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Trips That Make Cents: Enjoy the changing of the seasons in Havre de Grace

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Posted at 5:45 AM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 06:24:53-04

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. — The first day of fall is on September 22 and one place to watch the leaves change right by the water is Havre de Grace in Harford County.

"There’s so much to do in Havre de Grace, you can’t go wrong," said Lauri Orzewicz, the tourism manager for Havre de Grace.

She says most of the attractions in the historic city are either free or at low-cost. And there are plenty of activities to see and do both inside and outdoors.

"On a beautiful fall day, it’s the perfect place to come to enjoy the outside and the scenery but also get the history inside at our museums," Orzewicz said.

The Decoy Museum is one of the city's most well-known establishments but there are plenty of other museums to check out. One is the Lock House that has stunning views of the Susquehanna River. The museum tells the history of the Susquehanna and the Tidewater Canal, the lock system and the role Havre de Grace played in trade centuries ago.

"We were a major trans-shipment point in the 1800’s," said Julie Ruhnke, a member of the Lock House Board of Directors.

"[The river] brought all that wealth from Central Pennsylvania down to Baltimore and the world. All the coal, slate, farm goods, lumber, all came down the river."

Next to the Lock House is part of the Joe K trail, which was created by former city councilman Joe Kochenderfer, aka Joe K. It's a mile and a half scenic trail that takes visitors past the railroad tracks and the river. Kochenderfer's daughter, Judy Glassman, helps her dad maintain the trail and lead community walks a few times a year.

"Its an hour and a half walk and we talk about nature points and also historical points," she said. "It's a nice even walk, it’s not strenuous."

Just a short drive away is the Steppingstone Farm Museum, nestled on 23 acres. It showcases the rural history of Harford County, with a farmhouse from 1771 plus a working blacksmith shop, woodworking shop and more. The museum provides hands-on and engaging history lessons.

"You learn how towns became. So if a blacksmith popped up, a town formed around that blacksmith, because its easier to get to a blacksmith and get your horse shoed versus traveling 30 to 40 miles to get your horse shoed," said Haley Strong, the executive director of Steppingstone.

From the charming barn quilts, to the lush green spaces and free museums, residents of Havre de Grace say there is something here for everyone to enjoy.

Steppingstone is hosting its annual Fall Harvest Festival on September 24 and 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. To see more events happening in Havre de Grace click here or go to the Visit Harford website.