When September rolls around each year, the Apple Picking frenzy in the Hudson Valley begins. It is definitely one of our favorite things to do each year and we have created such wonderful family memories during our Apple Picking Trips.
If you're like us, you also have your favorite orchards, but are somewhat curious about other orchards in the Hudson Valley and what they have to offer.
- Are they different that your favorite?
- Do they offer more activities?
- A Bakery? (That's always an BIG plus in our opinion)
- Petting Farm?
- Corn Maze?
Apple Picking Season is the 'Unofficial' start of 'Autumn in New York State'. Apple picking season technically starts during the Summer season, but who is really noticing that small detail.
Since the apple is the Official New York State Fruit, what better way to showcase all of the places to go and things to do during this season than to offer you all some valuable tips that will help you plan a wonderful apple picking trip and also help you do things with ALL those apples you're going to pick.
AND, as a Bonus, you can download my FREE PDF List of Farms & Orchards in the Hudson Valley, so you can be better prepared to enjoy the BEST Apple Picking Trip yet.
Included in the download, there is a clickable link to my Own Personal online Google Map with all the Farms & Orchards already pinned for your convenience.
Because there are so many orchards in the Hudson Valley area and we know that it can all be overwhelming, I am here to help you 'Plan the Perfect Hudson Valley Apple Picking Trip'.
First, Here are Some Apple Picking Facts:
- Apples picked directly from the tree are better for you than store bought 🙂
- It is more fun to pick apples from trees than a bag at the supermarket 🙂
- It's a fun family experience that gets everyone out of the house and away from their electronics (This is VERY true)
- There are a TON of delicious recipes you can make from the apples upon your return.
- Continue the fun with the family by baking, cooking and sharing all those delicious apples you picked yourself.
Next, Choose a County/Orchard for your Apple Picking Outing
With so many orchards in several counties in the Hudson Valley Region, finding the perfect one for your family may take some trial and error.
In the past, we have tried different orchards in several different counties and have found a few things to be true for our family:
- We prefer an orchard that is not only convenient but affordable, offers other activities for the children (bounce house, corn maze, petting farm, etc)
- And we prefer that they offers snack options (warm cider, apple cider donuts, etc).
- And like I said before, a Bakery on site adds MAJOR points in our book.
The Orchard you ultimately choose depends on your personal preferences.
Tips Before you go on your Apple Picking Trip:
- Don't forget to check the weather.
- Since rain, the day before or the day of your trip can cause a muddy and unpleasant experience, it is always a good idea to check the weather, at the orchards, up until the day of your outing. In order to have a successful Apple Picking season, a Back-up rain date is always a good idea.
- We like to use the Accuweather App on our phone.
- It is easy to add multiple locations and not only track precipitation by the hour, but also 'real feel' temperature by the hour.
- This is super helpful for the days where the weather is unpredictable. Trust me, we've picked apples in T-shirts and shorts some years and in coats and gloves other years.
- What are their Prices?
- Each orchard sets their prices differently (admission per person, parking fee, pay-per-bag before filling, pay- per-bag after filling, pay by weight, etc).
- Some orchards charge rental fees for 'fruit pickers with baskets', while others charge for wagon usage. Additionally activities, such as hay rides and corn mazes, etc) may be an additional fee. Make sure you check how and what they charge for, so you won't be surprised.
- Also, prices change from year to year, so make sure you Download the PDF list of orchards and click on the links so you can be taken directly to the orchard's website.
- What are the Hours?
- Some farms are only open on the weekends, while others have specific times for 'Pick-your-own'.
- What Specific Apple types will be available when you're visiting?
- Not all apple types ripen at the same time. Call ahead or check individual websites to see which apple varieties are ready in time for your Apple Picking Trip.
- What is the Distance between the Parking area and the Picking area?
- Some farms offer a shuttles from the parking area to the apple picking locations.
- Is it a wagon ride or hayride?
- Are the picking trees in walking distance of the parking area? These are all important, particularly if your taking the trip with young children.
- Do they allow pets?
- Some orchards do not allow family pets on the farm, especially those with Petting Areas.
- Do they allow outside food?
- Many allow picnic lunches, but check before your visit.
Let's talk Apple Varieties
Thanks to NaturalHealthyConcepts.com for this quick cheat sheet with information about 12 varieties of apples. It is also very helpful to know when the various types of apples are ready for picking, so you can plan your trip around your favorites.
I haven't tried them all yet, but our favorites are Golden Delicious. We put them in salads, pancakes, waffles and make delicious homemade apple pies.
We also enjoy making homemade:
- Candied apples
- Oatmeal Cookies with Apple and Cinnamon
- Fried Apple Fritters
- Croissant Apple Pie Bites
- Apple Pie Bread with Cinnamon
- Apple Pie Cupcakes
- Baked Apple Cider Donuts
- Apple Cider Donut Muffins
I feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump... LOL
We also love Gala, Fuji and Empire apples. We just can't get enough.
What are your favorite varieties and what do you like to make with them?
And don't get me started on Warm Apple Cider and Apple Cider donuts! YUM!
Apple picking is so much fun for the whole entire family!
The apples are delicious, the scenery is beautiful and it's a wonderful way of creating lasting memories with your family. Make sure you are well prepared so you can have the best apple picking trip yet!