Summer is winding down, schools are starting back up, and the crisp, cool weather of fall is right around the corner. If you’re anything like us, you look forward to the newness of the details in the changing season – the scarves, the hot soups, the short days, the outdoor activities. One of our favorite fall activities is apple picking. If you’ve never gone, you’ll want to go – whether you go on a date with your loved one or make it a big family outing, any one of these locations will more than satisfy your apple picking experience.
Apple picking is a unique, seasonal, interactive activity that’s great for two or the whole family. If you don’t have your own apple trees in your backyard, no worries, there are a lot of options. Check out one of these great orchards to get the greatest experience possible!
Dwight Miller Orchards – East Dummerston, Vermont
Dwight Miller is no stranger to the Orchard business, and his completely Organic Orchard is evidence of it. Miller is an eighth generation orchard farmer, and the only one in his family to switch from conventional farming to organic. His Orchard is now one of the largest organic farms in the Northeast and is breathtaking insight (and taste). It overlooks the Connecticut River and offers neat fall-time activities for the whole family including horse-drawn wagon rides, farm stands with homemade cider, and select few farm animals to greet guests upon arrival. Apple picking isn’t sparse, either, as Miller’s orchard offers 3 different types of apples, including Honeycrisps that are delectable for picking and eating right off the tree.
Liberty View Farm – Clintondale, New York
Nestled in the Hudson Valley, you’ll find Liberty View Farm, a certified natural grown apple orchard whose farmers are completely dedicated to sustainable farming practices. The farm also houses a significant livestock population, including egg-laying chickens and several milking goats. What else is great about this Orchard? The Orchardist makes sure you only get the best of the best in experiences by being very selective about when you pick what: for example, the Empire apples he grows may only be picked after the first frost, when the apple’s starch is converted to sugar for an added burst of sweet flavor. One last thing – for a minimal amount of money, you can actually lease a whole apple tree for the season, and harvest it as many times as you’d like.
Stribling Orchard– Markham, Virginia
The Stribling Orchard has been owned and operated by the same family for over 200 years, and was one of the first orchards in the Shenandoah Valley. On the grounds are some gorgeous, well sustained historical buildings from the 1700s, and some spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. When you go, be sure to visit on Columbus Day Weekend, when there’s a live music festival complete with crafts, a petting zoo, and many other tasty treats. If you’d like to avoid the high season, though, feel free to go anytime. Bring a picnic with you, as there are picnic sites strewn throughout the orchards that consist of Fuji, Jonagold, Rome, and Stayman Winesap apples.