5 Pick-Your-Own New York Orchards to Satisfy Your Fall Apple Craving

Photo by Tom Swinnen

    by

    It isn’t too late to grab a basket and head out into the fall weather to stock up on the best apple varieties the season has to offer.

    Brooklyn’s greenmarkets are brimming with tempting options, but you can also head out of the city and pick your own at one of the numerous orchards just a day-trip away. We’ve rounded up five options that should satisfy your apple-picking dreams.

    In addition to the all-important apples, every orchard has other attractions, including cider, pumpkins, mazes, hayrides and more. The orchards are in Columbia, Dutchess and Ulster counties and, while close enough for a day trip, you’ll need a car if you want to haul back the fruits of your labor.

    harvest festival

    Photo by LuAnn Hunt

    1. Samascott Orchards, Kinderhook, Columbia County
    A family farm since the early 20th century, Samascott has grown from 180 to 1,000 acres. While the farm grows vegetables and other fruits, the stars are the 72 varieties of apples. Not all of these are available in the pick-your-own, but there are still plenty to pick — or, you can hit the farm store for the other varieties, cider and homemade donuts.

    How to Visit
    Address: 5 Sunset Avenue, Kinderhook, N.Y.
    Hours: Wednesdays through Mondays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with apples usually available from July until November
    Directions: Kinderhook is about 2.5 hours from Brooklyn via the Taconic State Parkway.

    2. Weeds Orchards and Winery, Marlboro, Ulster County
    Despite what the name implies, the orchard does not specialize in weeds, but rather vegetables, apples and local wine and cider. The 40-acre farm includes a tasting room and outdoor seating area and they offer live music and hayrides if you need a break from the apple picking.

    How to Visit
    Address: 43 Mount Zion Road, Marlboro, N.Y.
    Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week
    Directions: Marlboro is about two hours from Brooklyn via I-87 North.

    3. Wilklow Orchards, Highland, Ulster County
    Six generations have farmed at Wilklow Orchards and they have been selling at New York City Greenmarkets since 1984. The orchard sends you out with a map and the bags for filling — a picking pole for getting those apples up at the top of the trees is optional. If you need a break from manual labor, there are children’s activities and hayrides on the weekends. You can bring a lunch to eat at the picnic tables or head to the shop for cider and donuts.

    How to Visit
    Address: 341 Pancake Hollow Road, Highland, N.Y.
    Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day with apple picking from Labor Day to October 31
    Directions: Highland is about two hours from Brooklyn via I-87 North.

    4. DuBois Farms, Ulster County, N.Y.
    A rare first-generation farm in the mix, DuBois was established about 15 years ago, returning 54 acres of land that would have been sold for development into an orchard and vineyard. The land includes the pick-your-own orchard as well as a cafe, bakery, corn maze, a children’s play area and, for adults, a tavern serving local hard cider, beer and wine.

    How to Visit
    Address: 7209 Perkinsville Road, Highland, N.Y.
    Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week with apple picking from August through October
    Directions: Highland is about two hours from Brooklyn via I-87 North.

    5. Fishkill Farms, Dutchess County, N.Y.
    Established on land that has been in the family for almost 100 years, Fishkill Farms has been offering pick-your-own since the 1960s. They have a handy online guide to their apples, including info on when each variety is in season — so if you simply must have your Jonagolds, take a look and plan accordingly. In addition to the essential homemade cider donuts, the store carries its own eggs and vegetables as well as cheese and milk from nearby dairies.

    How to Visit
    Address: 9 Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell Junction, N.Y.
    Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, with apples available from September through October
    Directions: Hopewell Junction is about 1.5 hours from Brooklyn via the Taconic State Parkway.

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