Honeycrisp, Ginger Gold, Red Delicious – just say the names of different apple varieties, and you can taste the tart sweetness of the first, crunchy bite. And what better way to celebrate the cool, crisp days of autumn than an afternoon of apple picking with your family? Lucky for us, Central Pennsylvania just happens to be apple pickers’ paradise. Here’s our list of local orchards where you can load up on the fixings for homemade pies, sauces and other yummy apple treats.
Note: Apple harvest season dates can depend on weather and other growing conditions, so check orchard websites to confirm U-pick days and hours.
Boyer Nurseries & Orchards, Inc.
405 Boyer Nursery Road, Biglerville
Apples are available in the barn market beginning late summer. Pick-your-own apples begin in mid-September, seven days a week.
Hollabaugh Bros., Inc.
545 Carlisle Road, Biglerville
From mid-September on, you can pick your own Red and Golden Delicious apples, a variety that’s perfect for snacking and baking. The market features baked goods, ice cream, canned goods and locally raised meats.
CUMBERLAND & DAUPHIN COUNTIES
1000 Strites Road, Harrisburg
This farm’s been in operation for over 100 years, and has lots of yummy baked and canned goods in addition to other fresh produce. Apple picking will begin early September.
LANCASTER & LEBANON COUNTIES
390 Orchard Road, Mohnton
Apple picking began in mid-summer and continues through the end of October, possibly into November, depending on weather. Stop by the farm market for homemade jams, baked good and Brechnock Orchard honey.
Cherry Hill Orchards
400 Long Lane, Lancaster
With 25 varieties of apples here, there’s sure to be several to appeal to every member of your family. It’s been open since August, and will continue through mid-November. Closed on Sundays.
Gray’s Apple Ridge Orchard
144 Greble Road, Jonestown
They have 11 types of apples with the earliest ready in mid-September. The trees are semi-dwarf and easy to reach. Pick a little or a lot — they charge you by the pound, not by the bushel. Open Fridays-Sundays.
Masonic Village Farm Market
310 Eden View Road, Elizabethtown
Their apple picking started in mid-August and will end October 22. You can pick-your-own daily.
Sycamore Spring Orchard
1901 Thompson Avenue, Jonestown
The season started in mid-August with their Ginger Gold and Gala apples and is scheduled to continue through October with their many variety of reds. Open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and Thursdays 3 p.m.-dark.
8773 Yellow Church Road, Seven Valleys
Located three miles from their market in Loganville, the orchard features pick-your-own ginger gold apples. The season began in early August and runs through October.
Family Tree Farm
4688 Dairy Road, Red Lion
Their pick-your-own season starts September 2. Varieties include Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, Crimson Crisp, Pink Lady and Cameo.
Flinchbaugh’s Orchard and Farm Market
110 Ducktown Road, York
The Orchard and farm market is open year-round and offers a fresh stock of fruits and vegetables, baked items and specialty foods. Pick-your-own apples begins September 22 and runs Fridays and Saturdays through October.
Forge Hill Orchards
135 Blossom Drive, Mt. Wolf
The farm has been around for three-quarters of a century. Pick-your-own apples are sold by the half-bushel, one price regardless of the variety you pick. Bushel baskets are provided at the orchard. U-pick begins mid-September and runs through October, Monday through Sunday.
Maple Lawn Farms, Inc.
2885 New Park Road, New Park
Ginger Gold, Blondee and more. The apple picking started in late summer with 15 varieties to choose throughout the season.
522 E. Mount Airy Road, Dillsburg
Pick-your-own apples are available every weekend in September and October. Stop in the farm store for seasonal produce, snacks, baked goods and ice cream.
5594 Norrisville Road, White Hall, Md.
Pick-your-own apples on Saturdays each week from September through about the end of October, as supplies last. Gala, and Golden Delicious will start the season, followed by Cameo, Nittany, Rome and York Imperial.
560 Orchard Road, Delta
Apple picking begins middle of September and runs through beginning of November. Open seven days a week.