Canada’s 8 Best Apple Picking Spots
Bite into fall with our favourite places to pick the famous fruit that keeps the doctor away.
Willow View Farms, BC
Nestled in the Fraser Valley, Willow View Farms offers hayrides, a petting zoo, and a cider-filled Apple Days Festival during the last two weekends of September. Fresh berry season culminates in late July, and Willow View Farms re-open for apple picking business as of September 1. The season kicks off with Gala apples and Bartlett pears. A week later, apples like Elstar and Honeycrisp (the sweetest!) are up for grabs. As a family-owned and operated establishment (and one of the most popular apple picking spots in the country), they sure know how to provide fun for the whole family.
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Apple Land Station, ON
Apple Land Station‘s “train theme” is both kitschy and functional. Catering primarily to the school kid demographic, L-train replicas run all throughout their apple orchards and corn mazes, while educators enlighten passengers on their various apple varieties and how to correctly pick them. However, parents aren’t forgotten in this sweet equation. Freshly baked pies and homemade fudge are for sale, just in case the apple’s sweetness doesn’t quite do the trick!
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La Magie de la Pomme, QC
The name translates to “the magic of apples”, and this orchard in St. Eustache sure has plenty of charm. Let Princess Api accompany you on a tractor ride to pick apples all season and pumpkins throughout October (it’s autumn’s it veggie, whether starring in pies or lattes), while her puppet Miss Pommette chimes in with more educational goodness through games and songs. Once the kids have had their fill, ask the staff for directions to their partners over at an agro-tourist joint ten minutes away to sample wines made from maple syrup.
Orchalaw Farms, ON
Variety is the (pumpkin) spice of life at this seventh-generation Brampton farm. With over 20 apple varieties on offer, including squashes, Indian corn and pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, they’ll meet both your nutritional and seasonal décor needs. Allow their free weekend hayrides to do the apple-lugging for you, and their on-site playground equipped with swings and slides to keep the kids busy. You have little choice but to abandon your grocer for your fruit fix – their comprehensive online guide suggests they have a new apple variety in season each week.
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Boates Farm, NS
Eco-friendly management is at the heart of this two-generation family-owned and operated farm. Pick from juicy apples and pears that bear the organic stamp of approval (they offer regular, too), and select from their fall favourites for sale like local vegetables and homemade jams. They’re the proud sole producers of organic apple cider vinegar in Atlantic Canada, which is great news for those looking to supercharge their metabolism.
Verger du Flanc Nord, QC
Verger du Flanc Nord is the Ferrari of orchards, with gourmet treats like apple pastries and cider on offer—best enjoyed on their terrace overlooking Mont-Saint-Hilaire. Once you’ve picked your favourite fruits, try out some of their apple-based recipes available on their website like apple chocolate chip muffins and sweet apple cake. For a true Quebec experience, pair those dishes with their homemade ciders, which were ranked among the best in the world at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in 2014.
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If the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, take the family with you and head down to Willowbank to pet the friendly goats, bunnies and horses as they eat right out of your hand. Once you’ve picked your apples–and inevitably, snacked on a few-save the cores for the pigs that can also use a bite. Their on-site museum boasts household antiques and vintage horse-drawn carriages, some over a century old.
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Taves Family Farms, BC
Pick your own apples, pumpkins and even heirloom tomatoes at this British Columbia orchard. Mother Nature proves to be the greatest playground of them all at this family farm, with its pumpkin patches, corn mazes and orchards offering several varieties of apples and pears. Once you’ve had your fill of fruit, head to one of the many farmer’s markets in the region for artisan eggplants, zucchini and other local fresh fare.