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Fall Apple Picking Guide

Posted by / Monday, October 1st, 2012

Lee Prince/Shutterstock.com

Plan a day trip for apple picking in Virginia’s countryside. (Or get thinky, and read this instead.) 

Crooked Run Orchard (Loudoun County)

37883 E. Main St., Purcellville; 540-338-6642; crookedrunorchard.com; Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday (hours subject to change, so please call ahead before your visit)

Fall apples at Crooked Run include Golden Delicious, Cameo, Law Rome, Cortland, Suncrisp, Braeburn and Jonagold, just to name a few. Parking and admission are always free and apples are just a dollar a pound, making it harder to find excuses not to make its signature apple crumble pie (recipe on its site).

Hartland Orchard (Fauquier County)

3064 Hartland Lane, Markham; 540-364-2316; hartlandorchard.com; Open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (it is recommended that you call prior to visiting).

While Hartland offers a wide selection of ready-to-pick fruits throughout the year, the orchard is best known for its apples. Fuji, Rome Beauty, York and Granny Smith apples are just a few of the varieties available in October. While you’re there, enjoy a refreshing glass of homemade cider and browse the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect jack-o’-lantern-to-be for Halloween!

Hollin Farms (Fauquier County)

1524 Snowden Road, Delaplane; 540-592-3701; hollinfarms.com; Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday

Hollin Farms offers not only pick-your-own apples and pumpkins in the fall, but also dig-your-own potatoes and peanuts. The four-generation family farm, established in the early 1950s, is just a stone’s throw from Sky Meadows State Park. Hollin Farms also features a popular corn maze, and natural Angus beef and pastured heritage breed pork from the slaughterhouse.

11587 Poverty Hollow Lane, Markham; 540-364-3040; striblingorchard.com; Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, closed Monday and Oct. 9

At Stribling, you can select from already-picked Summer Rambo and Gala apples, or you can pick your own Empire, Ginger Gold, Smokehouse apples and more! Don’t forget to stop by the onsite Harvest House and bakery to purchase apple wine, jams and jellies, pumpkin butter, honey, apple-cinnamon-raisin bread and pumpkin pie. (Note: the bakery portion of the store is only open on weekends.)

 An Orchard Away …

The five pick-your-own-apple orchards listed below are outside of NoVA, but certainly worth a visit. Get your pickin’ baskets ready and make a day of it!

Carter Mountain Orchard (Abermarle County)

1435 Carters Mountain Trail (physical address), 575 Thomas Jefferson Parkway (GPS address), Charlottesville; 434-977-1833; cartermountainorchard.com; Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily and Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. through Nov. 3; Distance from Fairfax: 106 miles (approx. 2 hours 19 minutes drive)

A Charlottesville tradition for 100 years, Carter Mountain is home to more than just farm-fresh apples. The 2012 Apple Harvest Celebration—featuring apple cider, donuts, butter and pie in addition to wine tastings, live music and hayrides—will be held every weekend in October. Orchard-goers will also appreciate the Thursday Evening Sunset Series, held weekly through Oct. 4., offering unparalleled mountain sunset views, live music and dinner from the grill.

 Christopher Elwell/Shutterstock.com

Dickie Brothers Orchard (Nelson County)

2685 Dickie Road, Roseland; 434-277-5516; dickiebros.com; Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 31; Distance from Fairfax: 147 miles (approx. 3 hours 9 minutes drive)

Brothers John and Tommy Bruguiere are the proud, seventh-generation managers of Dickie Brothers Orchard, land that King George II granted their family back in 1750. They invite you to enjoy breathtaking views of the Appalachian Mountains while picking a wide variety of apples that ring up at just 85 cents a pound. The brothers also grow pumpkins, plums, peaches and sweet potatoes, and raise beef cattle, Saddlebred horses and Labrador Retrievers on the grounds. 

Johnson’s Orchards (Bedford County)

2122 Sheep Creek Road, Bedford; 540-586-3707; johnsonsorchards.com; Open daily 12-5 p.m.; Distance from Fairfax: 209 miles (approx. 3 hours 45 minutes drive)

Johnson’s Orchards boasts over 200 acres with a whopping 7,500 apple trees; nearly 200 different apple varieties are available. Johnson’s has even developed its own apple on site named the “Gold Nugget.” There’s also a log cabin, picnic pavilion (complete with a 15-foot statue of Johnny Appleseed), walking trails and a winery that offers cold cider in addition to over 25 kinds of fruit wine.

Marker-Miller Orchards Farm Market & Bakery (Frederick County)

3035 Cedar Creek Grade, Winchester; 540-662-1980; markermillerorchards.com; Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 12-5 p.m. Sunday (open Sunday during Sept. and Oct. only); Distance from Fairfax: 60.3 miles (approx. 1 hour 24 minutes drive)

Don’t miss the Apple Harvest Festival Oct. 6-7 and the Pumpkin Festival Oct. 27. When you’re finished picking your own apples, pumpkins and winter squashes, stop by Marker-Miller’s Sweet Shop for fresh fudge, hand-dipped ice cream and one-of-a-kind apple cider slushies. Cider and pumpkin donuts, rum buns and pumpkin bars are also seasonal bakery favorites.

Showalter’s Orchard & Greenhouse (Rockingham County)

17768 Honeyville Road, Timberville; 540-896-7582; showaltersorchard.com; Open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday; Distance from Fairfax: 105 miles (approx. 1 hour 55 minutes drive)

Enjoy the Shenandoah Valley’s finest apples at Showalter’s, where over 20 varieties of apples, including antiques, are waiting to be picked. A Timberville staple for nearly 50 years, Showalter’s also offers freshly-pressed sweet cider and apple jams, jellies and butter at the gift shop. Stop by on Saturday, Oct. 20 for the Annual Apple Harvest Celebration!

To discover other great pick-your-own orchards throughout the Commonwealth, visit virginiaapples.org or pickyourown.org.

Available fall apple varieties listed are current as of mid-August. Please contact the orchards before your visit to inquire about the apples that are currently in season and stock.

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One Response

Diana Says:


I was at both Hartland and Hollin orchards yesterday in Fauquier County, and both are OUT of apples on the trees! I couldn’t believe it; typically they have apples for picking all October, but they said they came and went early this year. The did have apples in containers for purchase, but it’s so much more fun to pick your own!

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