If you are venturing out and about to enjoy the last warm days of the season-drop by Carpenter Nature Center or one of our many terrificÂ local St. Croix Valley orchards this weekend. The weather is spectacular, the apples are ripe, the pumkins are a glowingÂ orange and the fall foliage isÂ alive inÂ yellows, oranges, and reds. While Carpenter Nature Center is open to the public every day we only host Apple Fest this weekend. Other St. Croix Valley orchards celebrate Apple Fest during most ofÂ the early October weekends. Each orchard has their own specialty from corn mazes to animal petting areas to eco-friendly,Â minimum sprayÂ apples. Call ahead to find out if your favorite orchard is open, and what special events they have planned for the harvest season.
Visitors to Carpenter Nature Center’s Apple Fest can enjoy music, critter programs, hay wagon rides with SvenÂ & Ole, hiking the trails and sampling some of the many ‘minimum-spray’ apple varieties grown at Carpenter Nature Center. Along the trails the purples of the blooming asters are lovely against the background of golden prairie grasses and flaming red sumac. In the trees migrating warblers can be spotted, adeptly harvesting insects from the leaves. In fact a little Yellow-rumped Warbler perched outside my office window as I was proof reading this post!
Â On Saturday there were an estimated 1,750 visitors at Carpenter Nature Center’s Apple FestÂ and we anticipate at least 1,000 more on Sunday. There is no fee to visit the nature center or Apple Fest but there is a charge for the apples and some of the activities, such as face painting. All proceeds support environmental education programs for local K-12 school children.
Please stop by and say hello!