The Best Upstate Farms Worth the Daytrip from NYC

Visiting a farm in Upstate New York is one of the best day trips available from New York City. In less than two hours, you can roll down your car window and breathe in fresh Hudson Valley air.

Looking around, you'll notice we have a landscape dotted with farms, orchards, and quaint, historic towns that offer plenty to do. From learning about life on a farm to interacting with animals or just plain relaxing, you can do it all against a backdrop made for Instagram.

However, it's a big area, and there are many different kinds of farms to choose from. Some farms specialize in pick-your-own produce, while others are geared towards animals. A few farms are built for families and a few are more rustic and off the beaten path. There are farms with wineries, hiking trails, hayrides, live music, and even an obstacle course.

To help you narrow it down, we've put together a list of the best farms you can visit in the Hudson Valley.

DuBois Farms U-Pick

Highlights: Pick your own fresh produce and try some award-winning apple cider

If you love fresh fruit and vegetables, spend an afternoon at DuBois Farms. Depending on the month, you and your family can venture out into the fields and pick all the fresh produce you can find. Strawberries in June, Kale in July, and lot's more throughout the year. Check their website for what will be in season during your visit.

There are also tractor ride tours, a 2-acre corn maze, food eating contests, and the littlest of kids will be delighted by petting the animals like bunnies, calves, and goats. They also host school groups.

Don't leave before visiting the café. It has something for everyone, including farm goods, crafts, and award-winning Apple Cider Donut. Stay for lunch or dinner at their tavern, which has local wine and ciders, and hang around late for live music at night. Outdoor seating is currently available.

Hurds Family Farm

Highlights: Pick your own apples and pumpkins, plus plenty of activities for kids

A massive 120-acre, 7th generation family-run farm, Hurds Family Farm has something unique to offer every day of the week.

It's best known for its variety of apples and pumpkins, which you can pick yourself, but that's not the only reason to visit. They have animals to pet, pony rides, hayrides, an obstacle course, bounce pads, a corn maze, duck racing, a playground, a few miles of nature trails. Oh yeah, and a giant slide!

When it's time to refuel, visit their walk-up farm store, where you can try an apple cider slushie and local baked goods, or head to their café for larger meals using homemade recipes like farm-fresh butternut squash soup!

Hurds only book the farm privately during the summer, making this place an excellent option for large family get-togethers. However, come the last week in August when doors are open to the public until the end of October.

Lilymoore Farm

Highlights: Hike with an alpaca

If you're looking for something exciting and unique, consider Lilymoore Farm, where the main attraction is alpaca hiking.

They take private parties and small groups on treks through the woods, with each party member over the age of nine getting to "walk" an alpaca. A professional photographer can be reserved to capture all of the moments. It sells out quickly, so plan this adventure ahead.

Other activities include a farm tour, where you can get up close to their gentle alpacas and view other camelids like llamas and huarizos. Their shop has anything you can imagine made of alpaca - apparel, toys, accessories, home goods, and more.

An appointment is suggested to visit this farm, but they also feature special events open to the public. This September 23rd and 24th, 2021, they are hosting "National Alpaca Days," where you can pet the alpaca, learn about how they are raised, and view live demonstrations.

Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center

Highlights: Learn about a variety of farm animals and go on a scavenger hunt

Stony Kill is a historic farm with 1000 acres of farm and forest land to explore.

Owned by the New York State Department of Education Conservation but operated by a small community non-profit, Stony Kill Foundation, this is one of the best places to learn about farming and the local ecology. The grounds are open for free, every day of the year, to explore on your own or through self-guided activities.

We highly suggest you seek out their perennial garden, where you can spy butterflies, bees, and birds and then turn towards their hiking trails. With six tracts covering more than eight miles in total, there's plenty of ground to cover.

You'll pass through woodland, meadows, and wetlands where you look for woodpeckers, ducks, geese, frogs, turtles, beaver, and more. To help you keep track, Stoney Kill has even put together a few scavenger hunts, which can be viewed from your phone.

For more structure, check out the activities for kids aged 6-12 on offer in the barn. Kids can sign up for workshops and education programs during the week where they can close up with a wide variety of animals, such as cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys, and pigs.

Weekenders should keep an eye out for events on the weekends, such as Harvest Fest on October 2nd, 2021. Expect animals, baked goods from the Verplanck Garden Club, hayrides, pumpkin painting, crafts, foods, and more!

Many unique events are offered, so be sure to visit their website before planning a visit.

Wright's Farm

Highlights: Escape the crowds and pick from 15 varieties of apples

Looking for an Upstate farm you can do on your own terms? Wanna skip the crowds? The 106-year-old Wright's Farm is a great bet.

Spread out over a whopping 450 acres, it's a fruit-picking farm, and it can feel like you're the only people there, even on busy days.

They're known for cherries in the summer, and in the fall, they're famous for their diverse selection of apples. Fifteen types of await - Honey Crisps, Granny Smith, Empires, and more, some of which are also used by Gardiner Brewing Company for their famed ciders.

Start by checking in at the farm stand, where you grab fruit picking bags. Then drive into the farm's orchard. Once you park, you're free to wander as far as the property line goes, hunting for the perfect fruit along the way.

But people come to Wright's Farm for more than rummaging through their vast orchard. There's plenty of space to set up a quiet, romantic picnic, play a game of frisbee or touch football, or set up a grill for a good ol' fashion cookout (just make sure it's gas). If you're feeling antsy, you can even take a hike on one of the marked trails.

Can I Visit Karl Family Farms?

Yes! We love visitors; however, we are not a full-fledged tourist attraction like those on our list. We offer small private tours and host private events like dinners and weddings. Just contact us, and we'll work with you to help plan your event.

You can also order in advance to pick up our fresh-cut pasture-raised meat. Just bring a cooler, so it stays fresh for the ride back.