Apples and Orange County: a perfect match for pick-your-own orchards
The county is the perfect place to pick apples in the crisp fall air and among spectacular scenery, just an hour from New York City. Dozens of varieties bloom in the region, ripening at different times, so there’s always something new to harvest yourself from ‘U-Pick’ farms through October.
“Who said apples and oranges don’t go well together? In Orange County, NY, they’re the perfect combination! said Amanda Dana, director of tourism and cinema for Orange County. “Our orchards provide a mix of apples throughout the season and the tree branches hang low with fruit waiting to be picked. And there’s so much more to do and see – including hay rides, corn mazes, live music and farm shops filled with local produce, baked goods and preserves – than a day does. not enough. Stay the weekend in one of our many boutique accommodation options.”
Check individual farms in Orange County, NY for what they offer. They understand:
Apple Ridge Orchards101 Jessup Road, Warwick: The owners promise the most picturesque and rustic U-pick orchard around. Come pick apples from the trees, visit the farm stand for freshly squeezed apple cider and homemade apple cider donuts; pet and feed hand-fed farm animals since they are babies; and take a ride in a tractor-drawn cart. https://appleridgeorchards.com/
Lawrence Farms Orchards, 39 Colandrea Road, Newburgh: The fun of pick-your-own at Lawrence Farms Orchards goes way beyond apples. In addition to the 15 favorite fall fruit varieties, you can also pick grapes, corn, peppers (sweet and spicy) and more. Check the website for a list of crops that grow month to month, and call ahead to find out what’s available. Kids will love the New England-style miniature play village. Goodies from the concession stand include classic apple cider donuts, pies and cookies, as well as chicken tenders, hot dogs, paninis and more. Birthday packages are available. http://lawrencefarmsorchards.org.
Orchard of Ochs4 Ochs Lane, Warwick: The orchard grows over 25 varieties of apples, but there’s no wondering what to pick and when. Check out the hand chart on the Ochs website which shows when different varieties are ripe and which are best for eating, baking in pies or simmering in applesauce. While you’re there, enjoy a delicious ice cream cone or milkshake with flavors made from the berries and fruits of the farm. Also visit the farm animals and stop at the farm market, open daily. https://www.ochsorchard.net.
Pennings Orchard and Farm Market169 Rte 94, Warwick: More than 20 varieties of apples grow on the 50 acres of orchards belonging to the same family for generations. Reservations are strongly suggested for weekend apple picking tours. There is also a beer garden and a cider house for hard ciders and fresh ciders made from apples from the orchard. The Harvest Grill offers farm-to-table meals. Kids will love the petting zoo. https://penningsfarmmarket.com.
Sleepy Hills Orchard and Greenhouses1328 Route 284, Johnson: Check which apples are ripe and ready to be picked from the trees on this 47-acre family farm. You’ll also find local and regional flowers and produce for sale, as well as fall decor and accessories, mulch and bagged soil. http://www.sleepyhillsorchard.com/
Soons orchards23 Soons Circle, New Hampton: Harvest time is the perfect time to visit the orchards, when the store is full of home-grown fruits and vegetables, local greens and more. In the trees, more than 50 varieties of apples ripen throughout the season, waiting for families to come pick them. At the Orchard Hill Cider Mill Tap Room, enjoy a meal or snacks, craft cocktails and wines, beers and spirits, and local and homemade hard ciders. https://www.soonsorchards.com.
Learn more about these and other orchards on the Orange County Tourism website. Visit www.OrangeTourism.org for a complete list of accommodations, activities and attractions.