Popularized in the 1920s by sporting journalist, John J. Fitzgerald, the ‘Big Apple’ is now heralded as New York City’s most notorious term of endearment. But if you’re in search of actual apples, a day trip away is a sweet escape from the city’s grandeur. Here are our top five apple picking destinations for the fall.
North Salem’s Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard is a renowned spot for those seeking a day plump with activities. The fall festival picking season kicks off post Labor Day, continuing each weekend in September and October. With pony rides, live music, farm animals and added options for wine and cider tasting, this is your best pick for the entire family.
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard: 130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem, 10560.
With a farm-fresh market, an antique appliance display, a picturesque sunflower field and what’s dubbed the world’s third largest garden gnome (be sure to pose with ‘Gnome Chomsky’), Kelder’s Farm offers a well-rounded source of merriment. Located in New York’s Kerhonkson, Kelder’s is two hour drive along the pristine Hudson Valley.
Kelder’s Farm: 5755 US-209, Kerhonkson, 12446.
Start Halloween deliciously early this year with a visit to Barton Orchards. “Are you brave enough to enter?” warn the orchard’s owners, referring to ‘Rotten Core Manor,’ the orchard’s haunted house. Open from August through October, it’s sure to evoke a hearty scream. After, eat your feelings at the Barton Bakery with ample offerings of apple dumplings and freshly baked pies.
Barton Orchards: 63 Apple Tree Lane, Poughquag, NY 12570.
If you’re an exceptionally picky apple enthusiast searching for the ripest of the bunch, Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm is sure to satisfy. Nurturing dozens of apple varieties on their farm, Wilkens lists each with associated picking dates to maximum the fruit’s flavor and crunch.
Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm: 1335 White Hill Rd Yorktown Heights, 10598.
And for those in need of something a little stronger than strudel, Beardley’s Cider Mill & Orchard allows guests to bring their own containers (or barrels) to be filled with their untreated cider for the production of hard cider. The owners are happy to answer questions or give sage advice on the methods and madness for preparing your newfound favorite adult beverage.
Beardsley’s Cider Mill & Orchard: 278 Leavenworth Rd, Shelton, CT, 06484.