A favorite time of the year has once again arrived. The Hudson Valley is a highly popular place for apple picking.
A few of the orchards are small and picture-perfect, providing a traditional apple-picking experience along with cider and cider donuts. Others provide experience with delicious food, corn mazes, orchard-made hard cider and wagon rides. Apple season normally begins in late August and lasts until late October or early November. Most U-pick apple orchards begin in early September, although many are already busy preparing for apple pickers.
There are numerous orchards in the area, including Hurds Family Farm, which is located off Route 32 in Modena.
Hurds Family Farm was established in 1863 and maintained by a seventh-generation family, and U-pick has been in existence for 30 years. Families can create lasting experiences by selecting apples and pumpkins throughout the entire day. Cider donuts are made every day at their farm-to-table cafe, which additionally supports our local small businesses and local farms. Most people travel a three-hour distance to harvest fresh apples and take part in the activities that are available.
Charles Hurd said his farm had “excellent success in establishing 47 acres of Pollinator Habitat with great results. We are applying beneficial fungus and bacteria to the soils to help release natural available soil nutrients which helps with reducing fertilizer use.” Visitors to Hurds Family Farm are able to take a walk through several of the pollinator fields. The Hurds Family Farm offers a variety of activities, including the cow train, hayrides, bouncy pillow, farm animals, nature paths and a corn maze.
Many go apple picking in September and October, especially the end of October producing fan favorites. “Pink Lady’s and Fujis are fan favorites”, late October brings out the apples that fans have been anticipating all season. The Ginger Gold, Tydeman, Paula Red, Mcintosh, Jonamac, Gala, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Jonagold, Empire, Macoun, SnapDragon, Golden Delicious, Crimson Crisp, Red Delicious, Rome, RubyFrost and Granny Smith apples are a few of the many varieties that are available for picking.
Apple pickers are able to select from three different-sized bags from Hurds Family Farm. The Small bag can accommodate 14 apples of average size weighing roughly 7 lbs. The Medium Bag will fit 22 apples and weighs about 11 lbs. The Large Deluxe Bag is capable of holding 46 apples of average size weighing about 23 lbs.
Another nearby farm that offers a wonderful apple-picking experience is Wright’s Farm and Market.
Wright’s Farm is a six-generation family farm in Gardiner. The farm is being run by three generations: Theodore Wright, Tammy Boylan, and her husband Mike Boylan. Charles Baker Wright purchased the original farm in 1904 and began the family dairy farm on 108 acres. By the late 1950s, the farm had changed from mostly dairy to business-related apple production. The farm currently covers 453 acres and produces a variety of crops, including tomatoes, pumpkins, squashes, string beans and tree fruit. Along with growing in the fields, the farm has increased its retail with a year-round farm stand and involvement with farmers markets in the Hudson Valley and Westchester County. The year of 2018 saw the opening of a farm brewery in the farm’s former dairy barn.
Visitors can also participate in a variety of fun activities at Wrights Farm. Other activities available include watching skydivers, picnicking, going to the brewery, shopping at the market and choosing from a selection of apples. Fuji, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Winesap, Cameo, Arkansas Black, Empire, Macintosh, Honey Crisp, Cortlands, Gala, Macoun, Jona Gold, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Rome, Braeburns and Northern Spy are some apples that you find during U-pick.
Many people travel several hours from New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania to U-pick at Wright’s Farm.
Here is a selection of other apple orchards and farms that will provide you with the ultimate apple-picking experience.
• Tantillo Farm, 730 NY-208, Gardiner
• Dressel Farms, 271 NY-208, New Paltz
• Wilklow Orchards, 341 Pancake Hollow Rd, Highland
• Twin Star Orchards, 155 N Ohioville Rd, New Paltz
• Jenkins Lueken Orchards, 69 Yankee Folly Rd, New Paltz
• Maynard Farm, 324 River Rd, Ulster Park
• Lawrence Farm Orchards, 306 Frozen Ridge Rd, Newburgh
• Minard’s Family Farm, 250 Hurds Rd, Clintondale
• DuBois Farm, 209 Perkinsville Rd, Highland
• Locust Grove Fruit Farm, 199 North Rd, Milton
• Weed Orchards & Winery, 43 Mt Zion Rd, Marlboro