Highland Forest is s county park east of Syracuse deep in the farm lands of the Fabius-Pompey area of NY. It was about a 45 minute drive from my hometown, but absolutely beautiful. Both my boys as well as Tami's have attended several boy scouting overnights here and it makes a perfect park for such things. The park also includes a beautiful lodge, where there was a wedding soon to be taking place when we arrived, you can take scenic walk, hike, snowshoe, cross country ski, bike or what ever mode of transportation through the multiple trails. There are picnic locations, horse riding, a museum, and simply miles and miles of nature.
We started our Highland Forest adventure at the lodge and we were greeted with this amazing view of the valley.
The walls of this newer building display artifacts of the area and old pictures from the times.
Adjacent to the lodge is the horse back riding. We got lucky as the horses were all taking their lunch break and we could pet them. We spent a great deal of time saying hello to these guys, we also discussed having horses, and when we could get in for some riding as well.
Tami found a favorite. She joked about getting a horse and having him hang out in her backyard. I told her you would board him silly, and after speaking with one of the trainers we found that it's not to cheep to board them. She estimated somewhere in the number of $800- a month! WOW, maybe we can just come back in the spring and take a ride for$30- instead.
It sure would have been a great day for riding, and the walk would have been a lot less draining then it ended up being, maybe next time. I haven't ridden a horse in years. I told Tami that I took horseback riding as a gym class in college. What a great opportunity I thought back then, that was until I fell off one of my horses during a jump. I never returned to class after that. I think the teacher took pity on me because I still passed. We discussed the difference between postings with one of the owners; Western; which is what style these guys are, English, which is what I took in college and not the preferred by this guy as indicated by the look of this guy when discussing, and then there is the racing jockeys who have an entirely different post, and I would guess the most physical activity of all the riders. If I'm going to ride, I just want the horse to do all of the work.
Tami and I agreed we have to make an effort to do some horseback riding soon.
Before we headed into the woods we took a bathroom break, and Alley and I found a fuzzy caterpillar. Is it true the more orange then black, the more snow fall this winter. Gee I hope not. She refused to pick this guy up, and after I finally did I remembered why. The little bugger pissed on my hand. YUCK! Didn't we have this experience a few weeks ago, but Gavin got used as a toilet instead?
Where are your manners Mr. Caterpillar? Gee!
Around the hill and up the road was the start of the Folksmarch. Ready for our three mile walk, we were off.
These tall pines will stay green all year. I think I learned something about why that is in fifth grade science class, but I can't remember. Anyone know why?
The walk was much more difficult then I had anticipated, and I was feeling pretty pooped after the first mile or so. This amazing women (Tami), had already run some 6 plus miles earlier that day, and will be attending her first marathon next weekend. Do you know that a marathon is 26.1 miles. That is incredible to me. I know I couldn't even walk 26.1 miles let along run. She is a walking talking AMAZEMENT!!! You go girl. I can't wait to congratulate her when she finishes next week.
We all say hi, and note that their rides will be much quicker then our own walk. We should have planned it better and maybe we could have earned our walking pins and stamps by riding a horse instead. Would that still count?
Once we made it back to the Folksmarch check in we were treated to Hoffman Hot dogs, apple cider and apples. YUM!!! and may I add...FREE. We had FREE Burger King Fries before we left (some weekend Promo) and now Hot Dog's, drinks and an apple for desert. Lunch complete and FREE of charge. (Gotta LOVE that).
We all got our pins and stamps, and took a walk through the small museum located on the property.
The volunteer at the museum was quite passionate about it. She explained that the county was not in favor of only standing original farmhouse being restored and used as part of the historical reference. The house did get a historical plaque, and the museum sits adjacent to the older building.
She was a little bit bitter about the discussion, as she further explained that the area once housed multiple old farm homes, and additionally a nice playground for children to play on. We were offered a guided tour by this women, which in all actuality I would have rather just walked through on my own, but enjoyed just the same. It really makes me think about what hard work it must have been back in the day. I would not have been a women who did well in the Pioneer days, my husband does my laundry now for God's sake, just imagine if I had to use one of those old washers.
The laundry would never get done. We would all stink!
There was something creepy about this old wheelchair, and odd too.
an old baseball uniform, and look I found a can of succotash. Mark is always asking me to pick up a can if I happen upon one. I think this explains why I never find one....no one has eaten succotash since the early 1900's.
Not so sure what the items in the museum have to do with Pioneers, isn't this stuff much later then the days of the Pioneer? Well what ever, but the volunteer kept us informed, although I was not hearing much of she was saying, we had to get a move on to get to the Apple Fest before the gates closed at 5pm , and there were no more apple fritter.
Thanks Highland Forest....Goodbye.
The LaFayette Apple Festival was just a few miles away off of Rt. 81. I recall coming here when I was a little girl with my mother one year. I was surprised to see that the festival has been running 41 years.
I still remember coming when I was little, it was held at a school and there were several fea like market finds. I con'd my mom into getting me a second hand baby doll and feeling like I won the lottery. I don't think there was nearly as much fun to be had back in those days as now, but WOW it has grown into quite the event. Our late arrival scored us a front row parking seat, and we very well could have taken the open side gate into the event to spare the $5- admission fee, but we did the right thing and paid. (What ever is wrong with me?) Of course arriving late meant a few lucky finds with crafters willing to sell at a lower price, but it also meant that we didn't have much time, and the goods would be quickly selling out.
A quick over view of the events lead us to the main attractions...APPLES! I was looking for something with apple in it, and Tami was on a mission to find a Carmel apple. First stop is to say hello to Johnny Appleseed.
You know this guy, he spread apple seeds all across America, wearing a sauce pan on his head.
Then of course I found some of those wooden cut outs.
say CHEESE, and speaking of cheese, we made our way over to the Rat Cheese tent and tried several samples. My favorite was the cheese curds. I am so cheep even with the amazing deals they were offering I passed. Tami got some though, I should have split the cost with her, cauz it sure sounds delish right now. YUM!!!
On with the foods. I kept eyeballing the apple dumpling's and ice cream and decided that my apple treat must be that!!! The LINE was so long, but I was determined and so I waited....and waited.....and waited. THEN SUDDENLY, the Dumpling Ice Cream sign was covered with tape and written SOLD OUT across it!!!!! WAHHH!!!! I guess I'll get an apple doughnut....Next tent....SOLD OUT!!! My apple treats are getting limited, and I really didn't want a Carmel apple. HUMMM.....
No!!! I'll pass. Lets check out the crafts. There were some pretty neat things.
Flowers made from real egg shells.
sweet smelling bug sprays and creams. I tried a nice one with cherry in it. It smelled divine.
This cute little guy, I think I want to try and make him myself.
There were some more wood crafts, and some bears.
and of course an apple tree or two.
I thought this sign was funny....nice invite for mom and dad to ride with their child, BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE A TICKET TOO! We skipped the rides, which is fine with me, next weekend is my RIDE weekend.
We ended the day with a smile of contentment, despite the missed apple treat, I still had a great time. I did treat myself to a sweet just the same and broke down and purchased two peanut butter cookies. Not as exciting as an apple dumpling ice cream sundae, but it did give me my sweet craving cure.
It was such an fun very filled day, and when I got home all I wanted to do was melt into the couch. No sleeping though, Sunday was the premier of the Walking Dead, and I could not miss it. An awesome beginning to the new season, and what a great way to end an amazing day. TTFN