LOWVILLE — For 47 years, foliage fans from near and far have taken a tour through Lewis County during the first October weekend, enjoying the views and experiencing festivals, history, locally made products and special places along the way.
The self-driven Rocky Fawcett Fall Foliage Tour on Saturday leads families to 23 locations from Croghan village and town to Copenhagen, through Glenfield, Lyons Falls, Constableville and back up to Martinsburg and Lowville.
“The goal is to get people to enjoy all of Lewis County — it’s a great time of the year to do that — and to promote our local businesses,” said Lori Rhubart of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event.
Along the way, in view of the Tug Hill Plateau, the family-friendly tour stops at locations offering treats for any palette from farm stands like Hidden Pastures, Cedar Hedge Farm, the Denmark Apple Orchards and Hopenhagen Farm’s lavender and hops products.
Markets and restaurants from Tug Hill Vinyards and Good Ol’ Wishy’s Ice Cream Shop to Miller’s Meat Market and the Lowville Producers Dairy Cooperative with the West Martinsburg Mercantile and Cowell’s Farm Market, all mark the changing colors of the tour and offer specials for the day.
A taste of history can be found at the General Walter Mansion, known by many as Greystone Manor, the 200-year-old Constable Hall and the Railway Museum.
Locations known for their natural beauty on the route include Beaver Camp, the Department of Environmental Conservation grounds of Dadville, Whetstone Gulf State Park, Whitaker Park and the Lyons Falls Boat Launch waterfalls.
There are also some special events that are part of the tour like the Maple Brunch from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the International Maple Museum Centre, Brookside Senior Living’s annual Applefest and the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Mennonite Heritage Farm from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m..
The Heritage Farm festival features its first exhibit of vintage handmade quilts and comforters, demonstrations like cider-making and the barn loom, and tours of the homestead’s house, barn and granary.
Leaf peepers also will be led to the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Family Farm Day at the Vanderveekan and Foster Farm, Castorland, where tours of a working dairy farm, wagon rides, and a variety of kid-oriented activities and educational displays happen every year.
Tour booklets containing information about each stop on the tour and directions are on sale for $2 at Kinney Drugs, 7395 Utica Blvd., Lowville, and the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, 7840 State Route 26, Lowville.
For more information, call the Chamber at 315-376-2213.