Orchards and Patches: Apple and pumpkin picking spots

October 22, 2012

Nothing says fall like strolling through a pumpkin patch and apple orchard, searching for the perfect picks to take home. For college students living in the heart of New York City, a day spent at the farm can also be the ideal way to escape and de-stress for a few hours. Here are the top five places to go apple or pumpkin picking this season.

Queens County Farm 

Queens County Farm has a huge pumpkin patch for you to wander through to find the perfect pumpkin, and they serve hot apple cider to keep you warm while you look. The farm also features a three-acre corn maze with the theme “Once Upon a Time,” which takes a couple of hours to navigate.

Queens County Farm is accessible by taking the E or F train to Union Turnpike and then taking the Q46 bus to Little Neck Parkway.

Wilkens Farm

Wilkens Farm in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. features 14 different types of apple trees to pick from yourself. Traditional hay wagons are provided to bring you to and from the orchards. Wilkens Farm’s bakeshop sells the farm’s famous apple cider donuts and a wide variety of freshly baked pies and muffins.

Get to Wilkens Farm by taking the Metro-North Railroad Hudson Line from Grand Central Station to Peekskill.

Masker Orchards 

In addition to a large apple orchard, Maskers offers spectacular fall foliage views. The orchard is large enough that it is easy to find a quiet corner on even the busiest days. The quaint, red-barn country store sells a wide range of goodies for you to bring back to your dorm along with all the apples you pick. Coupons for discounted apples and free jugs of cider are available at www.maskers.com.

Reach Maskers Orchard by New Jersey Transit’s 196 or 197 bus from Port Authority to Willowbrook Station in Warwick, and walk half a mile to the orchard from there.

Outhouse Orchards

Outhouse Orchards in North Salem, N.Y. offers a pumpkin patch where you can pick pumpkins right off the vine, as well as 10 types of apple trees. Before heading out into the orchard to start gathering, make sure to grab a large bag of their delicious apple cider donuts from the main house. The orchard also features a large corn maze and hay rides to and from picking sites.

Get to Outhouse Orchards by taking the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line from Grand Central to Croton Falls and getting in a taxi from there.

Fishkill Farms

Fishkill Farms seems to be located in a fantasy land, with beautiful apple trees set against a misty backdrop of open fields and rolling hills. This farm in Hopewell Junction, N.Y. offers a wide variety of apples in addition to a pumpkin patch and well-stocked farm store.

Fishkill Farms is accessible by taking the Metro-North Railroad Hudson Line from Grand Central Station to Beacon Station.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 22 print edition. Bryna Schuman is a staff writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com. 

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