Apple Picking in Fall is “Pure Michigan”
Growing up, my favorite family outings were to local fruit farms, especially the apple orchards in Michigan.
There was nothing better than eating fresh fruit directly off of the bush or tree. As a parent, this has become one of my favorite activities with my kids.
My kids can eat their weight in fresh fruit and it’s a snack I feel good about them having.
When cool mornings and crisp fall air start to settle in, that’s when my mind turns to apple picking, the yummy things we’ll make with our apples, and the other fun fall activities we’re in for when we visit the apple orchard.
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Apple Orchards Directory – West Michigan
Use this apple orchards guide to get out and enjoy the cooler weather.
From August to October, Grand Rapids area families can visit a U Pick orchard and enjoy the experience of picking their own apples from a tree!
*Don’t forget that most farms only accept cash or check, so call ahead to confirm!
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Sparta Area
7737 Fruit Ridge Ave NW, Sparta, MI 49345
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Ada Area
2: Blok Orchard
6365 4 Mile Rd NE, Ada, MI 49301
About Apple Picking at Blok Orchard Apple Orchard
45 acres of apple trees make for an amazing u-pick experience.
Varieties include Zestar, Paula Red, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Spy, Golden Delicious, Gala, Ida Red, Mutsu, Red Delicious & Jonagold.
The Blok family has been supplying west Michigan with farm fresh produce since 1965.
The farm offers u-pick apples, peaches, plums and pumpkins along with other fruits and veggies in the market.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Hastings Area
2500 S M 37 Hwy, Hastings, MI 49058
About Apple Picking at Cotants Farm Market Apple Orchard
Many varieties available for u-pick apples including Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Fuji and McIntosh.
Call for hours and availability.
Already picked apples are also available in the market by the peck or bushel.
Cotant's Farm Market, located one mile south of Hastings on M-37 Highway, is a family-owned and operated business that set their roots four generations ago in 1947.
Every fall, the Market celebrates the season with apple picking, a corn maze, pumpkin patch, donuts and cider, and more.
Their greenhouse specializes in hanging baskets, flowering annuals, a wide range of perennials, and vegetable plants. The Farm Market has a variety of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Saugatuck Area
6054 124th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408
About Apple Picking at Cranes Orchards Apple Orchard
Choose from a variety of apples to pick, including Gala, Empire, Fuji, Braeburn, and Honeycrisp, depending on the time of season. Apple picking season usually ends in late October.
Honeycrisp start picking on September 15, 2021 and there are lots out there!
Open daily weather permitting during apple season. (If questionable weather, call 269-561-8651)
How to pick apples at Crane's Orchards:
1. Check-in at the U-Pick barn. Talk to the greeters about apple picking options - they'll point you to the locations of the available varieties. Pick up any bags you may need here, or bring your own reusable shopping bags. Grab a wagon if needed, or bring your own if you have one - they have a limited number available and wagons are only for use by those picking fruit.
2. Pick your apples; you can mix and match the varieties in your bags because all of the U-Pick apples are the same price per pound.
Apples are $1.25/lb.
3. Check out at the U-Pick Barn. They'll weigh your apples. During the week you may also purchase your corn maze tickets at check-out as well. They accept cash or card (cards require a $5 minimum purchase).
Crane Orchards is definitely a destination!
Crane's Orchards operates two related, yet separate, locations on 12th Ave in Fennville, MI (close to Saugatuck.)
Choose to visit Crane's Pie Pantry Restaurant & Winery, Crane Orchards U-Pick and Corn Maze, or both destinations.
They have over 17 different varieties of apples, 10 varieties of peaches & sweet cherries for u-pick. Open daily weather permitting during apple season.
Their restaurant serves up tasty meals as well as an amazing selection of pie (whole or by the slice.) They also have wine tasting.
There's a corn maze here, too.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Southwest Michigan Area
8335 Smith Rd., Berrien Springs, MI 49102
About Apple Picking at Earth First Farms Organic Growers Apple Orchard
Several acres of certified organic apples available for U-pick.
Varieties include Honey Crisp, Ida Red, Golden Delicious and MacIntosh. Call for ripening availability.
Earth First Farms Organic Growers is a family farm, committed to bringing you the freshest, healthiest, most delicious certified organic fruit and produce that Southwest Michigan can produce – without harmful side effects on the environment or your health.
Fall u-pick featuring 25 heirloom and contemporary apple varieties (yes, Honeycrisp!), carving and decorative pumpkins, winter squash and a farm store featuring fresh-pressed apple cider, apple sauce, daily made apple cider doughnuts, and more.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Alpine Township Area
3025 6 Mile Rd, Grand Rapids, MI 49544
About Apple Picking at Ed Dunneback & Girls Fruit Farm Apple Orchard
Pick your own amazing apples at Ed Dunneback & Girls.
Pricing for u-pick varies from season to season depending on the success of the growing season.
Varieties available for apple picking may include: Gala, Jonagold, Empire, Yellow Delicious and Honeycrisp.
Contact the farm for specific picking hours and availability.
Taste testing encouraged!
Edwin Dunneback purchased the farm in 1922. He farmed 170 acres of apples, peaches, corn, hay, and a herd of dairy cows.
Today, this is a fifth-generation family farm.
The barn was built in 1938 and is now home to a fresh produce market, gift shop, bakery, kitchen & taproom.
U-pick fruit, sunflowers, a corn maze, playground, pumpkin patch, hayrides, and other events round out their offerings.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Sparta Area
11966 Fruit Ridge NW, Kent City, MI 49330
About Apple Picking at Fruit Ridge Hayrides Apple Orchard
The trees are just the right height for little ones to help with the picking!
There are so many varieties to choose from. You can mix and match your bag or stick to one variety.
Varieties include Honeycrisp, Fuji, Golden & Red Delicious, Jonathan, Empire and Rome. Check their website for full list and availability.
U-Pick open September 25th - October 31st, 2021, Fri - Sun only.
Monday - Thursday for groups by reservation only.
Fruit Ridge Hayrides checks all the boxes for fall fun.
Whether it’s picking apples in the orchard, taking a ride on a horse-drawn wagon, or finding your way through one of the largest corn mazes in Western Michigan, there’s sure to be something for everyone this fall at Fruit Ridge Hayrides
Open weekends from mid-September through October. Private groups by reservation only during the week.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Rockford Area
1900 13 Mile Rd, Rockford, MI 49341
About Apple Picking at Grange Ave. Market & You-Pick Orchard Apple Orchard
You pick Honeycrisp & Gala apples.
Fruit Market and You-Pick Orchard.
Pumpkins & Gourds. U-Pick apples. Supply of fruits and vegetables changes daily as they ripen.
Farm Market is on 13 Mile Rd. West of Algoma ave 1/4mile. 15-20 Minute drive north of Grand Rapids, MI.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Kalamazoo Area
8544 Gull Road, Richland, MI 49083
About Apple Picking at Gull Meadow Farms Apple Orchard
In addition to the 25+ varieties they sell in the market, Gull Meadow Farms offers nine varieties during U-Pick season: Jonagold, Empire, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Red Delicious, Rome, Mutsu, Fuji, and Granny Smith.
Contact them with any questions about a specific variety.
Sign up for "Apple Alerts" to ensure you don't miss your favorite variety.
Apple picking pricing:
1/2 Bushel: $22.00
You do not have to pay admission in order to pick apples.
Located in Richland, Gull Meadow Farms is much more than a spot to grab some apples or pick a pumpkin (although they do offer both).
This farm continues to grow each year, now offering over 30 fall activities, summer events and Christmas events with Santa.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Muskegon Area
11694 S Maple Island Rd, Twin Lake, MI 49457
About Apple Picking at Kooistra Orchards Apple Orchard
U-PICK: FRIDAY & SATURDAY ONLY 8AM TO 6PM.
They offer a variety of u-pick apples throughout the season.
This year, they have a smaller crop/supply due to frost. In the 2021 list, there are asterisks next to the varieties that have the worst frost damage.
They will be updating the status on Facebook each week with more information.
U-Pick apples are only available on the weekend.
Self-serve fruit stand is open daily.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - New Era Area
4180 West M-20, New Era, MI 49446
About Apple Picking at Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo Apple Orchard
Depending on timing, you may be able to pick Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Janagold, McIntosh, Red Delicious, or other types of apples.
Owned by the same family for five generations, Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo is a great destination for families of all ages.
Visit with over 100 animals and enjoy nearly 50 different activities and attractions.
The farm is great for field trips, birthday parties and any other event.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Walker Area
12: Moelker Orchards
9265 Kenowa Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534
About Apple Picking at Moelker Orchards Apple Orchard
Moelker Orchards has the tastiest apples around.
They offer u-pick Gala, McIntosh, Empire, Jonagold, Ida Red, Fuji, & Honeycrisp apples. Call them before you head out for current availability.
You can also get 21 other varieties of pre-picked apples in the market throughout the season.
U-pick bags are available in pecks ($12.00) and 1/2 bushels ($19.00) for all varieties except Honeycrisp.
Since 1907, the Moelker family has been producing quality fruit and family fun on the farm for the Greater Grand Rapids community.
They also offer a fun and family friendly atmosphere for people to gather, pick-your-own fruit from the u-pick orchards and pumpkin patch, and enjoy the scenic beauty.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Conklin Area
17647 40th Avenue, Conklin, MI 49403
About Apple Picking at Rasch Cherries & Apples Apple Orchard
U-pick apples are now available at Rasch.
Varieties include Honey Crisp, Gala, and Golden Supreme.
This fun family farm offers Upick apples, pumpkins, sunflowers, along with a variety of prepicked fruits and veggies.
Their delicious homemade baked goods include fresh donuts, hot turnovers, etc, all made or produced in-house or locally.
Rasch Cherries & Apples also has a kids area and a few animals.
And to top it all off, they also have a sunflower maze and a corn maze.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Plainfield Township Area
3142 4-Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
About Apple Picking at Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery Apple Orchard
18 varieties of apples are available for U-pick including Gala, Macintosh, Honeycrisp, Ida Red and Pink Lady.
U-Pick is not always available. Check their website or call them for an up-to-date list of varieties and picking times.
The orchards are off-limits during apple season unless u-pick is in session.
Robinette's has been around for a long time! It was started in 1911 and has been owned by the same family for four generations.
Their orchards are situated on 125-acres just north of Grand Rapids.
In addition to growing apples, peaches, cherries, nectarines, and apricots, among other things, Robinette's also has several outbuildings that house a variety of amenities.
The Apple Haus is where you'll find a restaurant, bakery, donut makers, and cider mill.
The big red barn has a winery tasting room, gift shop, nut maker, and popcorn maker.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Sparta Area
1185 9 Mile Rd, Sparta, MI 49345
About Apple Picking at Schwallier’s Country Basket Apple Orchard
Schwallier’s Country Basket grows over 15 varieties of apples including Honeycrisp, Gala, McIntosh, Empire and Cortland.
For the most up-to-date u-pick information, please check their Facebook page or call before you plan to pick.
Schwallier’s Country Basket first opened their barn doors in 1989.
The store has grown from a roadside produce stand into a thriving farm market. Each year they try to add new, fun activities for families.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Sparta Area
4344 13 Mile Rd NW, Sparta, MI 49345
About Apple Picking at Steffens Orchard Market Apple Orchard
U-Pick apples varieties include Blondee, Gala, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Ida Red, Fuji, and Cameo.
Already picked are available in the market.
This 4th generation, family owned farm on over 300 acres produces apples, sweet cherries and pumpkins.
In a normal year most of the apples picked at Steffens Orchards are sold fresh in grocery stores across the Eastern United States, England, Israel, Central America and South America. Apples that aren't eaten fresh are used to make apple cider, applesauce, slices for processing, and apple desserts.
Apple Orchards in Michigan - Walker Area
17: Wells Orchards
8993 Kenowa Avenue Southwest, Grand Rapids, MI 49534
About Apple Picking at Wells Orchards Apple Orchard
25 varieties of apples are grown at Wells including Zestar, Gala, Honeycrisp, Golden Supreme, Fuji, Granny Smith and Pink Lady.
The apple harvest begins the last week of July and ends the second week of November. Check their website for full harvest schedule.
Since 1919, Wells Orchards has always been committed to growing the highest quality fruit at a reasonable price for our farm market.
Apple Picking Tips
Pro Tips: Before You Go Apple Picking
It’s a good idea to call ahead or visit the orchard’s Facebook page before you head out to pick apples.
Some places on this list are only open by reservation.
When you call, ask:
“What are you picking today? When are you offering U-Pick?”
All U-pick days are not created equal. Apple varieties ripen at different times and orchards will not be open for U Pick apples every single day.
“What type of payment do you accept?” and “What’s the price?”
Be prepared to bring cash. Some places take checks. Smaller operations may not have the ability to accept credit cards.
“Is there a restroom?”
It’s a good idea to know the status of the facilities, especially if you’re bringing kids along.
“How do we find you?”
Often, the address listed by a farm is for the main farmhouse, office, or farm market. And it can be really hard for a GPS to pinpoint a field of strawberries if it doesn’t have its own separate address. So, go old-fashioned and get directions when you call.
“What do we need to bring?”
Bringing your own containers to transport your fruit home is common across West Michigan.
Map of Apple Orchards in Michigan, West Side
Find Apple Orchards Near Me
We’re Spoiled by Michigan Apples
I used to take our apples for granted.
But, as I’ve grown older I’ve learned that Michigan is a special place that has the perfect climate for fruit growing – including apples.
That’s not the case everywhere.
Turns out, the sometimes-wacky lake effect weather we get in our Great Lakes State actually creates the perfect formula for growing apples. The heavy snow, humid summers, and delays in spring and fall are good things when it comes to tending apple orchards in Michigan.
Our proximity to the Great Lakes and our rich soil complete this perfect growing storm. While an orange tree wouldn’t love our chilly winters, apple trees are very hardy and love the cold.
The very weather we shake our heads at and joke about creates ideal growing conditions for the best apples in the world, making Michigan the third-largest apple-producing state.
I’m glad to know this crazy weather mix is actually good for something!
Michigan Apple Trivia
How Much Do You Know About Our Apples?
– Michigan is home to 825 family-run apple farms.
– There are more than 200 farm markets, cider mills, and u-pick orchards in our state.
– Apple Picking season in West Michigan typically runs from late August through October.
– 11.3 million commercially-producing apple trees are located in Michigan.
– Michigan apples are distributed to retailers and supermarkets in more than 30 states.
What Month is Best for Apple Picking in Michigan?
Knowing when to head out is the first step in having a great U-Pick experience at apple orchards in Michigan.
Every year, the Michigan Apple Committee releases an apple harvest schedule.
As you can see, harvest times vary with the type of apple.
Apple Picking times will also depend on which part of the state you are in.
For the most part, though, you can count on finding U Pick apples at apple orchards from late August through October.
You’ll want to confirm with your apple picking farm before heading out, though. Apples ripen at different times every year and orchard policies change on a yearly basis, too.
What to Do with the Apples You Picked
Fresh apples will last a long time if stored in a cool, dry location, but if you have a large quantity, there are many different ways you can use them.
What I love about apple picking is that our perfect conditions produce such a delicious, sweet apple that you really don’t have to add much to it.
I make applesauce every year and I never put a drop of sugar in it, because it just doesn’t need it!
You can also go sparingly on the sweetener in pies and other desserts because the flavor of the apples shining through is all you need for flavor perfection.
Some of our favorite tools for processing apples include the “apple swirler” as my kids call it. You can get it on Amazon and it comes apart for easier cleaning. We’ve owned two of these over the years – make sure to get a metal one – the plastic versions don’t hold up. You can find these at kitchen shops and usually Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Hand-Crank Apple Spiralizer
If you’re going to be processing a large number of apples, it’s worth it to invest in something like a food mill.
You can get hand-crank options with a variety of blades to choose from. The beefiest food mills can be over $100, while the smaller versions start at around $20. There are also KitchenAid mixer attachments that will do the trick.
In addition to making applesauce and freezing it to enjoy throughout the year, I like to make an apple pie or apple crisp.
I often make an extra pie to freeze and pull out later for Thanksgiving and Christmas (Just defrost then bake as usual!)
I came across this personalized pie plate on Etsy and I think it’s a really neat way to pass down family traditions and special recipes.
This Etsy shop takes your (or grandma’s) handwritten recipes or photos and applies them to a 9.5″ custom pie plate. Maybe the best thing about this? You can order multiples, so everyone that wants a copy of grandma’s recipe can get one.
Handwritten Personalized Pie Plate
If you want to get more creative with your apples, check out the recipe section of the Michigan Apple Committee’s website.
They have a guide of recipes sorted by category: beverages, sides, main dishes, and desserts to name a few.
I can’t wait to dig into some of these recipes with my apples this year…if my kids don’t eat them all first!