Nothing beats the taste of fresh fruits and veggies right from the farm. As you travel on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, meandering through mile after mile of scenic vineyards, orchards, and rolling farmlands, you’ll have abundant options to delight your taste buds with locally grown strawberries, tomatoes, corn, apples, grapes, and much more.
Fall is a particularly popular time to visit the local farm markets. Many offer hay rides, corn mazes, barnyard games, pumpkin picking, and fresh apple cider.
This area of the United States is a major agricultural producer. New York ranks among the top five states for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables including apples, cherries, cabbage, potatoes, onions, grapes, corn, and pears. The state also is one of the top producers of dairy products and maple syrup.
The summer and fall months mean harvest time along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. From June through October, you’ll find fresh produce available at roadside farm stands, farms, and farmers’ markets.
Farmers’ markets consist of individual vendors (mostly farmers) who set up booths, tables, or stands to sell fruits, vegetables, meat, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages. Many communities along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail offer farmers’ markets – usually on Saturdays, but sometimes on other days of the week as well. Some markets run year-round, while others primarily operate in the summer and fall months. Produce found at farmers’ markets is locally grown and very fresh and tasty as farmers are able to pick produce at the peak of flavor.
While some farms produce crops that are strictly sold wholesale to food manufacturers, others have developed store fronts where the public can purchase products directly from the farm. Often referred to as a farm market (not to be confused with a farmers’ market), you’ll be able to find a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables. Some farm markets are quite the shopping experience, with a variety of country crafts and gifts in addition to fresh produce.
Many farms also offer the opportunity to pick your own fruits and vegetables. The whole family will enjoy picking fresh strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, apples, and more.
Fall is a particularly popular time to visit the farm markets along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. Many offer fun family activities such as hay rides, corn mazes, barnyard games, pumpkin picking, and fresh apple cider.
As you drive along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, you may also see small roadside stands offering a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. These stands may be put out by local farmers or even residents with a green thumb selling wares from their backyard gardens. Roadside stands often function on the honor system, and may simply have an empty coffee can out for collecting money.
Dairy milk is one of the leading agricultural products in the region, and particularly in the northern sections of the byway, you may see farms with hundreds or thousands of cows. While most dairy farms are not open to the public, you can visit Old McDonald’s Farm in Sackets Harbor for a tour of their modern dairy farm. When visiting the Seaway Trail Discovery Center, be sure to stop in and hear from our talking cow as well.
Whether you prefer juicy strawberries, delicious sweet corn, crunchy apples, or any of the dozens of other crops grown here, your taste buds won’t be disappointed with the fresh, locally grown produce available along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.
The list below shows the approximate harvest times for a variety of fruits and vegetables in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail region. Please call ahead to individual farm markets to confirm when fresh produce will be available.
Strawberries – June to July
Peas – June to July and September to October
Summer Squash – June to mid October
Cabbage – June to November
Sweet Cherries – mid June to July
Tomatoes – mid June to October
Raspberries – July and September to October
Plums – July to September
Potatoes – July to October
Snap Beans – July to October
Carrots – July to November
Onions – July to November
Apples – July to November
Peaches – July to mid September
Blueberries – mid July to September
Blackberries – August to September
Winter Squash – August to mid November
Pears – mid August to October
Sweet Corn – mid August to mid November
Cucumbers – mid August to mid November
Celery – mid August to mid November
Cauliflower – mid August to November
Grapes – mid August to October
Watermelon – September to October
Lima Beans – September to October
Pumpkins – September to October