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Gifts of Fall


I grew up as a child, spending my summer months at the river, but as soon as school started and the weather turned colder, I drifted from our cottage in Thousand Island Park, to spend time with my friends at home.  I could never quite understand why my father, a dedicated “River Rat,” would stay until the bitter end – the water being turned off at the end of the season.

Now as an adult, my husband and I have our own place and our first fall season is proving to me that fall is my favorite. I am drawn to the beautiful changing landscape, the quiet peacefulness of the river, and the charm of local fall festivals.

We attended the 37th Annual Autumn Festival at the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center, this month.  It was a beautiful day, filled with apple cider and donuts, local craft vendors, scarecrow competitions and pumpkin painting.  It was a showcase of local talent, and an opportunity to enjoy the nature center and the Wellesley Island State Park.

I was disappointed to hear that I had missed the Coyote Moon Harvest Festival, in Clayton.  The event boasts live music, a farmers market, winery tours, activities for the kids, including horse-drawn carriage rides, and of course, wine! I am putting this one on my list for next year.

The season isn’t over yet. On October 17th, Clayton will also host the 4th Annual Punkin Chunkin festival. These events are occurring throughout the town including Punkin Chunkin at Frink Park, children’s games, face painting, a costume contest, underwater pumpkin carving and delicious BBQ.

So, whether you take advantage of these local events, or you just sit by the river and enjoy the beautiful changing leaves, the crisp fall air, or a gorgeous sunset; take in all the River has to offer at this time of year. It may just become your favorite too.

By Kelly Murphy-Miller

Kelly Murphy-Miller is from Syracuse, NY., but spends as much time as possible at her cottage, in Thousand Island Park, with her husband and their three dogs.

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