Autumn is for Apple Picking: Best U-Pick Apple Orchards in the Hudson Valley | Farms & CSAs | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
Pies, strudels, crumble, crisp, hard cider, apple cider, mulled cider, cider doughnuts. Pumpkin (spice) may have a better PR agent right now, but apple is the true star of autumn 'round these parts. After a cold spell in winter and a late frost in spring, local farms are doing their best to work with what Mother Nature has provided.
Al fresco farm visits are a great way to get outdoors with the fam or the bae this fall. We've polled our readers to ask their recommendations for the best U-pick apple farms in the Hudson Valley. Here's what the polls said, plus a few staff picks in the mix.

DuBois Farms | Highland

DuBois was a crowd favorite among readers, with one fan writing, "They have the best family farm. Tiny Town for the kids to play, a petting zoo, the Tavern for excellent food, and the barn with homemade jams, salsa, jewelry, etc." 'Tis true, DuBois seems to have it all from pastries to fresh pressed local cider to locally made preserves, condiments, and body care products. In October, U-pick is open for apples, grapes, and pumpkins with no reservations required. DuBois is open every day of the week, from 10am-5pm.

Twin Star Orchard | New Paltz

The 200-acre Twin Star Orchard in New Paltz is the home base and tasting room for Brooklyn Cider House, which makes Basque-style ciders with minimal intervention, using no added flavorings or additional sugars. Many of the ciders are raw and wild-fermented. The orchard has 50 acres with over 8,000 heirloom and hard cider apple trees and another 50 acres of ancient orchards now open for U-picking. Even as the season wraps up with Golden Delicious, you can still head to the farm for wood-fired pizza and burgers, house ciders, and local beer and wine enjoyed al fresco, pondside. Open Fridays from 12pm-7pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-7pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the kitchen opens at 11am.

Clarke's Family Farm | Modena

One reader wrote about Clarke's, "Organic and low-spray apples, HUGE variety, amazing cider doughnuts, and the nicest people. And it’s not crowded." Organic apple varieties include Red Delicious, Fuji, Gold Rush, Cameo and Enterprise, plus a whole bunch more conventional (IPM) apples. You can also harvest your own pumpkin straight off the vine and browse the preserves made with farm-fresh fruit. On your way back from the corn maze, taste their sunshine-distilled apple spirits and nom on a homemade donut. But hurry up and get their fast because they're only open weekends through October 21/22.

Masker Orchards | Warwick

If you're looking for an extra special apple-picking experience, visit the 200 acre Masker Orchards in Warwick. You can drive your car right up to any one of their 10,000 trees, and tune your radio to Maskers own broadcast station at FM 87.9 for the most updated apple picking information. Admission, parking, and bags are all free. On weekends and holidays, indulge in pony rides, mule-drawn wagon rides, a haunted house and an apple maze. Masker's apple picking season continues everyday till the end of October, including weekends and holidays, from 9am-5pm.

Lawrence Farm Orchards | Newburgh

This family owned and operated Newburgh farm has a range of apple varieties from Ozark Gold and Cortland to Gala, Cameo, Ginger Gold, and Fuji, all available for picking. Lawrence Farm also offers pumpkins, winter squash, gourds, and cider doughnuts. Open daily 9am-4pm. Admission is $7 per person Monday-Thursday and $10.00 per person Friday-Sunday and Holidays (children under 2 years free).

Rose Hill Farm | Red Hook

One of the state’s oldest fruit farms, Rose Hill changed hands in November 2015. Under new owners, farm manager Kevin Clark has shifted the entire operation toward holistic orchard management practices, which means no herbicides and little to no spraying—especially in the lead up to harvest. It seems the changes are bearing fruit, so to say. One reader said that this 114-acre farm with epic views of the Catskills has the "best-tasting Honeycrisp apples." Due to a deep freeze in May, the pick your own selection is limited to mostly apples and blueberries, but there's a taproom where you can try the farm's unfiltered hard ciders and natural wines, and a farm stand with honey from the hives, mulled hot cider, warm apple crips, and cider doughnuts.

Soons Orchards | New Hampton

With more than 55 varieties of apple on 30 acres, Soons Orchards in Orange County is a haven for pomme connoisseurs. The market is open daily and selling local produce and provisions as is the next door tasting room, Orchard Hill Cider Mill, which serves farm-fresh hard cider plus New York State spirits, wine, and beer. An enthusiastic reader commented, "OMG—the best apple cider!" U-Pick apples are available on weekends from 10am-4pm, and U-Pick Pumpkins are available on weekends from 10:30am-4pm.

Love Apple Farm | Ghent

Love Apple Farm has contributed to Columbia County’s rich agricultural community for over 50 years. This 80-acre farm and U-pick apple orchard features a homemade bakery and fresh food market, as well as a farm zoo and playground for the kids. Visit the 4500 square foot market for a carefully curated selection of pottery, textiles, hostess gifts, and hand-poured soaps. This season’s picking lineup includes Ruby Mac, Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Gala, with all apples priced at $1.99/lb. U-pick is open daily 9am-4pm, with last entry at 3:30pm.

Boehm Farm | Climax

If you're looking for a climactic U-pick experience, head to Boehm Farm in Greene County. This 100-year-old family-run orchard has a wide array of apples, including Pink Luster, Honey Crisp, Gala, Mac, Cortland, and Autumn Crisp all available for U-pick. Their farm store also carries seasonal decor like corn stalks, gourds, and hay bales, while the bakery turns out fresh-baked cider donuts, cookies, and apple turnovers, plus pies on the weekends. Boehm is open daily from 10am-5pm, and the orchard closes at 4:30pm.

Minard’s Family Farm | Clintondale

The Minard family has been cultivating apples through four generations, spanning more than a century. Today, Minard’s Family Farm offers an extensive u-pick lineup featuring a variety of distinct apple types, including Stayman, Winesap, Mutsu, and Rome. Additionally, the Barn Market offers fresh apples, cider donuts, pies and our other delectable baked goods. For those looking to unwind, Mac's Tavern on the Farm offers a selection of beer, wine, and hard cider. Among Minard Farm’s latest attractions are Fun Farm Photo-ops, Barnyard Basketball, a Tractor Climb, lakeside fire pit rentals, and a pick-our-own sunflower field. The Farm welcomes visitors every weekend from 10AM-6PM and will continue to offer apple picking through the first weekend in November.

Samascott Orchards | Kinderhook

If you love apples, and you're also a bargain hunter, you'll love PYO at Samascott Orchards, where you get 10% off when you pick $20 or more in produce. The entry fee is $5 per person, with kids under 9 getting in free. At this orchard, you can book 75 minute wagon tours or rent out a 4-person surrey bike. The Samascott Market is also a destination unto itself with a full garden center, with annuals, perennials, and gardening supplies; a bakery and cafe with baked goods, prepared foods, ice cream, and produce. Open every day except Tuesday, from 9am-5pm.

Marie Doyon

Marie is the Digital Editor at Chronogram Media. In addition to managing the digital editorial calendar and coordinating sponsored content for clients, Marie writes a variety of features for print and web, specializing in food and farming profiles.
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