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September is when many apple orchards are ready to be harvested, so it’s time to pack a bushel and pull out your favorite pie recipes. We’ve rounded up some of the best apple orchards across the country that offer a variety of apple flavors and activities to do when you’re done in the orchard. To choose the top orchard in every state, we scoured online ratings. This year, with the coronavirus pandemic still affecting the country, we also made sure it was a facility where you could still get the full fall experience as of this writing.
Note that not all apple varieties are available at the same time. Some might be ready in late August, while others won’t be ready until early October. Most orchards recommend calling ahead to check availability before visiting. Otherwise, some post updates on their websites and social media for you to check as well.
Pay only $1 for general admission at County Line Orchard and then pay for what you pick at $1.79 per pound. With many apple varieties to choose from, you’re sure to go home with an array of flavors that will taste delicious as a snack or in all the pies you’ll be baking.
The apples at Terhune Orchards are available to pick every day during September and October. The farm focuses on environmentally sustainable practices. You pay for what you pick by weight, and you can also pick out pumpkins and gourds to take home for the season.
Reservations for U-pick apples are required at this beautiful 270-acre apple orchard and vegetable farm. Fishkill Farms doesn’t post reservation times further than seven days in advance to ensure that there’s a sufficient crop available for your visit. Your reservation cannot exceed five people, and you have an hour to pick your apples. This year, social distancing is required and you may not eat the apples while in the orchard as part of coronavirus safety guidelines.
Different from other orchards, you can’t solely apple pick at Goebbert’s. Rather, you can apple pick as part of the fall festival. Once you pay for the Fall Festival admission, you can then purchase apple bags. A straw maze, a pumpkin express train and a giant pumpkin slide are just a few of the attractions at the fest.
Friske Farm Market/Yelp
Beginning around mid-September, U-pick apples will be available at Friske’s Farm Market. Certain varieties of apples will be ready to pick at different times, so the market’s website recommends checking back in if you’re hoping for a specific kind to bake your pies with. If you bring the kids, there’s a new 10,000-square-foot playground that will keep them busy for hours.
From late August through late October, pick-your-own apples are ripe for the picking at Parlee Farms. There are over 20 apple varieties to choose from, and during fall holidays and weekends, a hayride to the orchard is included if you buy an apple bag. For the 2020 season, reservations are not being taken, but there is a limit to how many people can be in each acre of the orchard. This means there may be wait times. Parlee Farms asks that you not come if anyone in your party is experiencing coronavirus symptoms.
The Elegant Farmer/Yelp
Take in the beautiful fall foliage in Wisconsin during an apple picking adventure at The Elegant Farmer. Hitch a vintage train ride, a tractor-pulled hayride or a pony ride during your visit, and don’t forget to pick up a bag of apple cider doughnuts or stop in the farmers market for one of the orchard’s apple pies baked in a paper bag. This year, The Elegant Farmer asks that you wear a face mask and practice social distancing during your visit.
Pick your own apples by the half bushel or by peck bags at Indian Ladder Farms. There are over a dozen apple varieties in the orchards as well as pumpkins, which you can pick and pay for by weight. Take a few home to try your hand at pies made from real pumpkin rather than canned pumpkin. For the 2020 season, Indian Ladder Farms asks that you don’t come if anyone in your party is experiencing coronavirus symptoms and to wear your mask if you are unable to stay 6 feet from other guests.
From September to October, pick over 20 varieties of apples at the 50 acres on Pennings Farm. Prior to Sept. 21, reservations are not needed, but after that date, reservations need to be made either online or by calling. For adults looking for some fun, try the hard cider tasting and do your shopping at the farm market.
Vala's Pumpkin Patch/Yelp
Vala’s has 30 acres of apple orchards and 55 acres of pumpkins, along with endless fun for families looking to take a fall day trip. There are barnyard sports, train rides, apple blasters, gemstone mining and blacklight paintball in addition to classic orchard visits. This year, capacity limits are lower to keep guests safe during the pandemic. Admission will be cut off each day when the farm reaches capacity.
Buy a peck of apples for $25 or a half bushel for $35 at Applecrest Farm. If you stop by for apples before mid-September, you may even be able to come home with peaches and raspberries as well, since the harvesting times for those fruits overlap. Proper face coverings and social distancing are mandatory in main areas this season.
Apple picking at Catoctin Mountain Orchard is available every day, and to help you determine the specific flavors of apples you’re looking for, the orchard posted a guide online. Although they may not be the kind of flowers you can eat, there is also a pick-your-own flower garden so you can make your own fall bouquets.
The apples at Butler’s Orchard are available from early September to mid-October, and there’s also an overlapping harvest time for pumpkins and potatoes (perfect for making your own french fries). You can make your reservations online and they will be good for an hour and a half on the field. Social distancing is required for the 2020 season.
Beginning the second week of September, you can pick your own apples at Evan’s Orchard. Pumpkin season will also be in full swing during this time as well as U-pick pears. Wondering what else is in season during the fall? Here’s a month-to-month produce guide.
There is an in-depth chart on the Tanners Orchard website that indicates which types of apples are best for different recipes (think apple cinnamon cookies or creamy apple butters). This will give you a better idea of which trees to look for when you visit the orchard, which has been open since 1947. There is an admission fee of $3 per person and apples are charged by the half-peck ($10) and the peck ($18).
Apple picking season at B.J. Reece Orchards begins the last week of August and will go until Oct. 31, or until the orchards are picked out. The online calendar will list out each variety that is available on the day you’re interested in picking. Although many orchards do not permit pets, B.J. Reece does allow dogs, so if your family has a pup, make sure you bring a leash.
Riley’s Farm is packed with heart-healthy foods like strawberries and raspberries. The farm also has blackberries, mulberries and pears at various points throughout the seasons. The U-pick apples are ready to pick at the end of August, and U-pick flowers are also available beginning in August. Apples are sold at $3.50 per pound.
Reservations should be made online for Highland Orchards. Rather than parking and walking to the fields, at Highland, visitors are asked to call upon arrival so an employee can bring out a picking basket. Visitors are then directed to the orchard so they can drive themselves out. A peck box is $25 each. Depending on when you go, the apple season might overlap with U-pick pears, fall red raspberries and pumpkins. Before heading out, visit the bakery to pick up an iconic fall pie.
The U-pick apples at Milburn Orchards are available beginning Sept. 4, but only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Specific harvest dates for each apple variety are posted online. The apple trees in Milburn’s orchards are dwarf trees, meaning it’ll be easy for the kids to partake in the adventure since the branches are a reachable distance from the ground. Pre-registration is required during the 2020 season, and there is a $5 minimum admission for adults.
Picking apples locally is a good way to help the environment, and it makes for a memorable trip. At Linvilla Orchards, U-pick apple selections are open daily and are priced at $36 per peck box. No pre-registration is required, but it is recommended that visitors check the website before arriving to see what is available to pick. Sweet peppers, tomatoes and corn (perfect for easy salsas you can make at home) are also grown on the farm and available for U-pick.
Los Rios began in 1906 and ships its fruit locally and globally. Pick apples in the orchards and then come back toward the main farm area to press your own cider and take a wagon ride. There are also nature trails and botanical gardens to explore during your visit.
Doughnut shops across the states might have mouthwatering doughnuts, but there’s something irresistible about hot apple cider doughnuts after an afternoon of apple picking. Try them at Honey Pot Hill Orchards after getting a peck ($20) or a bushel ($30) to take home for your own baking. Hayrides and hedge mazes are closed for the 2020 season and social distancing and masks are required.
Either take a hayride or walk to the orchard to pick your apples at The Little Farmer. Don’t forget to take home pumpkins or journey through the corn maze. If you like animals, you can also visit the barnyard to feed the goats. Face masks are required inside the buildings for the 2020 season and the bakery will not be self-serve.
At the top of the Garwood Orchards website, there is a note that you should always call before visiting for pick-your-own apples. This is because the weather may affect the orchard or fruit availability might be low. Along with apples, which will be available in late August, there will also be red and black raspberries. Gourds, squash, blackberries and sunflowers will be available in September.
Beginning around mid-September, pick-your-own apples will begin at MacQueen Orchards. Visitors prepay by the half bushel to enter the orchards and are then given bags to fill. There are 16 varieties of apples to choose from — perfect for a range of recipes. One of the best parts about apples is that they have a long shelf life compared to other fruits, making them easy to store and eat later.
Though sweet corn and pumpkins are intrinsically autumnal, so are apples. For the first time, Basse’s Taste of Country is having an apple and sunflower fest this year. The fee for the fest is $12.95 and includes a quarter peck of U-pick apples, a visit to the sunflower maze and the zinnia garden, as well as photo ops. Taking a bucket of sunflowers home will cost extra.
The Farm at Swan's Trail stretches across 125 acres of the Snohomish River valley. According to a recent post, the farm is hopeful its Honeycrisp apples will be ready by mid-September, so long as the warm weather continues. For the 2020 fall festival, Swan’s Trail is still in the process of working with the city to figure out a plan to open safely, so stay tuned to the farm’s Facebook page for updates.
Apple picking is open daily at Great Country Farms, where you can also walk through the corn maze and run around a 12-acre play area. Farm admission is bundled with a half peck for U-pick at $15. For the 2020 season, it is recommended to buy advance tickets if you are visiting on the weekends since there is a capacity limit to meet safety standards.
Sky Top Orchard/Yelp
Sky Top Orchard’s sour cherries — ideal for tart, juicy cherry desserts — may be done for the season, but the orchard’s apples are ready to harvest. The picking schedule is posted online so you know which apples are ready when you plan your visit. Picking usually goes until the end of October, and the panoramic views of the fall foliage in the mountains will be breathtaking. This year, face masks are required and must cover your nose and mouth.
Battleview Orchards has been around since 1908 when it was originally called Battleview Farm. When you visit for pick-your-own apple season, head to the bakery to pick up a fresh-baked pie or try an apple cider doughnut. The orchard is cash only, so make sure you go to the ATM before arriving. If you’re making a far trip, Battleview recommends calling ahead to check dates, hours and produce supply.
Get lost in Gull Meadow’s 6-acre corn maze, take the kids to the petting farm and, of course, pick some apples to bring home for the season. U-pick begins in early September when McIntosh and Honey Gold are the first available varieties. Pumpkins and sunflowers will also be ready for picking.
Pears, fall red raspberries and apples are ready for pick-your-own during the fall season. Harvest dates all depend on the weather, so Spicer Orchards recommends calling first to double-check availability. Apple picking is open seven days a week and the first wagon out to the orchards is at 9 a.m. Restaurants aren’t the only locales making coronavirus changes. Spicer will enforce social distancing and place plexiglass shields at checkout spots, and sampling stations will be closed, among other changes.
Apple picking isn’t the only thing you can do at the Tougas Family Farm. Once you’ve picked as many apples as you can carry, stop in the Tougas Farm Kitchen for cider doughnuts, homemade bakery treats or your favorite flavor of ice cream. Reservations are required for the 2020 season in order to accommodate social distancing mandates. Eating fruit in the orchards is not permitted, and masks are required.
The orchard at Beak and Skiff is open seven days a week, and the website is updated as new apple varieties become available. After you’ve picked your apples, stop by the tasting room and tavern. There, you’ll get something a little different than your favorite beer. Instead, you’ll get a taste of the orchard’s hard cider.
Apple picking at Stade’s Farm and Market is open on Saturdays and Sundays. A $5 minimum purchase is required to enter the fields, and it’s $10 per person to visit the apple orchard. While apples are often the main attraction at fall farms, Stade’s also has U-pick pumpkins, green beans and tomatoes. Pick away, and then bring your fruits and veggies home for some easy Instant Pot meals throughout the week. For the 2020 season, masks are required for tractor rides and any other time social distancing is not possible.
Admission to Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch costs $6 per person, and the price includes a quarter peck. Kids under 36 inches tall are free with a paying adult, but the quarter peck bag is not included. There is a petting zoo, an orchard slingshot, corn maze and tractor tour available, among other activities. Some activities are listed as unavailable during the 2020 season to comply with Illinois coronavirus guidelines.
One hundred of Mack’s Apple’s 400 acres are set aside for apple orchards, and this eighth-generation family-run farm will not disappoint. There are pumpkin patches next to nearly all of the dozen apple orchards at Mack’s, so you’ll be able to pick up a few pumpkins to take home for Halloween. Keep in mind that because there are so many U-pick orchards, you might want to drive to each one rather than walk.
If you’re a fan of barbecue, then DuBois Farm is the place to apple pick. There’s a barbecue lunch menu to order from when you’re back from the orchards, and you can also pick up cider doughnuts and handmade pies. Local hard ciders, craft beers and wines are also available at the Tavern at DuBois. This year, face masks and social distancing are required.
The Justus Orchard website has an apple ripening schedule posted so you can determine which time during the fall would be best to visit. You can also mix and match with the U-pick and we-pick options if the orchards for self-picking don’t have the specific apples you’re looking for. After visiting the orchards, pick up a fried apple pie at the Apple House Bakery and a hot cup of coffee to enjoy with a cider doughnut.
Like many other orchards, Carter Mountain Orchard lists the apples that are ready to pick online. For the avid learner, there are informational pages on the orchard’s website to learn about the various fruits they grow and how they’re best used. For the 2020 season, guests must wear masks when in indoor areas and are asked to avoid eating any fruit while picking.
The pick-your-own harvest festival begins on the last weekend in August for Rowley’s Red Barn. Boxes and bags are provided for your apple-picking experience and there is no general admission fee. Honeycrisp apples are $30 for a half bushel.
Most of the apples at Brown’s are available from September through October. Normally, there are wagon rides, U-pick apples and a pumpkin patch to visit, but this year, the option to pick your own produce is closed due to coronavirus concerns. If you usually make a trip to Brown’s for apples, don’t worry. At the top of the orchard’s website, there is a number you can call to get curbside pickup orders from the market. It might not be as fun, but the fresh flavors are worth skipping the grocery store for.
Various apple varieties are available at Soergel’s from July through November, depending on weather and other outdoor factors. To get the best idea of what will be available when you visit, call the number on the orchard’s website. One aspect of Soergel’s that makes it different from other orchards is that besides a bakery and gift shop, there is also a garden center for the home gardener.
U-pick at Anderson’s begins in early September with three types of apples to take home and put in your smoothies or make mouthwatering pies with. There is a range of other produce to pick up as well, and a concession stand for those with a sweet tooth.
Mercier Orchards has been running since 1943. Besides the orchards, there are also hard-pressed ciders to enjoy. This year, because of coronavirus safety precautions, the U-pick apples will not be available. Instead, Mercier will be doing we-pick so you don’t have to miss out on your favorite flavors of fall.
Though R&A’s Lodi apples were available in June, the fall apples will become available at various times throughout September, October and November. You can pick up pecan apple butter or apple cider by the half gallon — delicious additions to your usual breakfast. Because this isn’t a U-pick orchard, it might be best to head to this one without the kids if they’re looking for the excitement of picking their own.
Tickets to Cider Hill Farm include a half-peck bag for apple picking and are required for each individual. All the orchards here are within walking distance, so you can park your car and walk everywhere to choose the apples you prefer. Pre-purchased tickets are required, and visitors are prohibited from bringing their own bushels and pecks.
Summer activities for kids might be coming to an end, but fall activities are just beginning. Stop by Lewis Adventure Farm and Zoo for U-pick apples seven days a week. There are plenty of animals to befriend at the petting zoo and a farm market to visit for snacks.
Opening day at Edward’s Orchard is looking a little different this year. To stick to coronavirus safety guidelines, the orchard is planning drive-thru pick-ups with limited picking days available. Though the restaurants, orchard and picnic area are closed for the 2020 season, you’ll still be able to delight in the delicious apples harvested from your favorite orchard. The fall fun should not stop at apple orchards this year. Here are the best spots to check out beautiful fall foliage in your state.
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