“Autumn is the best time to visit Stow as all apple orchards and farm stalls are open.”
Fall decor at Derby Ridge Farm in Stow. Linda Hathaway
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Linda Hathaway knows Stow.
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The town clerk has lived on Pilot Grove Farm, a stow farm dating from 1782 that has been in her family for nine generations, for 21 years.
“It’s very much a farm community,” said Hathaway. “There’s a lot of history. There are historic houses. We have a lot of nature reserve. The people are friendly.”
Hathaway’s farm, which sells pork, beef and lamb, is currently closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ahead offers Hathaway tips for things to do and see in Stow.
Apples on the Shelburne Farm in Stow. Kathy Sferra
Pick your own apples
Stow’s farms are full of visitors every fall, Hathaway said.
“Fall is the best time to visit Stow as all apple orchards and farm stalls are open,” said Hathaway. “There are plenty of places to see the fall foliage along the Stow highways.”
The town has four orchards: Carver Hill Orchard, Derby Ridge Farm, Honey Pot Hill Orchards, and Shelburne Farm. And they all have a different atmosphere, said Hathaway.
Honey Pot Hill Orchards was recently voted the best orchard in Massachusetts by Boston.com readers. The farm offers a petting zoo, a maze, a farm shop with cider donuts, a tasting tent for cider, live music, hay rides and of course many apple trees to pick.
Visit the American Heritage Museum
Hathaway names the American Heritage Museum, a military history museum housed in a 65,000-square-foot building on the grounds of the Collings Foundation, a hidden gem in the city.
“It has a large collection of tanks from World War II,” said Hathaway. “They have antique planes, antique cars. There are really nice things there. You have different things ahead of you on different weekends. “
The museum features “an amazing variety of rare relics” and more than 15 tanks and artifacts, which, according to its website, are the only ones on public display in North America.
Eat in one of the six restaurants in town
Stow has six restaurants and Hathaway said she couldn’t pick a favorite.
At Nancy’s Air Field Cafe, located at Minute Man Airfield (one of two airports in Stow – the other is Crow Island Airpark), diners eat local food while watching planes arrive and take off. The indoor area is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the restaurant is open to take away.
“Her food brings in the flavors of all the different countries she has traveled to,” said Hathaway of owner Nancy McPherson.
Hathaway praised the chicken sandwiches at Nan’s Rustic Kitchen & Market, which opened last year, and the sushi from Red Ginger Asian Cuisine. At the Stow House of Pizza, their favorite salad is a tender buffalo chicken salad or a slice of pizza with mushrooms, onions and hot peppers. It’s also worth checking out the specials at the Stow Cafe, she said. Oh, and Hathaway can’t resist the smoothies at Emma’s Cafe.
Fall foliage in Stow. Kathy Sferra
Take a stroll on a golf course or on a nature reserve
Golfers can choose from three courses in Stow: Butternut Farm Golf Club, Stow Acres Country Club (with two 18-hole golf courses) and Wedgewood Pines Country Club. Butternut Farm Golf Club has the longest hole in the country with no sand trap, according to its website.
There’s plenty of wildlife sanctuary to explore in Stow, Hathaway said, such as the Flagg Hill Conservation Area and the Captain Sargent Conservation Area. The latter, Hathaway says, allows visitors “to take a hike and then have a picnic if they want. There is some open space. “
“I like riding the trails and cross-country skiing through the fields,” said Hathaway.
What readers love about Stow:
“Stow is such a hidden gem!” wrote @leahmproudfoot. “It is beautiful, how difficult it is to keep your eyes on the beautiful street!”
“Stow has some great apples,” @ nance.nurse wrote.
“Nice nature reserve for hiking and boating,” @ marlinn30 wrote.
“I just love driving through Stow in the fall,” @ one.trick.peony wrote.
“We are known as apple country and golf mecca because of all the orchards,” @kimseatter wrote. “Come and visit … and bring a camera!”
Readers recommended the following stow spots:
Apple harvest – @desjenrob, @ marlinn30, @_jtraylor_
Butternut Farm Golf Club – @ marlinn30
Carver Hill Orchard – @sshanoon, @ careydaway2
Collings Foundation – @kimseatter, @kenhekking
Derby Ridge Farm – @sshanoon, @hallieco
Emma’s Café – @kimseatter
Golf Courses – @ zdsmith31
Honey Pot Hill Orchard – @ one.trick.peony, @sshanoon, @ careydaway2, @kimseatter, @khauvz
Mistletoe Christmas Tree Farm – @kimseatter
Nan’s Rustic Kitchen & Market – @sshanoon, @pnazarey, @ marlinn30, @ careydaway2, @kimseatter, @ peters0nbrien, @leahmproudfoot
Shelburne Farm – @leahmproudfoot (notes that they have “the best cider donuts in MA”)
Small farm – @ careydaway2
Stow Acres Country Club – @ soup617, @kimseatter
Wedgewood Pines Country Club – @ marlinn30
Answers easily edited for clarity.
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