Nothing says autumn like apple picking, especially in the mitten state! Michigan produces the third highest number of apples per state each year, so it’s no wonder that some of the greatest apple-picking spots are found in the Great Lakes state!
Whether you’re looking for a fruit to snack or a pie filling, Michigan has a wide variety of red, green and gold apples to pick straight from the orchards. While the climate of the Upper Peninsula doesn’t support a strong apple harvest, the Lower Peninsula features orchards with plenty of delicious fruits. Here are a few favorites based on orchard experience and tasty apple selection.
Top 5 Places For Apple Picking In Michigan
1. VerHage Fruit Farms & Cider Mill - Oshtemo, Michigan
VerHage is located in Oshtemo, about a 10-minute drive from Kalamazoo. This orchard offers families the whole package – from you-pick apples to zip line rides to Apple Fest, an event with food, wine, prizes, free entertainment and, of course, lots of apples!
You can pick your own apples every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., usually beginning in the third weekend of September. It’s a popular spot for picking, so head out early while the harvest is still abundant! VerHage often runs out of apples before the end of the season.
2. Friske Orchards Farm Market - Ellsworth, Michigan
Friske Orchards likes to make it known to customers that their market is “not your average fruit stand!” Their old saying rings true; Friske has delightfully decadent sweets and gourmet dining options for travelers and locals alike. Stop by the café from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. to taste for yourself – then bring a jar of jam home from the souvenir shop!
The orchard itself is open from late September through October for you-pick apples. Call ahead to make sure the fields are open for business! Friske also has an expansive outdoor playground for kids, turning a stop at the orchard into a full day adventure.
3. Crane Orchards - Fennville, Michigan
Crane Orchards is a West Michigan tradition. Located in Fennville, a quick 10-minute drive to the Lake Michigan shoreline and 15 minutes from the beach resort town of Saugatuck, Crane Orchards was founded 140 years ago on Hutchins Lake, named for the farmer who cleared and planted the apple orchards.
Crane Orchards now offers you-pick apples after Labor Day, in addition to a corn maze and hayrides! But perhaps the most essential part of your journey to Crane Orchards will be the restaurant; you could write an epic poem about their gorgeous pie.
4. Southeast Michigan: Wiards Orchards and Country Fair - Ypsilanti, Michigan
Located about 40 miles west of Detroit and 11 miles south of downtown Ann Arbor, Wiards Orchards and Country Fair is a great stop for travelers throughout the southeast Michigan and northern Ohio areas. Wiards features all of the classic aspects of an apple orchard – pumpkin picking, hayrides, donuts, cider, playgrounds, tractor races, an apple canon, and a haunted house for those who dare to enter!
Wiards has a wide selection of apples, but it’s no old fashioned apple picking orchard. Visit Wiards for a more modern experience – like a theme park-cider mill hybrid.
5. Spicer Orchards - Fenton, Michigan
Spicer Orchards ends the berry-picking season and opens the grounds to apple pickers each fall – one of the most anticipated signs of the seasons changing in Michigan. Known to Michiganders simply as Spicer’s, the orchard offers delicious donuts and cider as well as a petting farm, a bee keeping display, play areas, and sneak peeks into the cider and donut production areas.
Summer apples are ripe for the picking as early as July, with fruits being harvested all the way through the end of December. Visit in mid-September or early October for the greatest variety of apples, but hurry! Spicer’s is a popular spot for both apple and pumpkin picking.
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This article was written by Caitlin Klask.