by Sierra Guardiola
Goodbye summer, hello fall! It’s always bittersweet saying “see you later” to another Finger Lakes summer, but it’s a treat to know that right around the corner is a beautiful fall. Full of festivals, cooler weather, and breathtaking foliage, this season in the Finger Lakes never disappoints. A tradition that carries through year after year in the region is apple picking. All 14 counties of the Finger Lakes are home to multiple apple orchards. Among them is Wayne County, the largest apple producing county in the state. There is never a shortage of options when it comes to picking the perfect apples. We are right in the midst of apple-picking season, so be sure to get out there soon to grab your favorite varieties.
Apple Barrel Orchards
Originally a farm with livestock as well, this orchard now operates as a fruit farm run by third generation farmers. Come and visit the farm for U-Pick, or for a trip to their farm store where you can purchase already picked apples.
Open daily 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
2673 Sand Hill Road, Penn Yan. 315- 536-2744.
Beak and Skiff
Whether you come for the U-Pick experience or to see the popular 1911 Tasting Room, your trip will be full of a delicious apple experience. With over 300,000 trees, 15,000 of which were replanted in 2013, this orchard is dedicated to renovation, innovation, and providing customers with the best possible experience.
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2708 Lords Hill Road (Rt. 80), Lafayette. 315-696-6085.
A hub for experimentation, Cornell Orchards always pairs their original varieties of apples with fan-favorites. Some of their original varieties include Autumn Crisp and Snapdragon. Since the orchard is a research and development facility, apples are only available for purchase and not on a U-Pick basis, so be sure to stop by the Cornell Orchards Store to pick up your fall treats.
Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
709 Dryden Road. (Rt. 366), Ithaca. 607-255-4542
Green Acre and West Wind Fruit Farms
Say yes to double the fun at this Rochester orchard! Recent expansion has allowed this orchard to now have two locations for apple pickers to enjoy. Run by fourth and fifth generation farmers, this orchard has been offering U-Pick since 1972. Be sure to check out their new Blue Barn Cider launched in 2017 while you’re there too.
Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 3460 Latta Road, Greece or 930 Manitou Rd, Hilton. 585-234-0252.
Indian Creek Farm
One of my favorites for U-Pick. Only minutes from The Commons, enjoy their Vintage Orchard – with classic varieties like Cortland, Rome Beauty, McIntosh, Red Delicious, and Northern Spy – or their Dwarf Orchard, which offers 60 varieties of apples at a prime height for picking. Grab some of their famous Orchard Ambrosia from the farm stand, and maybe even a U-Pick bouquet of flowers on your way out.
Open daily in season.
1408 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca. 607-227-8248.
At this orchard, it’s all about family. Committed to providing families with a “down-home, old-fashioned farm” experience, this may just have to be your next stop if you’re looking for a new orchard to carry out your apple picking traditions. Be sure to look at the antique tractors from the 1920s on your way into the orchard.
Monday through Saturday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
8174 Grant Ave. (Rt. 5), Weedsport. 315-252-4097.
Red Jacket Orchards
You may recognize this name from the popular juice beverage seen up and down the east coast. The third generation of the Nicholson family now run the orchard and are the producers of the popular juices, which come in nine flavors. Overlooking Seneca Lake in Geneva, this farm market offers food and specialty items along with fruit from their orchard.
Monday through Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
957 Canandaigua Road, Geneva. 315-787-0102