Autumn is Blackstone Valley's
Time to Shine
Ah, the smell of pumpkin spice and apples waiting to be picked in the orchards, sweater weather and changing leaves are all signs that Autumn is near... actually just around the corner.
The air is crisp and the sun is still warm with lower humidity. This is the perfect time to visit our region, get outside and enjoy the fall harvest as well as biking, hiking and just plain old meandering through fallen leaves.
The Blackstone Valley is the perfect place for all things Fall. From the “Apple Valley” along Route 44, to a drive on country roads like Great Road and hiking Lincoln Woods and Chase Farm Park, biking the Blackstone Valley Bikepath or taking this last little bit of time before it gets too cool for some kayaking and meandering along our rivers in search of wildlife. There is something for everyone to do at this time of year.
Smithfield is known as the “Apple Valley” of Rhode Island, and it is no wonder with the many orchards to choose from for some great apple picking. We made our way to Jaswell Farm, one of the oldest orchards in Smithfield, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to pick some apples. With safe physical distancing, there were families spread out among the rows of trees, McIntosh and Gala varieties now available. Of course, if you are looking for other varieties like a local all-time favorite - Macoun apple - we were advised to check back in a couple of weeks.
In addition to apples, the farm stand was open, and the staff accommodated those who had ordered curbside pick-up as well as those heading back to their cars from the orchards to add some cider, some fresh vegetables, as well as sweet treats to our take away that day. Reservations are required for apple picking. Click here.
There are several other orchards and farms in the area so you might want to check out some of the others like Steere Farm with pick your own apples available daily, Appleland Orchard and Leach Farm and Orchards in Smithfield, Leach Farm also has pumpkins ready for picking.
We also recommend checking out Phantom Farms in Cumberland for apple picking and afterward enjoy a slice of apple pie and coffee on the porch. Call for more information
Speaking of apples, did you know that William Blackstone, for which the river and valley takes its name, actually planted his own variety of apples along the river in the proximity of the Lonsdale Marsh. It was known as the yellow sweeting and was the first apple variety named in America!
Cumberland is also home to Adams Farm, and we took the opportunity to kick off their season on a drive-thru scavenger hunt while munching yummy apple cider donuts as part of the package. They have many more activities planned for this Fall season from daily visits to their pumpkin patch and farmyard or their weekend mega-admission that includes kid-friendly mazes, hayride, animals and pumpkin patch. Online ticketing is required to enable social distancing. If their scavenger hunt is a testament to their creativity, then this will be a blast for families! Get Tickets
As we mentioned, Fall is a perfect time for hiking and just down the road from Jaswell’s, we stopped at Powder Mill Ledges for a quick hike, home to the Audubon Society of Rhode Island. You can find a calendar of available programs on their website, ASRI.org.
Chase Farm Park is now open and this is a great place to take the kids for a hike or even just a saunter to check out the leaves as they begin to change. Coming up on September 26th is Great Road Day offering a chance to get outdoors and visit several historic sites along the way including Chase Farm, the Hannaway Blacksmith Shop,and Hearthside House all for FREE. However, advance registration is required. More Info.