Home Health The 10 Top Places to Go Apple Picking Across America

The 10 Top Places to Go Apple Picking Across America

Create lifelong memories during an apple picking excursion at these superb orchards.

Few activities signal fall in America like apple picking. According to the U.S. Apple Association, approximately 240 million bushels of apples are grown each autumn, many of which are picked by visitors looking to celebrate the season. Though East Coast states like Massachusetts and Virginia have far-reaching ties to the apple industry, there are orchards around the country where foodies, families and fall enthusiasts alike can pick their own produce, enjoy hayrides, sip fresh cider and more. Read on to discover the top spots to go apple picking.

Honey Pot Hill Orchards: Stow, Massachusetts


This nearly 100-year-old orchard about 30 miles northwest of Boston grows pears, blueberries, peaches and more, but its standout product is undoubtedly its apples. Each year, visitors can pick 14 kinds of apples between late August and late December, including classic varieties like Honeycrisp and Red Delicious. Other activities, such as hayrides and mazes, are available on-site as well. You can harvest your own apples every fall from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily after purchasing a 1-peck bag (which holds about 10 pounds of apples) for $18 or a half-bushel bag (a larger option that holds roughly 21 pounds of apples) for $28.

Los Rios Rancho: Oak Glen, California


Owned and operated by the Riley family since 1906, Los Rios Rancho (which sits approximately 80 miles east of Los Angeles) offers up to 11 species of apple trees for visitor picking from August to November. There’s also an on-site eatery that serves everything from apple strudel to chicken apple sausage sandwiches. For the full Los Rios Rancho experience, consider visiting on a Saturday or Sunday when the farm offers free apple packing house tours, live music and the opportunity to press your own apple cider. Picked apples cost $3 or $3.50 per pound, depending on the variety. You can pick apples seasonally between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

Alyson’s Orchard: Walpole, New Hampshire


Alyson’s Orchard, situated 65 miles southwest of Concord, New Hampshire, features 50-plus acres of fruit-bearing trees. Apple picking varieties range from McIntosh to Paula Red to Ginger Gold, while rare heirloom apples, such as Roxbury Russet and Black Oxford, are sold alongside apple pies, jams and honey at the orchard’s farm stand. Apple lovers won’t want to miss the orchard’s Apple Festival, which takes place every September and includes an apple pie competition and apple cider-making demonstrations. The festival is free to attend, but apple picking costs $12 per peck or $20 per half-bushel. Apples are available for harvesting every day between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from mid-August through October.

Mt. View Orchards: Mount Hood, Oregon


Overlooking Mount Hood about 80 miles east of Portland, Oregon, the 50-acre Mt. View Orchards offers pick-your-own peaches, pears and apples, though most visitors come for the latter from late August to early November. The orchard grows more than 100 kinds of apples, including Gala, Akane and Honeycrisp, some of which are showcased in homemade items like hard apple cider and apple cider doughnuts. Visitors can pick apples from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily during the season, and they cost 75 cents per pound.

Mercier Orchards: Blue Ridge, Georgia


If you need a break from hiking northern Georgia’s section of the Appalachian Trail, spend a day picking Muztu, Empire and other kinds of apples at Mercier Orchards. After paying the orchard’s $4 admission fee inside the market (where you can also buy apple cider and fried apple pies), you’ll enjoy a tractor ride to the groves before you pick. Standard rates for apples are $7 per half-peck bag and $14 per 1-peck bag. The orchard permits pickers on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Picking season generally lasts from mid-August to early October, though exact availability may vary each year.

Alyson’s Orchard: Walpole, New Hampshire


Alyson’s Orchard, situated 65 miles southwest of Concord, New Hampshire, features 50-plus acres of fruit-bearing trees. Apple picking varieties range from McIntosh to Paula Red to Ginger Gold, while rare heirloom apples, such as Roxbury Russet and Black Oxford, are sold alongside apple pies, jams and honey at the orchard’s farm stand. Apple lovers won’t want to miss the orchard’s Apple Festival, which takes place every September and includes an apple pie competition and apple cider-making demonstrations. The festival is free to attend, but apple picking costs $12 per peck or $20 per half-bushel. Apples are available for harvesting every day between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from mid-August through October.

Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyards: Starlight, Indiana


This Indiana property located 20 miles northeast of Louisville, Kentucky, boasts 600-plus acres of orchards and vineyards. Apple picking takes place every year from late August through October. Fees start at $1.29 per pound of apples, though exact prices may vary depending on the type of apple. A $3 per person charge (which is put toward each visitor’s final purchase) also applies for riding the orchard’s wagons to and from the fields. Various apple products, ranging from apple dumplings to apple sangria to apple ice cream, are sold on-site as well.

Carter Mountain Orchard: Charlottesville, Virginia


Located 3 miles southwest of Monticello in Charlottesville, Carter Mountain Orchard appeals to foodies. You’ll find 11 types of pick-your-own apples here, as well as a store and bakery selling everything from apple butter to apple pies. There are also tasting rooms where adults can sample hard cider and wine from a local cellar and a nearby winery. Apple picking hours vary by month, but generally, visitors can pick apples from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily between late July and mid-November. Expect to pay $1.79 per pound for picked apples.

Deardorff Orchards: Waconia, Minnesota


In addition to featuring 3,000-plus trees with various kinds of pick-your-own apples, Deardorff Orchards is home to a haystack play area, farm animals and a 19th-century apple barn, where locally sourced crafts and treats like pies and caramel apples are sold. The 125-acre farm, which sits about 30 miles southwest of Minneapolis, is also home to the Parley Lake Winery tasting room, where visitors can sample varieties made from the farm’s own grapes and apples. Half-peck bags of pick-your-own apples cost $20 to $25 each, depending on the variety, and can be purchased between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends from mid-August to late October.

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