Fall in New England brings a rainbow of colors to the area and the opportunity for some wonderful outdoor family activities. Whether it’s apple picking, corn mazes, hayrides or pumpkin patches, the bright days and crisp air of the autumn season beckon families to be outdoors and take in the spectrum of color.
A wonderful way to spend the day is visiting an apple orchard and plucking your own apples right from the tree. Orchards throughout New England are open for picking right through the fall and often well into November. From the southern Maine seacoast all the way up to Augusta, you will find orchards offering pick-your-own apples, cider and other apple products.
“People love the idea that they can drive out to a working farm, take a little walk, see the gardens, the barn and the apple trees. It’s a great little outing,” says Greg Sweetser, who is the fifth generation to work his family’s orchard farm stand in Cumberland, currently growing 50 different varieties of apples. “When they want to spend more time, they head to a pick-your-own orchard, perhaps packing a picnic lunch and enjoying a wagon ride or other activities. Families love it.”
In addition to Sweetser’s Apple Barrel and Orchards, where you can pick your own or buy them, along with other apple products at the farm market, Maine boasts many more orchards producing and selling apples, cider, donuts and all kinds of goodies particularly associated with autumn. Farther north, Cayford Orchards in Skowhegan is another multi-generation farm specializing in heirloom apples from 1,200 trees growing on 18 acres.