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Your guide to fall fun this long weekend in New England

Visit Cider Hill Farm for some family apple-picking fun.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

Like George Costanza in line for crab bisque: We’re shifting into soup mode, baby, as we head into this long fall weekend. If the weather forecast holds, Boston will see some cooler temps and sun on Sunday and Monday, meaning conditions will be ideal for hayrides, apple-picking, cider doughnuts, hikes, and corn mazes. Here are some suggestions.

Apple-picking and hay-riding

Let’s start with that fall Instagram-worthy staple: apple-picking. There are plenty of spots within an hour’s drive of Boston where you can pick a peck, snag cider doughnuts, and hop a hay-ride. Because these are Mother Nature-dependent, check websites before you go.


Yelpers love Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury. Go for the buckeye galas, RubyMacs, or winter bananas, but stay for the cider doughnuts, “cider slushies,” (intriguing) hard cider bar, and food trucks, and to browse the herbs, honey, cheeses — and treats in the farm store. Upcoming events include live music, personalized pumpkins, and a “farm tots lettuce harvest.” Hop on it: Hayrides run through Oct. 9. 45 Fern Ave. Tickets available at ciderhill.com.

Items for sale at Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown, R.I.Andrea McHugh

How picturesque is Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown, R.I.? It’s also a wedding venue. You might pick-your-own Ginger Golds and Galas, as well as sunflowers and pumpkins. Browse the farm store’s treats, but don’t leave without a cider doughnut or two. Pro tip: pair with pumpkin ice cream. Mitchell’s Lane. sweetberryfarmri.com.

Meanwhile, Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow was the only Massachusetts orchard picked for the Daily Meal’s “20 Best Orchards in America” guide. You might pick-your-own Cortland, honeycrisp, or Jonagold, hop a hayride, nosh on cider doughnuts, sip hard cider — or attempt to escape the 1.5 mile Big Green Monster Maze. There’s also a smaller maze for kids. 18 Boon Road. honeypothill.com.


Need more apples? We got you. Our picks for more picking in Massachusetts here and Rhode Island here.

Amazing maize mazes

Last year's design at Sauchuk's Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch in Plympton honored Big Papi.Scott Sauchuk

Assuming you can escape the maze at Sauchuk’s Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch in Plympton, you’ll also find apple-picking, ski ball, zip line, tug-of-war, and “jumping pillows.” Coming up are events for grades K-6 in October. Prices vary. 200 Center St., Plympton. Buy tickets at sauchukmaze.com. (Mon., Oct. 9, is sold out.)

People try to find their way through the Davis Mega Maze. Davis Mega Maze

Grown-ups might want to get lost at Sterling’s Davis Mega Maze — the lone New England pick on USA Today’s top 10 corn mazes in the country. It’s open through Oct. 29, with, according to their website: paintball, zip-line, craft beer, barbecue, an American Ninja training obstacle course, laser tag, fire-pits, “human foosball,” giant tube slides, and more. Meanwhile, the food, according to their online menus includes: apple cider turkey legs; waffles with chicken, pulled pork, or ribeye; buffalo chicken mac ‘n cheese; “adult slushies,” and more. Prices vary. Kids under 13 must be accompanied by adult. Buy tickets at davismegamaze.com.

Hikes and eaf-peeping

A squirrel munches on a nut while on The Rockery trail at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Fall is prime hiking and leaf-peeping season in New England. Immerse yourself in colorful trees, scenic views and roads less taken. You don’t have to go far to find gems. Within an hour of Boston, find:

The Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield. Explore some 12 miles of interconnecting trails through forests, meadows and wetlands, according to Mass Audubon. Along the way, see a vernal pool, an observation tower, boardwalks, a drumlin, and a rockery. massaudubon.org/places-to-explore/wildlife-sanctuaries/ipswich-river


Take a gentle hike at Purgatory Chasm State Reservation with a 1-mile Charley’s Loop, marked as “easy” from the trailhead, or the “moderate” 1-mile Chasm Loop Trail, which boasts views of the Devil’s Corncrib and Fat Man’s Misery, and natural rock formations like the Devil’s Pulpit and Lover’s Leap. mass.gov/locations/purgatory-chasm-state-reservation

Two hikers head up a trailhead of Great Blue Hill, while one completes her hike from the summit, at the Blue Hills Reservation, last December. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Blue Hills Reservation in Milton offers 125 miles of hiking though marshes, meadows, and hills. Hikes range from “easy” 1-milers to the “difficult, rocky and steep” 2.7-mile Skyline loop, or a “long, moderate” 6.1 Forest Path loop. See trails at mass.gov/location-details/hiking-in-blue-hills.

We went to the woods because we wished to hike deliberately. If that resonates, suck out all the marrow of life by hiking Henry David’s old stomping grounds: Walden Pond State Reservation. Take a peek at Thoreau’s original house site, enjoy the self-guided Storywalk, and more. 915 Walden St., Concord. mass.gov/locations/walden-pond-state-reservation

Biking or hiking the farm coast

You don’t have to trek to Vermont or Cape Cod for peaceful farm-side bike rides or beach walks: About an hour south of Boston, find the Farm Coast — a swath of pastoral idyll where farms meet the sea, from Westport and Dartmouth to Little Compton and Tiverton, R.I. Think lichened stone walls, 18th- century salt-weathered barns, horses, cows, and corn fields.

Bring a bike to pedal from Westport’s Horseneck Beach State Reservation, or bring walking shoes and binoculars — the reserve encompasses a 600-acre swath of barrier beach and salt marsh. 5 John Reed Road. mass.gov/locations/horseneck-beach-state-reservation


Bring a mountain bike, Fido on a leash, or the kiddos to Weetamoo Woods & Pardon Gray Preserve in Tiverton, R.I. Some 9 miles of color-coded trails cross forest and meadow, and brush by farmland. You may see horses, stone walls, a wooden footbridge, historic sawmill remains, and a stone-arched bridge. www.alltrails.com/trail/us/rhode-island/weetamoo-woods-trail

Don’t leave without a London fog latte and chocolate croissant by the outdoor fire pit at Groundswell in Tiverton, R.I. (3883 Main Road. groundswellcafegarden.com) or a cinnamon raisin cold foam and chocolate babka by the backyard stream at the Gray’s Daily Grind. (Note: They may have the most adorable outdoor bathroom in New England.) 638 Adamsville Road, Westport. graysdailygrind.com

Soup for you

Sheryl Julian's chicken soupSheryl Julian

Like we said: it’s time for a soup mode shift. Nothing oozes cozy fall vibes like hot soup and warm bread. A few suggestions:

When it comes to that cool-weather cozy classic French Onion soup, the messier the better. Aquitaine makes it with bone broth, aged sherry, croutons, Emmental and Gruyère. One Instagrammer posted, “My sister and I fought over it! We wanted to bathe in a jacuzzi full of it!!” 69 Tremont St. 617-424-8577. www.aquitaineboston.com

Boston’s Emmets Irish Pub makes a cheesy Guinness Onion Soup, along with a hearty Guinness beef stew with rustic bread. 6 Beacon St. emmetsirishpubandrestaurant.com


You’ll need a knife and fork to eat Southern Kin’s Frogmore stew loaded with shrimp, clams, mussels, corn on the cob, and fingerling potatoes, in a saffron and tomato broth. Pair with grilled cornbread, honey butter, and jam. 500 Assembly Row, Somerville. southernkincookhouse.com

Pho fans: hit up a Soup Shack, with locations in Jamaica Plain, Brookline, and Cambridge. Perhaps bun bo hue — lemongrass beef broth, slow-cooked beef flank, vermicelli noodle, rare steak and cha-shu pork — or pho ga — shredded chicken in chicken broth, served with bean sprouts and basil leaves. soupshacknoodles.com

Feeling inspired to make your own? The Globe’s site has recipes. Sheryl Julian claims the best chicken soup recipe. Other tasty options include Mexican meatball soup and JFK’s Favorite New England Fish Chowder, and for vegetable lovers, Vegan butternut ginger soup and hearty lentil soup.

Cider doughnuts

Alex Schwartz from Cambridge is on a mission to find the best apple cider doughnuts in the region. Here's one he tried at Parlee Farms in Tyngsborough.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Like PSLs (pumpkin spice lattes, of course), they’re a whole fall food craze unto themselves. Look to the guru: Alex Schwartz, the “ciderdonuteur” who went viral for his crowd-sourced map of New England’s cider doughnuts. With more than 4 million views, the map is now at 260+ donut-stops. Schwartz is, as one Instagrammer put it, “doing the lord’s work.”

The Globe looked to Schwartz for tips before sampling a few. Boston Globe Today’s Segun Oduolowu says Pippin Orchard’s cider doughnut “slaps.”

Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. She tweets @laurendaley1.

Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.