Apple picking time is here, and fear not, the Washington area offers plenty of orchard options. The apple harvest in the Washington area lasts from August to December and peaks in October, boasting red and golden delicious, empire, idared, jonagold, mustu/crispin, Rome, stayman/winesap, york, fuji, gala and, of course, granny smith varieties. Try them all, most are good for baking too. Orchards not included here but also worth checking out are Butlers Orchard and Homestead Farm. For the top five, however, head to these area favorites.
1415 Woodbine Road
Woodbine, MD 21797
Larriland Farm, west of Columbia, Md., offers its apple season from mid-August to early November, offering different apples depending on what’s ripe at any given time. October is probably the best time to visit. Not only are apples plentiful, so are weekend and evening hayrides. The Boo Barn is great for kids 4 to 8 around Halloween. Both the website and the telephone recordings are updated daily. No pets are allowed, and while containers are provided for adults, children are asked to bring their own. Larriland Farms accepts cash, checks, and credit cards, and an ATM is available on site.
28600 Ridge Road
Mount Airy, MD 21771
Pick apples at Rock Hill Orchard from September to November in northern Montgomery County. This family friendly orchard also offers flowers, other fruit and vegetables to pick. Though Rock Hill’s apple picking is great, peaches here are always a huge draw for the locals, so don’t miss out on these juicy, delicious little orbs every year from July to September. Rock Hill often features special events, so call for fun times and for the latest hours. You pick hours change regularly.
1015 Baugher Road
Westminster, MD 21158
Baughers is a great place not only to go apple picking but also to visit the farm market and the petting zoo for the kids. Spread out over 200 acres, pick your own fruit without falling over other families. Customers are taken to the fields on tractor wagons. Baughers offers fruits and vegetables throughout fall and summer. For foods you don’t feel like picking, head to the markets. The Petting Zoo features lambs, goats, a donkey, a llama, peacocks and alpacas. This is a great opportunity for kids to feed the animals and learn about them. There are also two playground sets and a gazebo on site.
3064 Hartland Lane
Markham, Virginia 22643
Make your trip a combination of apple picking and wine tasting at two orchards in the Markham, Va., area and nearby Naked Mountain Winery. Hartland Orchard or Stribling Orchard sit close to each other, offering two adventures in one. Hartland Orchard accepts cash and credit cards and asks that you always call ahead for hours. Apple picking is available as early as July all the way to October.
11587 Poverty Hollow Lane
Markham VA 22643
Stribling Orchards has been around for 200 years. With a view of the Blue Ridge mountains, it’s a beautiful place to pick apples. The Harvest House offers cider, honey, jams, jellies, salsas, hot sauces, local cheese, local eggs and Virginia peanuts. Pets are not allowed here, and children are not allowed to climb the trees. Although there is no petting zoo, you may pet the farm animals. There is no entry fee.