One of the best things about fall is the seasonal excuse to enjoy activities typically designed for children, but that we’ve all agreed are for all ages. Fall festivals, pumpkin carving, and stepping on crunchy leaves of some of those perennial delights. No fall season is complete without a hayride, and we’ve picked out some of the best hayrides in North Jersey. All of these locations are within a short drive of Hudson County. Read on to plan your hayride adventure in North Jersey.
Disclaimer: As with many outdoor activities, we recommend checking directly with each venue before heading out for weather or Covid-related schedule changes.
Abma’s Farm | 700 Lawlins Road, Wyckoff
This fifth-generation family farm in Bergen County is a year-round destination, but we think the fall activities are the best. Tickets are required for the hayride-plus-pumpkin picking activity, which also includes admission to the barnyard petting zoo. The hayrides can also be reserved for your group: a private hayride for up to 30 people is possible. Make sure to stop at the farm market on your way out for freshly baked goodies, fresh produce, and seasonal decor. Check the farm’s Facebook or Instagram for the latest schedule and weather updates.
Alstede Farms | 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester
There is truly so much to see and do at Alstede Farms. From visiting with the farm animals to enjoying the freshly-made ice cream, you may even forget what you’re here for. The hayride! Alstede Farm uses a wagon to deliver visitors to the pick-your-own fields and along a scenic route to view the farm. There is also a tractor-pulled wagon ride just for kids aged 2 to 12 years old. And, Alstede has a handicapped accessible hayride that follows the same scenic route and can deliver visitors to the pick-your-own fields.
In an effort to be Covid-conscious, Alstede has an updated admissions policy for pick-your-own produce and special events. There is often live music on weekends, and the farm store here is not to be missed, both for the incredible fresh produce and the variety of canned and pantry goods. Be sure to visit the farm’s Facebook or Instagram for any last-minute schedule changes.
A.Casola Farms | 178 Highway 34 & Schanck Road; Holmdel, 200 State Route 34, Holmdel
Spending a fall day at A. Casola Farms has been a right of passage for many Holmdel area families, as the farm has been in business for decades. In fact, the farm claims to have originated the concept of a pick-your-own-pumpkin and hayride farm. The crew at A. Casola takes fall seriously: the Fall Festival runs seven days a week from September 11 through October 31, and both locations are chock full of things to do. Of course, we only have eyes for the hayrides. The hayrides at A. Casola are enormous – a covered wagon pulled by a huge farm tractor. The route takes riders around the farm and drops them off at the pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Stop by the farm’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with any last-minute changes.
Bullock Farms | 83 Emleys Hill Road, Cream Ridge
The hayrides at Bullock Farms take visitors to and from the pick-your-own pumpkin patch. But if you’re having too much fun enjoying the scenery, you can keep on riding. With fields of Christmas trees, friendly scarecrows, ghosts, and witches along the way, the journey is half the fun. Other fall activities at the farm make this a great stop for an entire day: a corn maze, a giant sandbox, and visiting with friendly farm animals are all on the agenda. Keep up with the farm on its Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest information.
Cheesequake Farms | 2095 US Highway 9, Old Bridge; 191 Highway 34, Matawan
While most people think of shades of yellows and oranges for pumpkins, Farmer Bob grows all kinds of specialty gourds, resulting in a rainbow of shades and an incredible array of shapes. You can pick your own Insta-worthy selection after taking a hayride to the field. Other fall activities available on the farm include a corn maze and picking out all of the perfect fall decor in the greenhouses. Keep up with the farm’s latest happenings via Facebook and Instagram.
Conklin’s U-Pick | 65 River Road, Montville
Conklin’s U-Pick Farm is like a one-stop shop for all your classic fall goodies. There are apple cider donuts, pumpkins galore, a barn store full of fresh-baked goodies, and seasonal natural decor for sale like corn husks, gourds, and hay bales. But the real magic is with the hayrides. On weekends, Conklin’s offers both your standard hayride and for those willing to risk it, a Haunted Hayride. The season at Conklin’s begins on September 25 so you’ve got plenty of time to plan your trip. Be sure to check out the Farm’s Facebook and Instagram for the latest schedule changes.
Donaldson Farms | 358 Allen Road, Hackettstown
Hayrides are just one of the quintessential fall activities on offer at Donaldson Farm’s Fall Fun Harvest Weekends. The Harvest Weekends begin September 25, and other activities include pick-your-own apples, Indian corn and pumpkins, a corn maze, pony visits, and all of the great fall foods like apple cider donuts. The hayride takes visitors to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch and apple orchard. On the way, you’ll enjoy looking out at this 500+ acre farm, which has been run by the Donaldson family since 1906. Check with the farm on Facebook or Instagram to see any last-minute changes.
Etsch Farms | 556 Buckelew Avenue, Monroe Township
Every fall, Etsch Farms opens its doors to visitors to enjoy all of the best that a fall day on the farm has to offer, and that includes hayrides. The fall festivities begin on weekends in September, and guests can participate in hayrides around the property, pick the perfect pumpkin, and meet the farm animals. This beautiful property has been farmed by the Etsch family since 1931, and you’ll get to see what makes it so special. Stay up to date with the Farm via its Facebook page.
Fairfield Farms | 177 Big Piece Road, Fairfield
This Essex County farm has been family-owned and operated for nearly 100 years. One trip to the farm’s Fall Festival will tell you why. The Fall Festival opens on September 18 and has all of the classic fall farm activities kids of any size could want, including hayrides. The farm market has all kinds of seasonal produce and goodies available, including fresh apple cider. Visit the farm online to check on any last-minute schedule changes.
Hillcrest Farm: Orchard & Dairy | 2 Davis Road, Branchville
The hayride at Hillcrest Farm isn’t just for show: it’s how visitors to the pick-your-own orchard get to the trees! Once you’ve picked your fill of apples, head back to the farm store, where you can stock up on Jersey Girl Cheese, which is made using milk from the farm’s dairy. Other goodies are also for sale in the store, including local honey and apple cider made from the farm’s apples. Check out the farm’s Facebook and Instagram for updates.
Ort Farms | 25 Bartley Road, Long Valley
With over 400 acres to spread out and enjoy, there is plenty to see and do at Ort Farms. The Fall Festival at Ort Farms is where you’ll find the hayride: the hayride takes visitors to the pumpkin patch for some pick-your-own fun. The farm store has seasonal baked goods, decorations, and produce available, as well as a year-round selection of meat, eggs, honey, jams and jellies, and baked goods. Be sure to check the farm’s Facebook or Instagram for the latest information.
Middle Valley Farm | 304 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham
Spend a beautiful fall afternoon enjoying the scenes at Middle Valley Farm, where hayrides are just one of several fall fun activities on offer. Visitors can pick their own pumpkins and explore a hay maze. Private events can also be held at this charming farm: the staff will work with you to coordinate whatever is needed. The farm takes only cash or check, so be sure to stop at the ATM on your way. Check out the farm’s Facebook page for the latest information.
Miller’s Hill Farm | 10 Combs Avenue, Mendham
A visit to Miller’s Hill Farm might be akin to traveling back in time, as this family-owned farm has been operating on the same site since 1924. There’s something to enjoy each season, but fall has that certain je ne sais quoi that comes with the red and gold leaves. Visitors can enjoy a hayride around the farm before stopping at the pick-your-own pumpkin patch. The farm store sells honey, beef, and eggs year-round, and whatever is in season, for produce. Visit the farm’s Facebook or Instagram to get the most up-to-date information.
Stony Hill Farms | 15 North Road, Chester
Stony Hill Farms’ logo might look familiar, and that’s because this farm has a stand at both the Jersey City and Hoboken farmers markets. We can visit them for a change, and enjoy all there is to see and do on the farm. Hayrides are available on the weekends for both pick-your-own farm visitors, and visitors to the Maze Fun Park, a seasonal attraction with other games and activities. The hayrides go around the farm, and to the pick-your-own fields. Tickets are required and are available online. The farm’s Facebook and Instagram pages will have the latest information about weather and schedule changes.
Union Hill Farms | 25 Cooper Road, Denville
You might recognize some familiar faces at Union Hill Farms: since 1997 this farm has participated in the Hoboken Farmers Market at Church Square Park. While the farmstand is open seven days a week, hayrides are only on the weekends. The hayrides take visitors to the pumpkin patch, where they can pick their own crop. Pick up some locally grown honey, fresh eggs, fresh apple cider, and other produce while you’re there. Visit the farm on Facebook or Instagram to get the latest information.
Wightman Farms | 1111 Mount Kemble Avenue, Morristown
The Fall Festival at Wightman Farms, on Saturdays and Sundays, is packed with all kinds of fun activities, including unlimited hayrides. Each ticket to the Festival includes unlimited hayrides and a pumpkin from the pick-your-own patch. Since 1922 Wightman Farms has been growing high-quality fruits and vegetables for sale, and the farm store has all of those and more, including fresh-baked pies and apple cider donuts. Check out the latest updates on the farm’s Facebook.