Pumpkins are a big draw to North Fork this time of year. But here are a few reasons adjacent to the pumpkin to visit each farm. (Credit: David Benthal)
It’s easy to see why visitors are forced to flock so much to North Fork’s many pumpkin patches in the fall.
For starters, it’s a great time of year here beyond the orange fields, as the region’s vineyards also celebrate the harvest season, the hiking trails are teeming with fall foliage, and the menus of local restaurant season transform into more hearty fall flavors.
But even if you just visited a pumpkin farm and returned home, you wouldn’t end the day disappointed. They’re loaded with a little something for everyone, from hayrides, toasted corn and cider fritters, to haunted corn mazes, spooky ghouls and goblins all around.
While most North Fork U-pick pumpkin farms offer a lot of these things, they each have something about them that makes them stand out as well. From craft beer and wine to fresh fall flowers and jaw-dropping desserts, here’s your cheat sheet to maximize your good times.
The bar-silo of the Bakewicz farms …
Bakewicz Farms already has a distinct advantage as being the most easily accessible farm from the west, but there is even more good things about this new pumpkin patch located a short drive from the end of the William Walk. Floyd on Route 25A at Wading River. The biggest draw of all would be the farmhouse bar-silo. Handcrafted by the farm owner from an old silo, it features taps serving craft beer and wines from North Fork vendors. It’s also perfectly located on the farm, close to a snack hut and the play area where the kids can run around while the parents take a well-deserved break.
The corn maze at Stakey’s Pumpkin Farmâ¦
Stakey’s is an old-fashioned pumpkin farm on West Lane in Aquebogue that has many of the same attractions as other popular farms, but enjoys a location slightly off the beaten track (but not free from fall traffic). His monstrous three-acre corn maze is an example of how these farmers just know what they’re doing. It’s cut with the kind of precision that would make even the most skilled aliens jealous. It’s stimulating and fun for family members of all ages.
Wickham’s Fruit Farm pies …
What’s a trip to North Fork in the fall without a delicious pie? One of our favorite places to grab a freshly baked pie is Wickham’s Fruit Farm, which offers all kinds of U-pick opportunities each summer and fall. And this time of year, you can’t go wrong with their classic apple and pumpkin pies. Located on the main road in Cutchogue, this farm is also one of the oldest, in the hands of the same family for centuries.
The wine tasting barn at Harbes Family Farmâ¦
Look, there’s nothing you can’t do in Harbes, okay. There’s an obvious reason this most popular farm of all is pumpkin picking. But this is an article on what makes every farm unique and Harbes has something that no other pumpkin patch has – a vineyard and cellar tasting room. Sip wine made from grapes grown on the property inside this century-old barn that has been reused as a tasting room. We would call it a hidden gem if it wasn’t one of the busiest places. (Farmhouse strawberry lemonade is a very sweet alternative.)
The sweet treats of Rottkamp’s Pumpkin Patchâ¦
If you think the line of cars on the road is a sign of North Fork’s popularity this time of year, you should also check out the line of people for the food truck parked outside Rottkamp’s Pumpkin Patch on Sound Avenue in Baiting. Hollow. . That’s because For Goodness Cakes isn’t just any old food truck – it’s heaven for anyone with a sweet tooth. What better way to satisfy your cravings after a day on the farm than with a fresh rainbow cookie or a peach and shoemaker cupcake?
The Fink’s Country Farm shooting rangeâ¦
Fear not, this is not your everyday shooting range that we are talking about. At Fink’s Country Farm in Wading River, the shoot is certified fresh and family friendly. I’ve done everything from shooting corn with a corn cannon to potatoes with an air pistol or slingshot over the years. Like Harbes, this place offers a bit of everything and like Bakewicz, it is on the western outskirts of North Fork. It is most easily reached by heading south to Exit 69 of the Long Island Expressway, where you will find it just west of the intersection with Route 25.
The funny scares at Krupski Farms …
Krupski’s also benefits from its location as it is the easternmost pumpkin patch, located on Main Road in Peconic and easily accessible from Southold, Greenport or the Cross-Sound Ferry in the Orient. But the real niche here is how carefully this multigenerational family farm in North Fork takes care of capturing the spellbinding spirit of Halloween. Feel the adrenaline rush through your body as you walk through their haunted corn maze and continue with a haunted barn journey. It’s sure to offer a scare that’s delicate enough for your kids to enjoy, but also suspenseful enough to keep you on your toes.
Autumn beauty at Helen’s Flower Farm …
October isn’t all pumpkins and Halloween thrills. It’s also the perfect time to brighten up your day with fall flowers before the winter frost sets in and instantly makes us dream of the rebirth of spring. Helen’s Flower Farm on Union Avenue in Aquebogue has colorful greenhouses so you can bring more than just pumpkins home, although they have some too.
The sense of history at Gabrielsen’s country farm …
When Gabrielsen’s Country Farm turned off the main road at Jamesport onto nearby Herricks Lane, we received many calls from people wondering what had happened at their favorite spot. These callers were delighted to hear that this flashback was still in town just a few steps away. A unique feature here is the attention to history, as you can visit the restoration school and the old-fashioned church on site. And of course, don’t forget to check out their choo-choo train, a real crowd pleaser among 3-footers and under.
The Windy Acres Farm Playground …
The smartest thing the folks at Windy Acres Farm did on Highway 25 in Calverton was to build their wooden playground where any passerby can see it from the road. Even if this popular spot wasn’t your intended destination, the playground will see your kids hanging out the window begging you to stop. Now, good luck getting them off the slides and out into the fields!