Where To Pick Your Own Apples
Last fall, then-3-year-old Leena Marie Palmer enjoyed a fresh-picked apple at Mack’s Apples in Londonderry. Photo by Jenn Bakos.
If you’ve never tasted an apple plucked directly from the branch, then you’re missing out on one of the unique pleasures of living in New England. There is simply no comparison to a store-bought apple. That perfect crisp crunch and bright, sweet juice are only found during fall while strolling through bucolic orchards or perusing the shelves of the farmstand. There are many pick-your-own orchards in New Hampshire, but here’s a quick roundup of some of our favorites.
57 Alyson’s Lane in Walpole, NH
Alyson’s grows everything from berries and peaches to plums and nectarines, but this 450-acre orchard (with 50 acres of fruit-bearing trees) is best known for its apples. Choose from more than 50 types of apples, including many heirloom varieties. When you’ve had your fill of apple picking, let the kids visit with the goats, play a game of bocce or just enjoy the beauty of this gorgeous orchard.
133 Exeter Road in Hampton Falls, NH
This fourth-generation farm also grows a number of different fruits, pumpkins and gourds, but there’s a reason apples are its namesake — they have 220 acres of orchards growing more than 40 varieties. Applecrest’s 43rd season of fall festivals begins the first weekend of September and continues every weekend through the end of October. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., they offer pick-your-own fruit and cut-your-own flowers, bluegrass music, old-fashioned ice cream with fruit from the farm, horse-drawn hayrides, face painting, pie-eating contests and more.
128 Glidden Road in Gilford, NH
Enjoy an old-fashioned hay wagon ride into the orchard where more than a dozen apple varieties are available. Definitely don’t miss the lovely farmstand with its delicious cider donuts and fresh-pressed cider.
230 Mammoth Road in Londonderry, NH
Mack’s Apples has an impressive history — this eighth-generation, family-run farm has about 400 acres with 100 of those dedicated to apples. In fact, the Mack family has continuously farmed the land since 1732. There are also lovely walking trails and both ice cream and farmstands. At the farmstand, you’ll find fresh vegetables, honey, pumpkins, squash, local maple syrup and many other items.
98 Poverty Lane in Lebanon, NH
Specializing in heirloom varieties plus your familiar favorites, Poverty Lane also grows cider apples for the related Farnum Hill Ciders. These hard ciders are available in other stores, but nothing beats picking your own apples followed by a growler fill for the adults. The farm store also sells regular cider and other products. There are free weekend wagon rides (weather permitting), picnic tables and plenty of room for kids to play.
41 Broad Street in Hollis, NH
Established in 1847, Brookdale offers nearly every kind of fruit and vegetable, including 19 varieties of apples. Make sure you take the time to visit the large Best of NH award-winning farm store that sells the farm’s honey and produce, plus specialty foods, baked goods, local items and much more.