October is really a beautiful month in Butler County. This year, the transition from summer to fall could be seen taking place around the third week of the month. Not only were the leaves beautiful, but the weather was really cooperative for being able to spend time enjoying various outdoor activities. Families were attending the Farm Tour, Oktoberfest’s, riding bikes, viewing the beautiful colors with walks on the various trails and getting in some last minute boating on Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park. The month is always packed full of so many things to do, there is something for everyone!
The first weekend in October hosts the Butler County Farm Tour. Metrick’s Harvest View Farm and Market on Eagle Mill Road in Butler was one of the stops this year and offered free wagon rides for all visitors. Their farm was very popular and kept their volunteers busy with constant traffic control. Visitors were able to purchase a wide variety of products along with viewing the active bee hive which proved very interesting to see up close. The explanation of the cider press at their farm provided an extensive look into the hard work that goes into making every container of apple cider. There are many agritourism locations in Butler County that are open throughout the year. Be sure to visit our agritourism page to make your plans to visit one of these wonderful family owned businesses.
I made some furry friends this month while enjoying the lovely fall weather in Butler County, starting with the newest additions to the “family” at Asgard Acres Alpaca Farm in Renfrew. The yet-to-be-named smallest cria in this photo was just four days old, very friendly and quite curious. Alpacas are extremely gentle and entertaining with their complex sounds of communicating with each other such as humming, snorting and clucking (like a hen cluck). Asgard Acres also has a gift shop. The variety of products at the shop are quite impressive and they offer a selection of merchandise to fit any budget. Participating in the Farm Tour for the second year, Asgard Acres hosted visitors wanting to learn “everything Alpaca." Four other businesses; Harvest Valley Farms, Eisler Nurseries and PineHall, Lutherlyn Equestrian Center and Pine Hill Farms also hosted visitors as part of this year’s Farm Tour. You can find out more about farms at www.visitbutlercounty.com/attractions/agritourism.
Harvest Valley Farms at 130 Ida Lane in Valencia
Eisler Nurseries and PineHall at 517 Dick Rd. in Butler
Lutherlyn Equestrian Center at 132 Adventure Lane in Butler
Pine Hill Farms at 525 Upper Harmony Rd. in Evans City
Here is a different idea for a bachelorette party! SurfSUP Adventures hosted a bachelorette party at Moraine State Park and the ladies really had a great time on the water. The leaves were just starting to turn and the smell of fall was in the air while they enjoyed the beauty of Moraine State Park. Summer can be a great time to enjoy the park, but in the fall you are truly presented with a treat of changing colors!
Some of the most beautiful sunrises at Moraine State Park can be captured in October. There is a chill in the air as the sun is starting to rise and the amazing color sweeps across the horizon. I was at the Rt. 528 launch when Preston, a newly-adopted dog from the Butler County Humane Society, came for some early morning exercise with his owner. There is no doubt watching the sunset at Moraine State Park can be breathtaking, but don’t underestimate getting up early to view the morning colors. You won’t be disappointed!
When asked where I enjoy going in the fall, I’m surprised by how many people have never heard of, or been to, Jennings Environmental Education Center off Rts. 8 & 528 in Slippery Rock. This unique location has a 20-acre prairie and several forest trails. It is a wonderful location for a walk or picnic. When the center is open, be sure to stop in to learn more about the only protected prairie open to the public in PA. My visit was later in the month and many of the trees had already changed color and dropped their leaves. However, my walk was not without adventure. The forest offers acorns, fallen leaves and fungi of various types. The calming sounds of the water on the half-mile Black Cherry Trail, added to the beauty and tranquility that Jennings Environmental Education Center has to offer.
On my way home from Jennings, rather than taking my usual route, I decided to continue a wonderful view of the trees in their transformed fall colors by exploring various “back roads.” Adding to my list of new friends were these beautiful horses in a pasture enjoying the crisp air and warm sun. The combination of their curiosity and the pop of color in the background really made for a noteworthy image.
So remember, even though October is coming to a close, there is still time to get out and enjoy all the county has to offer! Don’t be afraid to take the back roads to enhance your adventure into some possibly wonderful surprises. And, of course, be sure to take your camera and submit your amazing photos to us through our quarterly Photo Contest https://www.visitbutlercounty.com/photo-contests. You might just win a Butler County Tourism Gift Certificate!