Want to plan the perfect fall picnic? We’ll tell you where to buy the basket, fill it, and find the best views before and after your picnic.
Also, see the willow basket from Simon Pearce that Yankee says is a “season must-have.”
Best Fall Picnic Locations
Picnic in Litchfield, CT
Watch Tina Puckett weave bittersweet, sea-grass, reed, and grapevine baskets at her intimate studio in downtown Litchfield, Connecticut. Buy one, then pack it with great sandwiches and other comestibles. After a picnic in the grove at nearby White Memorial Foundation, meander along the elevated boardwalk to see the early-turning swamp maples.
Picnic in Goshen, MA
The treasures of this western Massachusetts area, less well known than the Berkshires, include The Basket Shop in Chesterfield, where Milton Lafond cuts and splits ash trees, then pounds and weaves the wood into a variety of baskets. Fill one in the village center at the Williamsburg General Store, where the delectable goods include a “wrapple” (cinnamon-sugared chopped apples baked in piecrust). Wind along the road to the DAR State Forest, just a few miles away. Picnic at Upper Highland Lake beach, then take the Darling Trail. The hike ends at a fire tower you can climb for a panoramic view of the Pioneer Valley.
Picnic in Ludlow, VT
Basketville, America’s oldest basket company, in Putney, Vermont, has wooden, wicker, and rattan baskets of all sizes. Next stop is Chester, for soups and sandwiches from Raspberries and Thyme, and salad and baked goods from Baba-a-Louis Bakery. Then find your autumn overlook at Okemo, the only New England ski area with a paved auto road to the summit.
Basketville, 800-258-4553, 802-387-5509. Rte. 5 (exit 4 off I-91), Putney.
Raspberries and Thyme, 802-875-4486. On the Green (Rte. 11), Chester.
Baba-A-Louis Bakery, 802-875-4666. W. Main St. (Rte. 11), Chester.
Okemo Mountain Resort, 800-786-5366, 802-228-4041. 77 Okemo Ridge Rd., Ludlow.
Picnic in Jaffrey, NH
New Hampshire’s Peterboro Basket Company has been making baskets here for nearly 150 years — and still does. In the village center, Twelve Pine has gourmet takeout. Find a picnic table at the main entrance to Mount Monadnock State Park, then burn off calories hiking the White Dot Trail to the bald summit. With easy views into three states, you’re sure to see some fine foliage.
Picnic in Newry, ME
In downtown Bethel, Maine, pick up a basket (or a pine bucket) at Maine Line Products. Fill it down the road at the Good Food Store, a deli and “most unique grocer.” At Step Falls Preserve, walk a gentle quarter-mile from the parking lot alongside Wight Brook. Maple, birch, and beech trees arch over the water framing vistas of the Bear River Valley. Set your “table” here on granite slabs next to the cascades and pools.
Tell us your favorite place to have a fall picnic in the comment section.