One of Minnesota’s most beloved autumn traditions is loading up the car (SUV, minivan, etc.) and heading to an orchard to pick your own apples. The cool autumn air, the bursting autumn leaves, and the sweet smell of apples in the air lure Minnesotans by the thousands. Here are some of our favorite spots to pick fall fruit right from the tree.
Apple Jack Orchards, tucked into a meander on the North Fork of the Crow River, has won several Minnesota “Best of” nods and is easily one of the state’s more beautiful orchards. Beyond pick-your-own apples, you can hop on a wagon ride, fire the apple cannon, or get lost in the orchard’s corn maze.
Rochester folks looking for a fresh apple fix ought to head out to Sekapp Orchard. Apart from their dozens of varieties of vegetables, they also open their orchards to you for picking during apple season. All you need to do is buy a bag or two and fill it up with crisp, delicious fruit. Enjoy a wagon ride during your day at the orchard.
Another gorgeous orchard, this one in the East Metro, is the intriguingly-named Pine Tree Apple Orchard. With trails, forested hills and frontage on Pine Tree Lake, the orchard is an awesome place to hike and enjoy some fall foliage, as well as pick your own apples.
A gorgeous orchard near the St. Croix River, Pleasant Valley offers more than a dozen varieties for the picking, including the Minnesota born-and-grown Honeycrisp. In addition to apple picking, you can tale a hayride, enjoy the vendor fair, or partake ion the old fashioned pie social.
With a bluff-top location and views of the St. Croix River valley, Afton Apple Orchard is definitely one of the prettiest apple orchards you’ll find in Minnesota. Take a scenic hayride and pick your own apples while enjoying a steaming cup of the orchard’s delicious cider.
One of the most popular orchards in the Twin Cities area, Aamodt’s Apple Farm offers dozens of apple varieties from all seasons, including summer, fall, winter, and even crab apples. Beyond apple picking, you can enjoy a hard cider or even a hot air balloon ride over the gorgeous St. Croix River Valley.
Located on the blufftops above the St. Croix River Valley, near the place where the river flows into the Mississippi, Croix Farm Orchard offers gorgeous views along with its 20 varieties of apples, ripe for the picking. Visit the farm animals or scale the straw mountain to add a little spice to your orchard visit.
Every year, during their harvest an Apple Fest, Gilby’s opens its orchards to the public and hosts concessions, pony and carriage rides, a petting zoo, as well as arts and crafts vendors. Come out while the orchard is open and choose your own apples from more than a dozen varieties.
More than just an orchard, Whistling Well Farm is a working farm that opens its grounds during apple-picking season. You can choose from an impressive variety of apples to pick. Pick a bunch of one kind or mix and match as you please. Bring a picnic lunch or pick up a snack from the farm store.
For an authentic apple-picking experience that feels almost as if you’re in a vineyard, head to Sponsel’s Minnesota Harvest in the Minnesota River Valley. The main buildings are covered with vines and smell of pressed cider. From the business end of the orchard, take a wagon out to the blufftop apple trees and pick until your bags are full.