There is something inherently nostalgic about Fall, or boots and scarf season as I like to call it... The weather is crisp, the changing leaves set off brilliantly against the blue sky, and whether you’re into pumpkin spice or not, it’s always nice to cozy up with a cup of warmth. Pumpkins are ripening in the fields preparing for their spooky day of glory, and the apples are at their peak. If you’re looking for a fun Fall activity, why not go apple picking? Our Maryland has plenty of farm options to choose from, with Pick Your Own (PYO) seasons, and fresh-off-the-field farm markets. Delicious and nutritious, and of course a great photo op for holiday cards. Note: All the farms recommend calling before you come, to find out which fruits and vegetables are ripe for the picking that day. Since these are working farms the farmers kindly request that you leave your furry friends at home.
Milburn Orchards, Elkton
Family owned and operated since 1902, Milburn Orchards is a great place to spend the day. The picking season runs through the end of October, so put on your boots and go. A free wagon ride takes you to the orchard, and picking bags are provided. All the trees are dwarf trees, so even your tiniest family members can pick the goods. Credit card payments are accepted in the orchards for convenience, and if the pickins’ aren’t enough for you, the farm market offers high quality fruits and vegetables.
Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm for PYO
Mon-Sat, 9am-7pm. Sun, 10am-5pm for the Farm Market
Weber’s Farm, Parkville
The cider mill at Weber’s is the oldest in continuous use in Maryland, and the fresh pressed cider is available every day through December. Don’t forget the mulling spices on your way home. The next variety of PYO apples will be ready in November, at Weber’s PeachBerry Farm.
October – Mon-Sun, 9am-8pm
November & December – Mon-Sun, 9am-6pm
Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Thurmont
In addition to their incredible orchards with multiple apple varieties, Catoctin Mountain also has an on-site kitchen and bakery where pies, jam, and of course fresh cider are expertly created to delight your senses of taste and smell. Yum. Pick up a few pies for the holidays, and feel free to bring one or two to the Red Cedar office…
October – Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm
November & December – Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm
Larriland Farm, Woodbine
This nearly-organic farm fights pests with natural tactics like crop rotation and water management, and only sprays as a very last resort. The variety of PYO apples is beyond compare, and the barn store offers way more than you can carry. The apple fritters are incredible, and there are numerous activities to delight youngsters, such as hay rides and a haunted barn. Go now, because the PYO season ends the first Sunday in November.
October – Sun, 9am-5pm. Tues-Fri, 9am-6pm. Sat, 9am-5pm
Homestead Farm, Poolesville
Homestead is a teaching farm, where you can learn about the growing seasons of different apple varieties, how to check for ripeness, and also how to turn them into delectable treats with apple recipes galore. The Allnutt Family has farmed in Montgomery County since 1763 and that family tradition has continued ever since. How neat.
Daily, 9am-6pm, with PYO ending at 5pm
Baugher’s Orchards & Farm, Westminster
The Baugher Family planted the first 12 acres of orchard in 1920, and they have borne fruit for nearly a century. With two locations to choose from, you can make a day of your visit to Baugher’s, with fresh home-cooked food and fun activities for all ages. Wagons take you from the market area to the fields, and expert farmhands can teach and assist you as you harvest.
Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm for PYO
Daily, 8am-6pm for the Farm Market