The weather is getting cooler, which means it’s time to go apple picking before they’re all gone. Some apples love the colder air, and those varieties are often sweeter (like the popular Honeycrisp).
Here’s what you need to know before heading to the apple orchards. Because trees get picked quickly, it’s best to call the farm you want to visit ahead of time to see if the variety you’re looking for is still available. Almost all apple orchards are selling apples by the bag this year (instead of by weight), and very few of the orchards that we came across will allow you to bring your own apple bag. And bring cash if you want to get through the line fast!
Here are the top 10 places to pick apples near the GTA this fall – remember, eye to the sky!
Apple season is still in full swing at Albion Orchards with Empire apples on deck. You can currently grab a 10-pound bag of apples for $20 and 20 pounds for $40 (though we’ve heard that if you wait until the end of the season when pickings are slim, Albion offers discounts). Albion is located in Caledon, so it’s the perfect quick trip for a lazy weekend. More details about Albion’s current varieties can be found on their website, but the farm updates their Facebook page more frequently, so make sure to check that page before you go – currently, the Macintosh and the popular Royal Gala are having their moment!
Pine Farms Orchard
Pine Farms Orchard in the King Township is currently picking Wealthy, Macintosh, Royal Gala, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Jonah Gold, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Spartan and more varieties from the end of September to the middle of October. The farm charges $2 per pound and you must pay an entrance fee of $5 per person. Enjoy Pine Farms’ bakeshop and café while you’re there as well!
JC Agri Orchard
King City’s JC Agri Orchard is currently picking Macintosh, Silken and Tydeman Red, but Honeycrisp and Royal Gala will be available later in the season. Apples are $2 per pound, and you’re encouraged to bring your own bag (or pay $0.50 for each bag). It’s best to check the farm’s website before you arrive to ensure that the apples you want are still available. Admission is $5 per person and you’re able to drive through the orchard to get to each apple variety on your own.
Organics Family Farm
Organics Family Farm in Markham is a small organic farm that’s currently picking a few varieties of apples. The farm does get picked out frequently and closes while awaiting new crops. It’s best to check the farm’s Facebook page (updated regularly) for details before you go. The $15 entry fee per person includes a 5lb bag of apples; any additional bags after that are priced at $12 for a 5-pound bag, $24 for 10 pounds and $48 for a half bushel or 20 pounds.
Pingle’s Farm Market
The sought after Honeycrisp apple likes the colder weather, but at Pingle’s, Honeycrisp apples ready to be picked starting Sept. 16. You can also grab Macintosh, Royal Gala and Cortland apples – wait until later in the month for Empire, Spy, Ambrosia, Red Delicious and Mutsu apples. Admission to the farm is $10-$20, and the price of apples is $24 for 10 pounds and $39 for 20 pounds. Tickets must be purchased online before visiting the farm and include access to the farm’s harvest festival featuring a corn maze, wagon rides and more.
Downey’s Strawberry and Apple Farm
Downey’s is still picking apples at its Caledon and Breslau locations. Downey’s still has plenty of varieties available, and no reservations are required to visit the farm. Apples are $25 per 10-pound bag and $40 for 20 pounds. Check out the farm’s picking list to see which varieties are in season.
Dixie Orchards is currently picking Macintosh and Royal Gala apples and has the famed Honeycrisp for purchase inside the farm’s market (pre-picked). You have to pre-purchase a bag and it’s recommended that you make a reservation before visiting the farm, especially on weekends. It will cost you $5.30 per person to enter, excluding kids under two.
Watson Farms is currently picking Macintosh, with many other varieties to come as the weather gets cooler. Apples are priced at $2.75 per pound, and no reservations are required, though it will cost you $5 to enter ($3 for kids). Tractor and wagon rides are also available on weekends. Watson Farm keeps its website frequently updated, so check before you go.
Silken, Macintosh, Ginger Gold and Wealthy await you at Chudleigh’s in Halton Hills, with Royal Galas and Honeycrisps being ready to pick by Sept. 17. The farm also has play areas, farm animals, and nature trails to explore. Tickets and reservations must be purchased and made before visiting the farm, so book ahead – it’ll cost you $16 per person to enter, or $14 for kids and seniors. They’re cash-free, so bring your cards!
Carl Laidlaw Orchards
Macintosh, Ginger Gold, Royal Gala and many other varieties are available at Carl Laidlaw Orchards in Brampton. Reservations are not required, but it is first-come-first-serve at the farm. Apples are $20 per 10-pound bag and admission will cost you $13 for adults and $9 for kids.