Apple Picking in CNY: Best Place to Get Your Fall Fix
When the leaves start to change in central New York, it means it’s time for apple picking. With so many options in the greater Syracuse area, it can be hard to know where to go to get the best apples, pumpkins and even fresh, hot apple fritters. To make it easy, LiveableCNY breaks down some of the best places to get your apple fix this season.
Located just outside Syracuse in Lafayette, NY, Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard has been a staple in the Central New York area since 1911. Last year, the orchard was voted number one apple picking in the country in USA Today’s 2015 “10 Best” Reader’s Choice Poll. Apple picking starts in early September and lasts all the way through October, with favorites like McIntosh, Honeycrisp and Cortland all available. The orchard is open every day, meaning there’s plenty of time to squeeze in some quality time with your family. You can also visit the 1911 Tasting Room, which offers tastings from the orchard’s 1911 Spirits brand — including ciders, wine, vodka, and gin.
Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard; 2708 Lords Hill Rd, Lafayette, NY
Opened in 1985 by Matthew and Juanita Crtiz, Critz Farms offers more than just apple picking at its Cazenovia orchard. The family also grows pumpkins and trees — including balsam firs and Norway spruces for Christmas season. Critz Farms also hosts its Fall Harvest Celebration every weekend from mid-September through October. The festival includes hay rides, live music and even a 5K run through the apple orchards. Plus, Critz Farms’ Brewing & Cider Co., located on site, offers locally-sourced hard ciders made in small batches from apples picked straight from the orchard. You can’t get fresher than that.
Critz Farms; 3232 Rippleton Rd, Cazenovia, NY
Just off Route 20 in Syracuse, Burrell’s Navarino Orchard is a three-generation old pick-your-own farm that offers a variety of foods. While strawberries are ripe during the summer, fall varieties of raspberries, tomatoes and pumpkins are available during an apple picking trip. Weekends in the fall are the best time to stop by Navarino to pick up hot apple fritters, apple fritter sundaes and hot mulled cider from their seasonal fritter shack. And at only $1 a pound for apples, you can pick enough to have warm apple pie all winter long.
Navarino Orchard; 3655 Cherry Valley Turnpike, Syracuse, NY
About 20 minutes outside the city of Syracuse, the father and son team of Windsor and Warren Abbott offer patrons way more than just apple picking during the fall season. Founded 150 years ago, Abbott Farms offers fun-filled fall weekends until Halloween. This includes everything from bounce houses to face painting to even an apple cannon. On your way back from apple picking, you can also pick up some fresh raspberries, blueberries, potatoes and pumpkins. The farm is even open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, so you can get lost in the corn maze late into the night.
Abbott Farms; 3275 Cold Springs Rd, Baldwinsville, NY
Ontario Orchards in Oswego, NY is open seven days a week year-round, making it one of the most unique orchards in the area. During the fall, the orchard — which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year — offers U-Pick apples and pumpkins. The orchard also offers locally sourced products year-round. With everything from Hinerwadels salt potatoes to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauce, the orchard offers a diverse taste of central New York in one convenient location. Also, don’t forget to stop by their bakery for some fresh pumpkin pie or apple fritters.
Ontario Orchards, 7735 St. Rte. 104, Oswego, NY