Begin your day in Fort Johnson near Rte 5 just west of Exit 27 of I-90 (NYS Thruway). Visit Old Fort Johnson, the original limestone house built by Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs and hero at the Battle of Lake George during The Revolutionary War.
Travel west on Rte 5 to Sand Flats Orchard (518/853-4999) in Fonda, a family owned and operated farm dating back to 1752. Pick your own apples; choose colorful mums to take home; walk through the pumpkin patch and pick out a Halloween trophy. Challenge yourself with a walk through the corn maze.
Take I-90 (NYS Thruway) west to Herkimer, exit 30, and hop aboard a canal cruise on one of the Lil' Diamond passenger vessels operated by Erie Canal Boat Cruises. The 60- and 100-passenger boats are certified by the United States Coast Guard, and offer an up-close and historic overview of Lock 18 and The Erie Canal. You'll find the boats docked at Gems Along the Mohawk, an upscale dining and shopping complex at the Herkimer Marina. (315/717-0350).
Overnight in Utica.
From Utica head west on I-90 to Exit 32 then north on Rte 233 to Fort Stanwix National Monument in Rome. Discover how people endured harsh lives along the Oneida Carrying Place, the superhighway of the 18th century, which directly contributed to the American expansion through New York's gateway to the west.
Take Rte 365 west to Rt 46 south OR Rt 26 south to Rte 46 to Munnsville to get great view of the region's spectacular foliage aboard a hot air balloon flight with Airborne Adventures Ballooning. Please check the schedule - the last ride is 1-2 hours before sunset in the fall. Overnight in Morrisville or nearby Cazenovia.
Take Rte 20 east, then Rte 12B south to Rte 12 south. Visit Bowman Lake State Park in Oxford, a remote wooded retreat known as "a camper's paradise." Stop in the nature center and pick up a self-guided trail brochure for a stroll along the nature trail around the lake.
Continue on Rte 12 south to Apple Hills in Binghamton, a family farm dating back more than 150 years. Pick your own blueberries, raspberries and apples.
Take Rte 17 west to Endicott and conclude your day with a performance at The Cider Mill Playhouse. Performances run every Thursday through Sunday. Please check the schedule.
APPROXIMATE MILEAGE: 207 miles
In Cooperstown, tour the streets and shops of this quaint village and visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Stroll the grounds of an 1845 village and historic farmstead at The Farmers' Museum.
Head north on Rte 80 along the shore of Otsego Lake. A quick stop at Three Mile Point Park will give you a great view of Otsego Lake and then turn onto Rte 20 heading east. Don't miss The TePee - yep, a teepee shaped building on the right, with a magnificent view of the Mohawk Valley on the left. Browse for gifts and sundries, including delicious TePee Taffy, Minnentonka Moccasins, and Native American arts and crafts. At TePee Pete's Chow Wagon, sample the best chili in Cherry Valley and several unique salsas, too.
Oneontaalso offers many perfect lunch stops enroute to Binghamton. One unique and cozy choice is the Stella Luna Ristorante at 58-60 Market street. Through the doors of the Stella Luna, family and friends are transported to a quiet village in Italy.
Continue west on Interstate 88 to NY Rte 17 West, Exit 70N for Johnson City. Take Watson Boulevard to the scenic Traditions at the Glen Resort & Conference Center (607-797-2381). Dine there, stay overnight, and even enjoy relaxing after-dinner spa treatments or a visit to The Salt Sanctuary.
Be sure to grab a healthy breakfast , then take a stroll through the forest trails in The Glen, head out to play 18 holes of golf at the resort's championship course or visit the salon for a facial or a mani/pedi. Back on the road, take Rte 17 East to Exit 4S for an authentic "spiedie" lunch at Lupo's S & S Char Pit (6 West State Street). Spiedies are a local marinated meat specialty that can be enjoyed on fresh Italian bread or served hot over a salad. For more info on spiedies click here.
For aninteresting (and aromatic and sweet!) side trip, travel scenic Rtes 369 and 79 to the Windy Hill Candle Factory & Candyland (607-693-2429). You can watch candles being made, browse among 300 different scents of candles for purchase, and get lost in time in the old-fashioned candy section.
Head back into downtown Binghamton for dinner. Some options include dining in the historic Kilmer Building at Remlik's Grille & Oyster Bar (607-217-4513) or taking in the view of the river while you dine at The River Bistro (607-722-7575) in the Binghamton DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
APPROXIMATE MILEAGE: 122 miles