Core Values: 4 Premier Local Apple-Picking Destinations
This quartet of orchards will prove more than fruitful as we turn to fall
Barton Orchards scares up visitors with a haunted house, but its apples are also frightfully delicious.
Photo courtesy of Barton Orchards
Apple orchards boasting multiple varieties are in full bloom throughout the Hudson Valley. And in addition to harvesting seasonal fruit, their surrounding farms typically offer hay rides, pumpkin picking, corn mazes, and other fun activities to keep families busy. Here is the rundown of four top picks in Westchester (and one just beyond but worthy of the trip) for all your picking needs.
Stuart’s Fruit Farm
Photo courtesy of Stuart's
This is the oldest and largest apple farm in Westchester, offering a wide range for picking, including McIntosh, Cortland, and Gala in September, and Empire, Winesap, Mutsu, Red and Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, and many more in October. Stuart's began as a family operated cattle farm in 1828 and later evolved into an agricultural farm now offering flowers and vegetables in the spring, apples and pumpkins in the fall, and Christmas trees in the winter. And its bakeries apple-cider donuts and homemade baked pies don't disappoint.
Stuart’s Fruit Farm is open daily from 9 am-6 pm and for apple picking between 10 am-5 pm. Half a bushel of apples costs $25 (cash or check only). Hay rides are available over the weekends (starting in mid-September), with pumpkin picking kicking off in October during the weekends from 11 am-5 pm.
62 Granite Springs Rd., Granite Springs
(914) 245-2784; www.stuartsfarm.com
Photo courtesy of Outhouse Orchards
Don’t be scared away by the name. Outhouse Orchards’ life as a fruit farm began in 1911 (it was a dairy farm prior) by A. J. Outhouse, a name that was translated from the Dutch Althausen. The orchard, still family run to this day, has a wide variety of apples, including Rome, Baldwin, and Rhode Island Greenings. In addition, it offers fresh produce, baked pies, honey, maple syrup, and pumpkin cheesecakes, not to mention corn mazes and pumpkin patches.
Outhouse Orchards is open daily from 9 am-5 pm, charging $25 for a full day of activities plus $5 for parking.
139 Hardscrabble Rd., North Salem
(914) 277-3188; outhouseorchardsny.com
Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm
Photo courtesy of Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm
Founded in 1916, Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm is where you can pick apples like Idared, Gravenstein, and Wolf River. It also has three farm markets selling apple cider, baked pies, apple cider donuts, strudel sticks, fudge brittle, cookies, brownies, jams, jellies, honey, maple syrup, peaches, and much more.
The farm is open daily from 10 am-5 pm, with apple picking available between 10 am-4:30 pm Half a bushel of apples costs $30, and a full bushel costs $60.
1335 White Hill Rd., Yorktown Heights
(914) 245-5111; wilkensfarm.com
A short ride from Westchester is Dutchess County’s Barton Orchards. Open to the public for 23 years, offerings include the traditional staple of apples plus a few fan faves like the juicy, crunchy snapdragon. The orchards also offer vegetables, peaches, baked pies, apple cider donuts, homemade fudge, and fresh produce. The fun doesn’t stop there, thanks a corn maze, haunted house, fun park, farm animals, and tap room with wine and beer.
Photo courtesy of Barton Orchards
Barton Orchards opens for apple picking from 9 am-5 pm Mondays through Fridays and 9 am-6 pm Saturdays and Sundays. A peck bag weighing 10 pounds costs $15, with half bushels weighing 20 pounds and costing $24. An apple bag purchase is required to enter the orchard, in addition to there being a $3 entry fee to the farm and orchard.
63 Apple Tree Ln., Poughquag
(845) 227-2306; www.bartonorchards.com