Top 5 Tips for Fall Fun in Western New York

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year for so many reasons: leaves changing, perfect sweatshirt weather, football and apple cider. There’s no better place to experience all these awesome fall things than at Houghton! Nestled back in the western New York mountains, the trees are absolutely breathtaking on a crisp fall day. Here is a top-five list of the fall fun you can experience in the Houghton area!

Top 5 Fall Fun Activities Around Houghton

1. Hiking in the Houghton Forest

One of the unique things about Houghton is that the school owns over 1,300 acres of land around the campus. Most of this land is wooded and there are miles of trails to explore. One of my personal favorite spots, known as “the overlook,” has a truly amazing view. And taking a hike is a great way to spend a fall afternoon with friends!

fall fun at houghton

The overlook in the Houghton forest offers an incredible view!

2. Pumpkinville

If you are a fan of sunflowers, cider donuts, hayrides and apple cider then here is the place for you! Pumpkinville is a community farm located in Great Valley, NY, less than an hour’s drive from campus. It’s also the perfect way to spend a fall weekend! They have a huge sunflower patch, hayrides, homemade BBQ, pumpkins (obviously), and some of the best apple cider around. Pumpkinville is the ultimate fall hangout, and a great place to take pictures for all you Instagram people!

3. Fall Sports

Athletics are a big part of campus life at Houghton, with a large portion of the student population being athletes. Fall is one of the best times of year to take in a game. Fall sports are some of our best, with our volleyball team clinching 2nd place in the Empire 8 championship this year, and our women’s cross country team winning their championship for the first time in Houghton history!

fall sports at houghton

Our women’s volleyball team just came off an incredible season!

Even our soccer teams are on the rise, with exciting new coaches and players to watch this year. There are so many sports to watch during the fall, both indoors and out, that you’re sure to find a game you like.

4. Niagara Falls

I have been to Niagara Falls multiple times now, and it never disappoints! It is a little longer of a drive (an hour and a half from campus), but it is more than worth it when you get there! This has become one of my favorite day trips to make with friends over the three years I have been a student here. And hey, if you have a passport, I would recommend going across the border to the Canadian side as the restaurant selection is amazing (and the view of the Falls is much better, in my opinion).

Overall, the Canadian side just caters to tourists much better. They have a zip line that takes you past the Falls as well as multiple viewing platforms and even a tour boat that will take you right to the base of the Falls! Needless to say, if you have a Saturday in the fall to fill, and friends to make the trip with, this is the way to go.

niagara falls

It’s a bit of a trek, but Niagara Falls is worth the drive! Round up some friends and make a day of it!

5. Bonfires

Last but certainly not least, one of the most fun relaxing ways to spend a fall night is having a bonfire in one of the community fire rings on campus. (Note: you must notify and receive approval from campus security at least 24 hours before you have a bonfire.) Gathering around a roaring fire with friends to sing some worship songs, make smores, and enjoy great conversation is what fall nights at Houghton are all about!

Get Out and Have Some Fall Fun!

Hope this has given you some good ideas for what your fall could look like at Houghton! Fall is always one of my favorite times of the year to be a student at Houghton, surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation and all the fun it has to offer. I hope you are able to find this, too!


Jared Crouch

Jared Crouch is a junior at Houghton College with a double major in business administration and integrated marketing communication. He also plays baseball for the Highlanders in the spring.