It’s fall in Virginia and this is the time of year when apple orchards offer plenty of family-friendly fun, entertainment, and delicious treats. Some are just a short drive while others are a great day trip.
A Favorite of Richmond Families is Carter Mountain Orchard.
1435 Carters Mountain Trail, Charlottesville, VA Phone: 434.977.1833
Carter Mountain Orchard is about an hour’s drive from Richmond. It is a great day trip for families with children of all ages. However, is you have stroller age children, you should definitely bring the jogging stroller, as there can be hills to climb and some bumpy terrain)
Start your visit with apple donuts from the walk up window next to the store. (The donuts alone are worth the drive up the mountain!) Next, get your bags and pole from the staff, and follow the directions to the available picking area. Let the little ones pick the perfect apple to sample, and then pick enough apples to enjoy at home for a while—apples will last for weeks in a cool dry place.
Before you leave, visit the orchard store for a delicious souvenir or a quick checkers game at the oversized checkerboard by the rocking chairs. Also be sure to take advantage of the photo opportunities, whether they be the big boards with the head cut outs, or the beautiful mountain background.
Cater Mountain Orchard offers Pick Your Own Apples ~ through November.
The Apple Harvest Celebration will be EVERY Saturday and Sunday in October. Music, food, hayrides, wine tastings, pumpkins, apple picking, apple butter, apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple pie, and all things apple. The orchard hours will be extended first three weekends—8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit the website at www.cartermountainorchard.com.
Other Virginia Orchards include–
Dickie Brothers Orchard
2552 Dickie Road, Roseland, Virginia 22967 Phone: 434.277.5516
Located in Nelson County, the Dickie Brothers Orchard has been in the same family since 1752. They grow over 100 acres of apples and have over 15 different varieties, including McIntosh, Paula Red, Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Stayman, Rome, Winesap, Fuji, Empire, Granny Smith, Honeycrsip, Pink Lady, Golden Supreme and Jonagold. Harvest begins early August and ends late October. You can check the website or call to see what’s ripe now.
If you have a chance, visit Crabtree Falls, about 10 miles from the orchard. Hike the 2 mile trail and see the cascades that fall over 1,200 feet. If your feeling like less of a challenge, there is an overlook, along a paved path, about 500 feet from the parking lot.
1130 Drumheller Orchard Lane, Lovingston, VA, 22949. Phone: 434.263.5036
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Drumheller’s Orchard grows many types of apples for picking – Pink Lady, Red Delicious, Albemarle Pippin, Lodi, Gala, Johnathan, Fuji, Stayman, Winesap, Golden Delicious and more! Call to be sure pick you own is available.
Special Events: Drumheller’s Orchard has two apple festivals per year. They always fall on the last weekend in September and the third weekend in October.
2192 Holly Hill Farm Crozet, VA 22932 Phone: 434.823.2560
Henley’s Orchard offers Virginia apples, including Red and Golden Delicious, Winesap, and the antique Albemarle Pippin that Thomas Jefferson shared with the Queen of England. They have the recently popular Honey Crisp and Cameo apples and some of Henley’s Orchard select apples such as Henley Gold and Golden Fuji. They are known for the best fresh, low-spray fruit in Central Virginia. Call the business office @ 434.823.2560 to inquire about times and dates we will have fruit available for picking.
226 Tobacco Row Ln Monroe, VA Phone: 434.929.2401
Apples’n cider donuts on weekends in October. Hay creations in fall with Halloween decorations. Apple butter making. Call ahead to see what is available for picking.
Final Helpful Hints: Wear layered clothing; the weather can change drastically from morning to afternoon and into evening. And remember comfortable walking shoes for the hills.