Fall is here in New York City; the air is crisp, and the smell of warm apple cider and pumpkin spice lingers in the air. As the leaves change from vibrant greens to warm reds and browns, it’s the perfect time to go out and pick the sweetest and spookiest fruits the season has to offer. Here are some places near the city you can go apple and pumpkin picking around the city.
Located 30 miles north of New York City in Hillsdale, N.J., Demarest Farms offers hay wagon rides, a petting zoo, a photo display area and more. Their delicious apple cider donuts, voted the best in Bergen County, are all made from scratch with the finest ingredients. You can also grab some hot apple cider and fresh apple and pumpkin pies at their farm store. For $7 general admission you can access all the farm has to offer, including an orchard with 14 different varieties of apples, and for $9 you can take home the largest pumpkin you can find. To get to Demarest, take the North Jersey Coast Line from Penn Station to Secaucus, transfer to the Pascack Valley Line to Hillsdale, then take a taxi or an Uber for the remaining two miles.
Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard
Every weekend, starting in September through the end of October, this family-run farm located in Westchester County, N.Y., hosts its Fall Festival. The farm hosts a handful of vendors, including barbecue, brick oven pizza, kettle corn, pumpkin cheesecake and, of course, apple cider donuts. Activities include hayrides, bouncy castles, face painting, bungee trampolines, apple cannons and pumpkin and apple picking. Admission is $5, and you can take home up to 25 pounds of apples for $30. The farm takes cash only, but there are ATMs on site. If Harvest Moon sounds like the place for you, take the Metro-North Harlem Line to Croton Falls then take a taxi or an Uber for the final two miles.
Since opening in 1972 as a “Pick-It-Yourself” orchard in Warwick, N.Y., Masker has established itself as an autumnal tradition for all families located in the tri-state area. They offer local produce and light and fluffy apple cider donuts at their country store, in addition to pumpkin and apple picking. On weekends they have a haunted house, pony rides and an apple maze. Apples are $29.95 per bag, but admission is free, and you’re allowed to eat as many apples as you like while you are exploring the 200 acres of land owned by the orchard. Get to Masker by taking New Jersey Transit’s 196 or 197 bus from Port Authority Bus Terminal to Warwick Park-and-Ride, then take a taxi, Uber or short walk, for the last mile.
Wilken’s Fruit and Fir Farm
Celebrating its 102nd year of harvest, Wilken’s offers a corn maze, a farm market, a bakery, a winery and pumpkin and apple picking. They have over a dozen apple varieties to choose from, but every pair of adults must purchase a 1-peck bag to fill up and take home. If you aren’t a baker yourself, you can still enjoy their apple cider donuts and pies at the bakery which visitors enjoy for their fresh seasonal taste. Located in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., get to Wilken’s Farm by taking Metro-North’s Hudson Line to Peekskill then take a taxi or Uber for six miles.
Email Arin Garland at [email protected]