A is for apple – and for awesome activities

A is for apple – and for awesome activities

This season, the Garden State becomes the Orchard State.

Apples are now ripe for the picking, and New Jersey and environs are full of places where families can enjoy this activity and get the freshest fruit at local farms. Apple picking at the area’s farms is a great way to commune with nature. Afterwards, with your bounty, you can make great desserts, treats, and even create apple stamp art.

Here are a few places where you can go to fill up your apple art.

Demarest Farms
244 Wierimus Road
Hillsdale, NJ

Visitors can enjoy the 32-acre farm and take free hayrides, check out the petting zoos, and playgrounds. Home more than 14 varieties of apples, this 130-year-old farm offers a great getaway. Because of the summer storms impact on the farm, direct picking is not available here, but visitors can get freshly picked apples from the bins in the orchard and purchase them. There is also pumpkin picking. Please make reservations as they are required.

Secor Farms
85 Airmont Avenue
Mahwah, NJ

No apple picking at this time but be sure to check out the farm’s market, which carries a variety of New York State apples, fresh pressed apple cider and homemade apple cider donuts. There are hayrides to the pumpkin patch and corn maze. Once out on the field, explore the corn maze, pick a pumpkin and relax under the rustic pergola.

Wightman Farms
1111 Mt. Kemble Avenue
Morristown, NJ

This large family farm founded in 1922 offers 29 varieties of apples plus lots of fun activities on the weekends from hayrides to mazes. With a membership, you can head back as many times as you like for the picking season. Ripe and ready for picking are Macoun, Greening, Cortland and Honeycrisp varieties of apples. Also available are white and yellow peaches. Open to the public on Fridays and weekends.

Alstede Farms
1 Alstede Farms Lane
Chester, NJ

With over 50 different varieties, this farm has an apple flavor and profile to please everyone from Galas to Granny Smiths, to Winesap to McIntosh. See their website for the growing schedule and picking conditions. When there, enjoy other farm activities including a petting zoo and cut-your-own sunflowers. Entry fee and quarter-peck bag includes access to pick your own areas, a quarter-peck bag to fill, scenic hay wagon rides, access to hay pyramid and to mazes. Pre-purchased tickets for picking are required.

Stony Hill Farms
8 East Mill Road
Chester, NJ

In the fall, the apple trees at Stony Hill Farms are loaded with fruit. Picking apples is easy and fun with its dwarf apple trees. Pick your own apples or visit the Farm Market for pre-picked apples. Open daily. Purchase tickets in advance. Price includes admission to the orchards, hayride to the fields (weekends only), and some other activities.

Johnson’s Corner Farm
133 Church Road
Medford, NJ

Apple picking and hayrides are on the menu at one of the largest “pick your own” farms in south Jersey. Visit the animal farm and discovery center to see the baby goats. Enjoy fall festival weekends with live music, a corn maze and gem mining; or stop in the bakery and ice cream shop for delicious treats. In November, visit to pick sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower.

Pennings Orchard
169 State Route 94 South
Warwick, NY

Just a short drive north, another apple picking option is at Pennings, which offers a variety of apples throughout the season, plus a cidery, and farm market with fresh-baked goods. Visitors can also see the animals.

Dr. Davies Farm
306 Route 304
Congers, NY

Wander through the 55-acre farm filled with 4,000-plus trees where apples abound and gorgeous vistas are at every turn. Visit Dr. Davies roadside farm stand for fresh fruits and vegetables, including their own sweet corn and fresh-pressed cider. Register for a designated time.

The Orchards of Concklin
2 South Mountain Road
Pomona, NY

This place has been a staple in Rockland County for 10 generations and the owners take special care of their orchards, encouraging visitors to be kind to the trees when picking. While you’re there, be sure to stop in their retail store for fresh produce and baked goods.

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