaport serves a variety of chowders and bisques for you to enjoy at the Mystic Seaport Museum. The festival is included in the price of admission to the museum (though the food does cost extra). Alongside your bowl of chowder, you’ll be able to enjoy live music and other live entertainment as well as seasonal desserts. What’s not to love?

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Corn Maze at Castle Hill Farm, Newtown, CT

This seven-acre corn maze just begs for you to get lost in it. With a different design every year, you’re sent into the maze with nothing but a map to help you find your way to their fact signs. Finding them and reading their themes will help you figure out where you are in the maze, and hopefully let you navigate your way out! But don’t fret: about halfway through is a wagon observation deck, perfect for getting your bearings or simply seeing what the maze looks like from above!

Hiking at Talcott Mountain State Park

Talcott Mountain State Park has a one and a quarter mile tower trail that takes you about 30-40 minutes up the mountain to the Heublein Tower. There’s a seasonal observation deck available at the park, as well as a picnicking area and access to the Metacomet Trail. Best of all, until the end of October you can visit the historic museum every day except for Tuesday and learn a bit about history.

Apple Picking at Beardsley’s Cider Mill & Orchard

Beardsley’s pick-your-own orchard opens in early September for apple season. Visit on the beginning for Galas and Honeycrisps, or come later in the season for Empires and Jonagolds. Beardsley lists all their seasonal options on the website, so you’ll likely be able to find an apple you love! If you’ve got fermenting containers, they can be filled on weekends with fresh-pressed, untreated cider—giving you the option to make your own hard cider.

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Hiking at Devil’s Hopyard State Park

Devil’s Hopyard poses an age-old mystery along its trails: were the holes in the falls really created by the Devil, or is it just nature at its finest? History says they were created by stones moving downstream in the water’s current but folktales suggest otherwise! Visitors are encouraged to seek the answers for themselves as they explore these wonderful trails.

Visit spooky places with Seaside Shadows Haunted History Tours

These haunted history tours will show you where the ghost of Mystic visits the dining guests, what curse haunts the area, the historic artifacts and headstone engravings of Mystic’s old burial grounds, and the woman keeping watch over the Civil War Office, waiting for her long-lost lover.

Visit the farmers market in Stamford

Stamford’s farmers market offers some of the best goods and locally-grown produce in the area. With a list of around 14 participating vendors, this quaint market has a mix of breads, jams, cheeses, baked goods, and more—straight from their farms to your home!

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