Here's a quick round-up of Internet links to pick-your-own orchards in New England. Plus, I've collected more than 50 spectacular apple recipes from New England inns and restaurants to inspire your fall cooking. Enjoy!
Connecticut Apple Picking
Bishop's Orchards - Guilford, Connecticut
This 140-year-old family farm has been an apple picking destination since the 1940s.
Lyman Orchards - Middlefield, Connecticut
If you're looking for an apple picking outing that offers so much more, Lyman Orchards is your ideal spot for a day trip. Get lost in the corn maze, buy fresh-baked cider donuts and other specialty products at the Farm Market and even play golf on one of Lyman's two 18-hole courses or the new Apple Nine.
Silverman's Farm - Easton, Connecticut
Silverman's provides a handy chart of apple varieties and offers apple picking in southern Connecticut throughout the fall.
Maine Apple Picking
Apple Acres Farm - South Hiram, Maine
Visitors to Apple Acres are encouraged to do much more than just pick apples. They can picnic, view the fall foliage, eat homemade apple pie (oh, twist my arm!) and birdwatch, too.
The Apple Farm - Fairfield, Maine
The Apple Farm grows many different varieties of apples including old-fashioned, indigenous varieties like Northern Spy and Mac. Apple lovers are invited to pick their own fruit, visit the barn store or even order Maine apple gift packs by phone.
Maine Apple Orchards - statewide
The Maine State Pomological Society provides this directory of Maine apple orchards.
Massachusetts Apple Picking
Autumn Hills Orchard - Groton, Massachusetts
Pick your own apples at this authentic working farm on more than 70 acres. Autumn Hills Orchard offers more than 20 varieties of apples and pears, spectacular mountain views and a farm stand. The orchard's Ann Harris tells me that though Autumn Hills is near Boston, it's a bit off the beaten path, "but that's the fun of it, as there are no crowds." She also says, "Our fruit is very high quality, as we grow for specialty commercial markets as well as our you-pick customers."
Carver Hill Orchard - Stow, Massachusetts
Carver Hill Orchard offers apple picking, plus cider, baked goods, ice cream, pumpkins, crafts and apple gift packages for shipment anywhere.
Nashoba Valley Winery - Bolton, Massachusetts
Nashoba Valley Winery grows a variety of fruits--and not just for wines! The orchard offers apple pickers more than a dozen varieties to choose from in a beautiful, scenic setting.
Red Apple Farm - Phillipston, Massachusetts
Located 60 miles from Boston, in addition to pick-your-own apples, Red Apple Farm offers hayride tours on weekends, farm animals, walking trails, fall weekend barbeques and New England gift packs for shipping.
Riiska Brook Orchard - Sandisfield, Massachusetts
This picture-perfect orchard in the southern Berkshires is having one of its best apple seasons of all time in 2013, and they have a particularly strong crop of my favorite New England apples: Macouns! They have late-maturing apples that will be available for picking well through November, too.
Shelburne Farm - Stow, Massachusetts
Shelburne Farm is the oldest pick-your-own apple orchard in eastern Massachusetts. Stop at the Apple Shop for New England goodies including sweet cider, warm cider doughnuts, locally roasted coffee, farm-fresh ice cream, caramel apples, New England-made cheeses and other local products. Hayrides are available daily, and additional activities including pony rides are offered on weekends.
Tougas Family Farm - Northborough, Massachusetts
During fall apple picking season, visit the barnyard, shop in the farm kitchen and pick your own apples at this family farm, which offers more than 20 apple varieties including exciting new crops like Honeycrisp, Zestar! and CrimsonCrisp.
New Hampshire Apple Picking
Alyson's Apple Orchard - Walpole, New Hampshire
This pick-your-own apple orchard is part of a 500-acre Connecticut River Valley farm and offers 50 varieties of apples to pick. A farm stand is open daily through Halloween, as well.
DeMeritt Hill Farm - Lee, New Hampshire
In addition to 25 varieties of apples for you to pick, this apple farm offers a bakery, children's play areas, family hiking trails, a farm store and hayrides on weekends. Dogs are welcome if they're kept on a leash.
Gould Hill Farm - Contoocook, New Hampshire
This orchard is located on land that has been farmed continuously since the mid-1700s. You'll find more than 80 varieties of apples here, available for picking from Labor Day through mid-October. First-time apple pickers are welcome--orchard personnel will show you what to do.
Poverty Lane Orchards - Lebanon, New Hampshire
MacIntosh and Cortland apples thrive at this New Hampshire orchard, which also grows a range of other heirloom varieties. Pick your own apples, visit the farm stand and sample the orchard's Farnum Hill Ciders line of hard ciders, too.
Riverview Farm - Plainfield, New Hampshire
Pick your own fresh apples straight from the trees at this 11-acre orchard.