The best places to go apple picking that are just a short drive (or train ride) away from the Big Apple.
The Orchards of Concklin
April through December, fruits are available for the picking, with different varieties in season each month. In October, apples and pumpkins are in their prime and the orchard hosts its annual fall festival. Later in the season, mouth-watering, homemade goods like freshly baked pies and quiche are available, while fresh-pressed apple cider and cider donuts are delicious year-round.
2 South Mountain Road, Pomona, NY
Driving time: 54 minutes
Gary and Pam Mount know a thing or two about apples. With dwarf trees planted in blocks so that they’re easy to find and pick—no ladders or poles necessary—this orchard is ideal for apple picking. Guests can also meet farm animals, get lost in a corn maze, take wagon rides, and visit the theme story barn. Wooded trails and the barnyard are open year-round. Plus there’s the Terhune Orchards Vineyard & Winery Tasting Room, where you can taste award-winning wines grown on the farm.
300 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ
Driving time: 1 hour 21 minutes
Milk Pail Farm & Orchard
Pack your apple-picking bags and head to the Hamptons. At this 44-year-old homestead you can pluck more than 30 different varieties of apples that grow on dwarf apple trees. Also available are wagon-led farm tours, fresh cider at the Milk Pail Country Store, and a pumpkin patch with over 60 varieties of gourds weighing up to 150 pounds. And for the first time, RubyFrost, a newer variety of apple released by Cornell University, will be available for picking.
50 Horsemill Lane, Water Mill, NY
Driving time: 2 hours 27 minutes
Buy a bag and pick your favorite apples—or try less-common varieties like Mutsu Crispin, Nittany, and Cameo instead. Head to the petting zoo and interact with more exotic animals like buffalo, llama, emus, and more. And if that wasn’t enough, stick around for hayrides, live music, homemade kettle corn, and the chance to win a free pumpkin if you guess its weight.
451 Sport Hill Road, Easton, CT
Driving Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
Demarest has the distinction of being the closest apple-picking destination from NYC, just across the Hudson River. And Demarest Farms won’t disappoint—you can pick your own apples, peaches, and pumpkins, depending on the season (August through October is prime time for picking). It’s also a great place to cruise through a corn maze, sip freshly pressed apple cider, taste local ice cream, grab a handful of Indian corn to decorate the house, and pick up seasonal flowering plants.
244 Wierimus Road, Hillsdale, NJ
Driving time: 38 minutes
Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard
Formerly part of Outhouse Orchards, this family-owned and run farm hosts its Fall Festival every weekend of September and October at which you can enjoy apple picking, hayrides, live music, games, farm animals, wine and cider tasting, and BBQ vendors. For the fun-seekers, they also have apple cannons: giant, custom-made and mounted potato guns that you load with apples and shoot at targets.
130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem, NY
Driving time: 1 hour 14 minutes
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Yield: 12 servings
Prep: 40 min. + chilling
Cook: 5 min./batch
- 2 cups apple cider
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. each ground cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice
- 2 large eggs
- 6 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
- Oil for deep frying
- Ginger Sugar:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp. ground ginger
In a small saucepan, bring cider to a rapid boil. Cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
Whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter, and cooled cider. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened (dough will be sticky). Refrigerate covered, 1 hour or until firm enough to shape.
Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, pat each portion to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a floured 3-inch doughnut cutter.
In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 325° fahrenheit. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes on each side. Fry doughnut holes, a few at time, until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels and cool slightly.
In a shallow bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar and 2-3 tablespoons ground ginger. Toss with warm doughnuts.