Whether you have lived in New York your entire life or if this fall will be the first time you see the trees of Washington Square change colors, here is your list of the best places to go apple picking this season.
If you are looking to make a day out of your apple picking adventure, Masker’s Orchards in Warwick, New York is the place to be. In addition to apple picking, the orchard also offers a corn maze, a haunted house, live music and a country store. You can pick a bag of apples — half a bushel or about 22 pounds — for $26.95. The orchard is popular not only for its array of activities, but also because it is one of the easiest orchards to access without a car. Just take the New Jersey Transit bus from Port Authority in Midtown to Warwick Park & Ride.
Wilken’s Fruit & Fir Farm
Those in search of a more traditional apple picking experience will love Wilken’s Fruit & Fir Farm in Yorktown Heights, New York. What Wilken’s lacks in bells and whistles it makes up for in country charm. Visitors can pick half a bushel of apples for about $30, depending on the weather and availability. If you’re looking for some Halloween decorations, pumpkin picking season will begin on Oct. 1.. Metro-North Railroad’s 869 from Grand Central Station and a short cab ride will get you there in under two hours.
Demarest Farms Orchard
If you’re on a budget, head to Demarest Farms Orchard in Hillsdale, New Jersey. The $5 admissions fee includes a hayride and a visit with farm animals. For $9 more, you get a bag to fill with all the apples you can pick. To get Demarest, take New Jersey Transit Rail’s North Coast Line towards Long Branch, transfer to the Pascack Valley Line at Frank R Lautenberg Secaucus, and from the Hillsdale Station, take a taxi two miles down the road to the farm.
Environmentally conscious students should visit Fishkill Farms in Hopewell Junction, New York. For $1.89 a pound, visitors can pick from nine varieties of sustainably grown apples in addition to corn, pumpkins and sunflowers. You will also be treated to hayrides and live music on weekends. Even though it’s an hour and a half drive down Taconic State Parkway to get to the farm, it is worth the trip.
Your apple picking adventure will leave you with more apples than you can eat at once. Consider getting creative with them rather than just eating them with peanut butter. If you have access to a kitchen, try wrapping cubed apples tossed in melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in crescent roll dough (the kind that comes in refrigerated tubes). Place them on a pan and bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees. You’ll be left with portable and delicious apple pies and a perfect reason to go apple picking again next year.
A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 28 print edition. Email Taylor Nicole Rogers at [email protected]