Each fall, thousands of people flock to orchards across the country to participate in what has become one of the most trending autumn activities in recent years. Apple picking can be a fun activity to partake in with your family or friends.
Some of the best places to go apple picking in the state of New York include Wilklow Orchards, Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard, Fishkill Farms, Apple Ridge Orchards, Stuart’s Fruit Farm, Masker Orchards, Apple Dave’s Orchards & Applewood Winery, Lawrence Farms Orchard and Jenkins-Lueken Orchards.
Not so surprisingly, each of these places is within a two-hour drive from the Big Apple. In this article, we will be reviewing each of these places.
Location: Warwick, New York
Masker Orchards is also an old establishment, with more than a hundred years of history. It has been called one of New York’s best orchards by Forbes Magazine. This 200-acre orchard is located an hour and 45 minutes drive away from New York City and is free to enter and park.
The farm also lets you eat as many apples as you want to while you’re picking. Even the bags are provided for free. All you’ll have to pay for is the apple you carry back to the exit when you’re leaving. The prices are set at $29.95 per bag.
The views of the farm are also exceptional. And during the weekends, they also host hayrides, apple mazes, live music, playing with barnyard baby animals, pony rides, etc. So this is a fun place to bring your friends and family for the weekend. Masker Orchards is also a pet-friendly orchard, so you can bring your furry little friends with you. They just ask that you lease your pets, keep them in control, and clean up after them.
The country store offers a range of fresh local products such as pies, jams, jellies, local maple syrup, ciders, honey, souvenirs, etc. While you can use a credit card to pay for the apples you carry back with you to the exit, you will have to pay for the other products at the country store with cash or checks. The cider is priced at $3.95 per jug. The country store is open during the apple picking season.
The apple picking season typically starts in September. Once the season starts, the orchard is open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Location: Highland, New York
About an hour and 35-minute drive from New York City, Wilklow Orchards of Highland is one of the best places to take your family or friends for Apple Picking this fall.
Wilklow Orchards is a family-owned orchard and has been farmed by the same family for an impressive six generations! So you will be soaking in a lot of history when you’re wandering around its 115 acres. The orchard features a picnic spot where you can enjoy a nice picnic with your loved ones. It also features plenty of children’s activities like hayrides so that the experience can be enjoyable for the whole family.
Now talking about the actual apple picking, you’ll be able to choose between several different types of apple, including Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Empire, Gala, and Macintosh. And once you’re done picking the apples, you get to buy a big 20-pound bag (worth $24) or a small 10-pound bag (worth $15) of the apples you picked to take home with you.
The place also features a road stand where you get to buy local products like cheese, sauce, or vinegar. It also features its very own bakery where you can find freshly-baked muffins, bread, and jams. The owners proudly claim that they only use New York State flour and local eggs and butter to bake their bread.
This place is open for apple picking throughout September and October. The place is open every day during these months from 9 am to 6 pm (including on Halloween).
Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard
Location: North Salem, New York
After a drive of about an hour and 15 minutes from New York City, you will reach the Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard. After you’re done picking the apples, you have the option to buy them. For just $30, you get to bag 25 pounds of apple. That’s enough apples for more than 12 apple pies.
Besides the traditional apple picking, this area features a whole lot of other activities such as hayrides, farm animals, live music, etc. For about 5-10$ more, you even get to play with apple cannons (loading apples into a potato gun and shooting at targets).
Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard also features its very own farm store where you get to buy fresh produce all grown locally in the nearby Hudson Valley, as well as farm-raised meat and dairy products. You also have the option to join the farm’s limited seat Community-supported agriculture (CSA) program to both support the local farmers and get access to fresh local food.
You will need to pay a $10 parking fee per vehicle on days with special events like festivals. This place is open Mondays through Sunday, from 9 AM to 5 PM. Apple picking season is during the fall. The farm store is open when the farm is open, but the hours are longer: between 8 am and 6 pm.
Location: East Fishkill, New York
Fishkill Farms is an hour and 40-minute drive from New York City. This is a family-owned establishment with almost 100 years of history. Every weekend in October, along with the apple picking, the farm also hosts a Harvest Festival, featuring activities like food, hayrides, and live music.
The outdoor Treasury Cider Garden features a gorgeous view of the Catskill Mountains along with the actual orchard. This could be a great place to have a picnic. And if you’re not carrying any food with you, the place also features an outdoor grill that sells bakery and other snacks.
Fishkill Farms is famous for its focus on ecological farming. They have pledged to cultivate produce that’s not only cheap and nutritious for the buyers but also healthy for the land they are being grown in. The farm has also pledged to improve its growing methods and standards each season. These are definitely valuable initiatives that deserve recognition and support.
This farm features seasonal picking programs from different fruits like cherries, raspberries, and peaches throughout the year. The apple picking season typically falls in September/October. The website is regularly updated with new programs and upcoming programs.
Apple Ridge Orchards
Location: Warwick, New York
Apple Ridge Orchards is located one and a half-hour drive away from New York City. The admission and parking is free at Apple Ridge Orchards. But Apple Pickers are expected to buy the apples they pick. The prices are set at $29 per half a bushel (or 22 pounds). For this purchase, they get free admission into the Orchards.
The Apple trees at Apple Ridge Orchards are all well maintained and manicured. The orchard also features some dwarf trees, so even your children can join in on the apple picking. And the farm features over 20 varieties of Apple to “pick.” These include Macintosh, Liberty, Gold Rush, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Cortland, Empire, Cameo, Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, Mutsu, SunCrisp, etc.
Between the months of September and November, Apple Ridge Orchards offers plenty of activities catered to families, friends, and schoolchildren. Besides the apple picking, participants can partake in activities like Pumpkin picking, hayrides, interacting and feeding farm animals, walking through cornfields, and watching bees make honey. They will also have the option to buy plenty of local apple products like apple cider donuts, apple butter, fresh preserves, etc.
This farm is open every Thursday to Sunday and during all other holidays from 9 AM to 6 PM. The apple picking season starts on September 05 and lasts through the autumn.
Stuart’s Fruit Farm
Location: Granite Springs, New York
Stuart’s Fruit Farm is located an hour and 20 minutes drive away from grand central in New York City. You can enter and park your vehicle for free. It is a family-owned farm that has been in operation since 1828. That’s a history of almost 200 years! So prepare to soak in a lot of that while you’re wandering around the 200-acre farm.
Stuart’s Fruit Farm offers various seasonal programs and produces, like flowers and vegetables in Spring, Christmas trees during the holiday season, and apple and pumpkin picking during the autumn.
Stuart’s Fruit farm grows more than 20 different varieties of apples. The apple picking season here is divided into two months: September and October. Five varieties of apples are available for picking in September: Macintosh, Jonamac, Gala, Macoun, and Cortland. The varieties of apples available for picking in October include Empire, Cameo, Braeburn, Winesap, Jonagold, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Ida Red, etc.
Besides the apple picking, the establishment also offers a range of other activities. During the apple picking season, the farm also offers a special educational tour to School children. Besides this, the farm features hayrides and farm stands selling fresh locals products like apple cider donuts and pies and wonderful fall foliage where you can enjoy a nice picnic with your loved ones after you’re done picking apples.
This farm is seasonally open throughout the year. The apple picking seasons start in September when the farm is open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Apple Dave’s Orchards & Applewood Winery
Location: Warwick, New York
Apple Dave’s Orchards & Applewood Winery is located one and half hours drive away from grand central in New York City. The farm, which was founded in 1949, allows visitors to enter and park their vehicles for free.
The farm allows you to eat all the apples you can for free while you’re visiting and will only charge you for the bag of apples you carry back with you. Besides this, all the other activities and entertainment available in the orchard, including hayrides, puppet shows, wagon rides, music shows, etc. are also free of cost.
There are ten varieties of apples available in the farm. These include Macintosh, Cortland, Empire, and Honeycrisp as the September Apples and Jonagold, Gala, Macoun, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Rome as the October Apples. For picking, you can purchase a peck bag for $1 and a half bushel bag for $2 upon entry. Once you’re done picking the apples, you can buy them for a price of $16 for the full peck bag and $30 for the full half bushel bag.
Besides the apples, the farm also features its very own winery. Here, they use their own vineyards and apples to make Wine, Apple Cider, and Apple Vodka. The Applewood Winery is definitely worth checking out for the adults.
Apple Dave’s Orchards & Applewood Winery is a great place for picking apples or simply taking a lovely stroll with your loved ones. It offers some spectacular mountain views. The farm is open all year round, but the apple picking season starts on September 5.
Lawrence Farms Orchard
Location: Newburgh, New York
Located an hour and 45-minute drive away from New York City, this family-owned and operated orchard was established in 1892. Lawrence Farms Orchard has been hosting apple picking every fall for the past 30 years or so and besides the apples, they are also famous for cherry picking, vegetable picking, etc.
Lawrence Farms Orchard offers to pick your own programs from June to October. The first varieties of apples, however, are only available starting mid to late August, when you can pick the Paula red, Gala, and Ozark gold varieties.
Starting early September, you can start picking the Macintosh, Honey Crisp, Gala, and Jonamac varieties. From mid to late September, you can start picking the Empire, Cortland, Macintosh, Macoun, Red, and Golden Delicious varieties. And finally, in the month of October, you can pick any of these varieties of apples: Empire, Cortland, Red, and Golden Delicious, Ida Red, Mutsu, Jonagold, Stayman, Northern Spy, Fuji, Rome, Granny Smith.
Besides the apple picking, you can wander around this farm and soak in the history. There are also plenty of other attractions and activities for kids, such as hay bale maze, hayrides, and a duck pond. The biggest attraction, however, is the “Little Village.” This is where the kids get to play inside a miniature farmhouse.
The farm does not allow pets and allows sampling only if you are looking to buy. Designated picnic spots are available to customers once they have purchased vegetables/fruits.
The Farm is open from June to October, every day from 9 AM to 4 PM. The admission fee is $5, but for $10 you can buy a season pass that allows you unlimited access for the season and 10% off of any produce you buy.
Location: New Paltz, New York
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards is located an hour and 45 minutes drive away from New York City. While not as old as some of the other farms and orchards on our list, this farm still has a 50-year history in the fruit-growing business.
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards has over 500 apple trees featuring apples of a dozen different varieties available for picking at different starting dates. Macintosh is the earliest available variety, with a starting date of September 1. Honeycrisp and Gala are both ready to pick starting early September.
Five different varieties become available for picking around mid-September. These include Empire, Cortland, Fortune, Jonagold, and Macoun. Three more varieties of apples become available for picking starting on September 20: Fuji, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious. Mutsu, Crispin, and Ida Red are the last varieties of apples that become available for picking on October 1.
Pickers have the option to buy a peck or half a bushel of the apple they pick. Besides the apple picking, you can also purchase a range of other local produce such as pumpkins, jams, honey, cider, bakery, eggs, dairy, and beef.
The farm is open all year round. The opening hour is 9 AM on weekdays and 10 AM on weekends, and the closing hour is 5 PM and 6 PM respectively. The apple picking season varies from year to year and variety to variety as discussed earlier.
We listed nine different farms and orchards in New York that are perfect for a day of apple picking and general amusement. Our picks included Masker Orchards, Wilklow Orchards, Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard, Fishkill Farms, Apple Ridge Orchards, Apple Dave’s Orchards & Applewood Winery, Stuart’s Fruit Farm, Lawrence Farms Orchard, and Jenkins-Lueken Orchards.
All of these establishments offer the option to buy the apples you pick. And besides the apple-picking, most of them offer other local produce and also plenty of fun activities like hayrides, petting and feeding farm animals, etc. And since the apple picking season coincides with the harvest festival in October, you can expect live music and a festival during the weekends.