Month-long harvest celebration kicks off in October
The award-winning Wayne County Apple Tasting Tour returns for the 22nd year this October. As the largest apple-producing county in New York State, apple lovers across western and central New York have enjoyed Wayne County’s fall celebration since 1997. All month long, visitors are invited to pick fresh apples, admire the fall colors, and enjoy a day of family fun. With activities ranging from corn mazes and tractor rides to wine and spirit tastings, there’s plenty for friends, couples, and even mom and dad to enjoy.
New this year, attendees of the tour can enter to win a weekend getaway in Wayne County by downloading the trail map and collecting stamps from each stop. Those who collect all 12 stamps will be eligible to win the first prize, which includes a stay at Burnap’s Bed & Breakfast and Beyond and gift cards to The Bay Street Restaurant and Saltbox Smokehouse.
Wayne County Tourism partners with 12 local businesses to host the tour. The tour runs throughout October, giving visitors a chance to experience apple harvest at farm markets, apple orchards, wineries, and cideries. Every stop visited earns a stamp on the tour map, that can be mailed to the Tourism Office, postmarked by November 6 for a chance to win the weekend getaway, or one of the other three prizes. Download the tour map at www.appletastingtour.com, or pick up a copy at any tour stop.
In 2019, the tour won the New York State Agricultural Society Ag Promotion Award. This award was presented to Wayne County Tourism by New York Agriculture Society at their annual meeting. This comes on the heels of the New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) Tourism Excellence Cultural Heritage Award in 2017.
New to the trail this year is Youngman Orchard Farm Market. Located in Sodus up the road from Beechwood State Park, Youngman is a 4th generation family farm that began growing in New York in 1922. Focusing mainly on apples, they also grow a variety of other fruits as well as pumpkins, gourds, and Indian corn. Additionally, The Apple Farm Stand at Stone Goose Farms, formerly Mackquinle Farms, joined the Stone Goose Enterprise family. Offering freshly pressed cider, local honey and ‘try before you buy’ tasting daily, the offering for customers will continue to grow.
“Tasting Weekend” from October 11-14 boasts plentiful activities and extra celebrations along the trail over the Columbus Day weekend. Visitors are invited to:
- Enjoy wine tastings at Young Sommer Winery and JD Wine Cellars.
- Try a glass of hard cider at Rootstock Cider & Spirits, Embark Craft Ciderworks at Lagoner Farms, or Old Goat Cidery at The Apple Shed.
- Sample locally distilled spirits made from local apples at Rootstock Cider & Spirits.
- Pick your own apples at one of the many farms and apple orchards on the tour.
- Stop for lunch at the café at Lagoner Farms.
- Escape the Amazing Maize Maze at Long Acre Farms.
- Kids can play at many stops on the tour with hayrides, a jumping pillow, and much more!
- Find your new favorite apple by tasting all the varieties at 10 farm markets.
- Stock up on fall goodies like fresh pies, apple salsa, and homemade preserves.
- Take home colorful mums and bright orange pumpkins.
The 12 Apple Tasting Tour stops
About Wayne County’s Apple Industry
New York State has 51,097 acres of apple trees, 20,862 of which are in Wayne County, making it the top apple-producing County in the state. McIntosh is the top production apple in the County. Imported from Ontario, Canada shortly after its discovery in 1811, this apple thrived here because of its hardy constitution and love of cool nights. Other varieties grown in the County include Empire, Red Delicious, Cortland, Rome, Idared and Crispin among other lesser-known types.
Apple farming has been a way of life in Wayne County for centuries, and is home to several multi-generational farms. Two recognized Century Farms (100 years) – Lagoner Farms and Orbaker’s Fruit Farm – are on the Tour and were established in 1909 and 1889, respectively.
For more information on Wayne County, the Apple Tasting Tour or the apple industry, contact Wayne County Tourism at 800-527-6510 or visit www.waynecountytourism.com.