Picking apples can be a great way to spend quality family time, or a reason that everyone gets a Groupon for therapy at Christmas. Either way, it is a fall tradition that shouldn’t be missed.
Luckily for us, there are orchards near and far, so the choice really is yours. Whether you prefer a quick trip to the orchard, or a nice day trip to the country, here are some orchards to visit.
Demarest Farms, 244 Wierimus Rd., Hillsdale
Located minutes away in Hillsdale, it’s so close to home that you don’t have to sit through refrains of, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” The kids love riding on the tractor-pulled hayride to the orchards, and there’s a corn maze by the market so that the kids can play while you relax or buy some farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, or freshly baked pies, donuts, cookies, and cakes.
Deamarest Farms, 244 Wierimus Rd., Hillsdale; 201-666-0472
With over a dozen varieties of apples to choose from, Longmeadow Farm is a great place to spend a beautiful fall day and enjoy the changing season. They also offer freshly grown produce for purchase.
Longmeadow Farm, 511 Blairstown Rd., 521, Hope; 908-459-5351
Located a short drive away in the beautiful town of Chester, take a hayride, visit and pet the friendly farm animals, and don't forget to stop by the farm market for a refreshing ice cream cone or a drink. And while you're there, take home one of their delicious home baked pies or quiches.
Alstede Farms, 84 Rt. 513, Chester; 908-879-7189
You can either walk to the orchards or enjoy a wagon ride on your way to choose from among 17 varieties of apples. Early in the season the apples hang low enough on the branches for a one year old to pick them. There’s a farm market where you can buy fresh produce, home baked pies, donuts, breads, muffins and homemade jams and jellies..
Pochuck Valley Farms, 962 Rt. 517 (McAffee Glenwood Rd.) Glenwood; 973-764-4732
In the fall, Stony Hill's apple trees are loaded with fruit. And picking apples is easy—and fun— with their dwarf apple trees, so even the little ones can get in on the picking action.
Varieties include: Cameo, Crimson Gala, Crown Empire, Fulford Gala, Fuji, Gibson Gold, Ginger Gold, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Royal Empire, Suncrisp and Super Chief.
Stony Hill Gardens, 8 Route 24 (Rt 513), Chester, NJ; 908-879-2696
One of Morris Counties best kept secrets, Sun High Orchards dates back to 1945 when Fred and Ranghild Bostrom planted the first fruit trees on Sun High's 25 acres.
If you'd rather have someone else pick the apples for you, their on site farm market offers a full range of fresh picked fruits and vegetables. Come early in the morning and smell the breads and apple pies baking in the ovens.
Sun High Orchards, 19 Canfield Avenue, Randolph, NJ; 973-584-4734
Family owned and operated since 1868, Lee Turkey Farm offers more than fresh turkeys. There are hundreds of apple and fruit trees, and acres of fresh vegetables. Lee Turkey Farm also raises 5000 turkeys annually so it’s a great place for the kids to see live turkeys. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Lee Turkey Farm, 201 Hickory Corner Rd., East Windsor; 609-448-0629
34 varieties of apples—from traditional classic, to heirloom, to more modern varieties. You can take a scenic hayride or get your exercise and walk to the orchards. Riamede Farm has a farm market where you can purchase all types of fresh fruits and vegetables, cider, jams, and jellies. Bring a camera and roam around 50 acres of nature at its best.
Riamede Farm, 122 Oakdale Rd., Chester; 908-879-5353
A family tradition since 1922, take the hayride to the orchard and choose from over a dozen varieties of apples. Wightman’s Farm also sells fresh farm dairy products such as milk, butter, and eggs, as well as fruits, vegetables and plants. There are corn mazes and rope mazes for the kids to get their energy out while you meditate to prepare for the long and whiney ride home.
Wightman’s Farm, Rt. 202, 1111 Mt. Kemble Ave., Morristown; 973-425-9819
ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY ORCHARDS
Located a short distance over the border in Pomona, NY, the Orchards of Concklin has been a farm staple since 1712. Offering a wide variety of apples to choose from, they also have a farm market offering fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as freshly baked pies. During the fall, they have activities for the kids, so make a day out of it.
Orchards of Conklin, 2 South Mountain Road, Pomona, NY; 845-354-0369
Located in scenic Warwick, NY, Ochs is apple picking pure and simple. It's the perfect place to roam the orchards while taking in the changing colors of the leaves. Ochs offers a variety of apples to pick.
Ochs also has a farm market where you can get fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly baked pies, and cider--of course.
Ochs Orchard, 4 Ochs Lane, Warwick, NY; 845-986-1591
If we've left any orchards out, please let us know in the comments.