4 Ways to Experience Autumn at Lake Erie Shores & Islands - Cleveland Article
4 Ways to Experience Autumn at Lake Erie Shores & Islands
During the summertime, Lake Erie Shores & Islands offers an unexpected island-themed respite that’s sure to be the highlight of your summer holiday. Maybe it’s the lakeside breezes or the general sense of leisure that makes it the perfect warm-weather vacation. Or, maybe it’s the beauty of being situated along Lake Erie.
Regardless, when the weather changes, the fun doesn’t stop. In fact, visiting Lake Erie Shores & Islands during the fall is one of the best times of the year to explore with lighter crowds and crisper weather.
Here are four ways to explore:
4. Pick Your Own Produce
Pumpkin patches and apple trees abound, the season brings a cornucopia of gorgeous fall produce. Make way to Burnham Orchards where visitors can take a hayride down to the fields for apple- and pumpkin-picking experiences at the nearly 1,000-acre farm.
And, thanks to the bucolic setting in parts of the Lake Erie Shores & Islands, farmers markets are a mainstay. Search for squash, sip hot cider and pick herbs for your autumn décor at the farmers markets in Sandusky, Seneca County, Huron and the Village of Marblehead.
3. Fall Festivals
Hay rides, corn mazes and pumpkin picking are the stuff of fall festivals. And, Lake Erie Shores & Islands is at no loss for these fun, family-friendly celebrations of the season.
· Oct. 15-16: Oak Ridge Festival
· Oct. 29: Pumpkin Palooza at the Milan Museum
· Oct. 31: Pumpkin Bash at Osborn MetroPark
· Nov. 4-6: Kelleys Island Owl Festival
2. Swish, Sniff, Swirl: Wineries
While experiencing the west-side wineries that dot the coast of Lake Erie is truly an entertaining experience anytime of year, the fall provides some especially unique opportunities. It’s during the months of September and October that you’ll find many of the wineries in the midst of grape picking and wine production—all adding a special touch to your visit.
Head to Paper Moon Winery in the quaint town of Vermilion where you can sip dozens of wines, as well as mead and fresh hard cider. Further west, head for the famed Firelands Winery where its ice wine is practically world famous.
1. Leaf Peep on the Islands
The region is home to several Lake Erie Islands, which are only accessible by ferries. Typically, the summer season tends to be the most popular in terms of visitation.
But, if leaf peeping is of interest, then head to one of the islands this fall. The foliage actually remains much longer past the mid-October peak on the mainland.
Where to go?
· On Kelleys Island, head over to the 677-acre Kelleys Island State Park that is easily accessible, offers hiking paths and provides some rather uncanny views of real glacial grooves.
· Over on South Bass Island, take a break from the excitement of Put-in-Bay to explore the 33-acre South Bass Island State Park.