Embrace the crisp fall air and the season’s beautiful colours while enjoying a classic seasonal activity – apple picking! Full disclosure, This is not something my brothers and I did as children. I’m not sure if, as children of immigrant parents, they knew that Apple Picking was something you could do as a family.
Whether you are new to Ontario, looking to start or continue a family tradition, if you’re planning a day of apple picking in Ontario, there are many great locations to choose from.
Not only is this the perfect opportunity to get your hands on the freshest ingredients for your next homemade apple pie, but it can also be a fun-filled family vacation. Many locations on the list offer family-friendly fall activities, including wagon rides, corn mazes, and petting zoos.
This is your opportunity to get out and make unforgettable autumn memories. To help you plan your next fall adventure, we’ve compiled a list of the best apple-picking destinations in Ontario for you to explore.
Best Apple Orchards in Ontario
Are you searching for a location to go apple picking in your area? Do you have a fall road trip planned and want to add apple picking to your schedule? We have put together a list of the best places to go apple picking in Ontario, organized by location. Each of these farms and apple orchards has its own unique benefits and activities. Whatever you choose, you are sure to have a great time!
Best Places for Apple Picking in Toronto and the Surrounding Area
14800 Innis Lake Rd, Caledon East
If you are searching for a well-known and loved Ontario apple-picking spot, Albion Orchards is your place! This orchard isn’t a newcomer. It was established in 1967 and continues to provide some of the best apples in the province today. Not only is it beloved by the locals, but it also earned a mention in Chatelaine and on the Food Network.
In addition to offering some of the best apple picking near Toronto, there is also a pumpkin patch for those getting ready for Halloween and a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm in December. Other crops grown at the farm include corn, squash, and zucchini.
The Country Store at Albion Orchards is open Tuesday to Sunday throughout the fall season. Here you will find various homegrown/homemade products, including local 100% pure non-pasteurized honey, pure Ontario maple syrup, frozen meat pies, fresh apple cider, jams and preserves, candles, gift baskets, and more.
12416 McCowan Road, Stouffville, ON
One of the first pick-your-own strawberry and apple farms in Stouffville, Applewood Farm has become a “must-visit” location for the whole family. The farm features 32 acres of apples and 5 acres of strawberries, pumpkin picking, a corn maze, wagon rides, and more. They also have sunflower fields open at the end of the summer for harvesting, photos, or just enjoying the beautiful view.
A fun aspect of this spot is that it is still a family-run farm, with three generations working together to plant, nurture and harvest the crops they offer.
8674 Heritage Rd, Brampton, ON
For those searching for places to go apple picking in Brampton, look no further. Big R’ Apple Farm has been a go-to location for fresh produce and pick-your-own fruit for over 40 years. Unlike many larger farms that incorporate fancy bells and whistles to attract more people, this orchard has one key focus – delivering high-quality fruit and vegetables. And they certainly do that!
The farm has a wide assortment of apple varieties, pears, strawberries, bell peppers, squash, cucumber, green beans, sweet corn, and more. We highly recommend this spot if you are looking for a no-nonsense stop for a quiet day of apple picking.
9496 Heritage Rd, Brampton, ON
Located approximately 40 minutes outside Brampton, Car Laidlaw Orchards is another excellent Ontario apple-picking location. If you are planning a family-friendly outing, this is a great option – not only are there attractions to create a fun environment for all ages, even the family dog is welcome! The couple that currently owns and operates the farm is the 6th generation on the farm, carrying on a strong family tradition.
In addition to over 20 varieties of apples and 3 types of pears, they also offer wagon rides through the orchards, hay bales for children to play on, a corn maze, a grain table, dessert and delicious food, farm animals that families are welcome to meet, and more.
They believe spending time in an orchard is magical and hope to share it with all their visitors.
9528 Regional Rd 25, Milton, ON
At Chudleigh’s Entertainment Farm, they take pride in offering a fun, family-friendly environment with activities geared to all ages. It’s the type of orchard location that becomes an annual family tradition, entertaining children generation after generation while teaching a love of farming life.
They welcome school groups and those looking for a place to celebrate the monumental moments in their lives, like birthday parties and family reunions. When planning your day, you can choose from fall apple picking, live music nights in the summer, a nature trail, farm animals to visit, swing ropes, tractor wagon rides, playground equipment, and a lookout tower.
If you are looking for a tasty treat, they sell delicious baked goods made from farm-fresh fruit like apple blossoms and pies, as well as a selection of jams, local honey, apple butter, and pure Canadian maple syrup.
14309 Dixie Road, Inglewood
Not only does this orchard offer some of the best apple picking near Toronto, but they also offer pick-your-own pumpkins and hazelnuts when in season. The farm is well known in the area, drawing in big crowds year after year. To accommodate this, they offer online reservations to ensure you won’t be turned around when you arrive at the gate.
Parents will be happy to know that there are activities available for the whole family, including wagon rides, sunflower fields to explore, a straw jump, a corn maze, and friendly farm animals to visit. The grounds are also available to be booked for larger gatherings like birthday parties or school grounds, plus they offer photography permits to allow for photoshoots with the picturesque farm backdrop.
13682 Heart Lake Rd, Caledon
Open daily throughout the year, Downey’s Apple Farm truly has something for everyone. You can take a wagon ride out to the orchard for a day of picking high-quality apples or plan a family trip to enjoy the corn maze and farmyard play area.
While they host many events throughout the year, including EasterFest, the Canada Day Strawberry Festival, and Christmas at the Farm, the fall season is time for PumpkinFest!
Coinciding with the latter half of peak apple season, this is a great way to incorporate the kids into your apple-picking adventures. The PumpkinFest play area features a variety of activities, including a tire pyramid, wagon rides, Boo Barn, duck races, a pedal cart track, straw jump, and live entertainment. But be warned, tickets for PumpkinFest sell out fast.
2700 16th Sideroad, King City
With a hiking and biking trail on the property, Pine Farms Orchard is the ideal destination for those who want to embrace the autumn colours and spend the day outdoors. The overall aesthetic of this orchard is a much more traditional ‘farm’ feel. For this reason, they don’t have a lot of added perks. But don’t let that discourage you from making the trip. This is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and celebrate the arrival of fall.
In addition to the hiking trail and apple picking, you will find a country café perfect for a relaxing brunch or lunch break. The menu offers lightweight meal options like sandwiches, salads, or soups. There is also a bakeshop where you can pick up delicious homemade butter tarts, cookies, pastries and more.
1668 Hy 6, Hamilton, ON
Another great spot for those planning to bring the whole family is The Apple Orchard in Hamilton. They offer a wide variety of high-quality produce, including apples (of course), pears, pumpkins, squash, and raspberries. They also have beautiful sunflower fields for you to enjoy. Do you live close to the area and love fresh fruits? The Apple Orchard offers season passes that allow you to bring the family to enjoy the many activities as often as you like. These passes also give you access to the pear and apple orchards.
Families visiting the farm can look forward to wagon rides, a corn maze, candy apples, walking trails, a corn pit play area, a hay jump, and more. They also allow dogs on the property, making it a perfect getaway for the whole family (but make sure you are prepared with bags to clean up after your dog throughout the day).
If you’re looking for a place to book an event like a family reunion or birthday party, they take group bookings. This would include access to the property and the option of including an education tour at an additional cost.
Best Apple Picking Locations in Eastern Ontario
201 Durham Regional Rd 42, Newcastle
Located in the Durham region, Algoma Orchards is one of Canada’s largest producers of high-quality apples, pears, and juices, covering over 1600 acres. The orchard has drawn much respect from the farming communities due to their commitment to focusing on sustainability and minimizing the environmental footprint during their operations. They are slightly different from the other locations on this list as it doesn’t actually offer the option to pick your own apples. However, we couldn’t list the best apple picking in Ontario and not acknowledge the quality of the fruit they are producing.
While you can’t pick your own apples, they have a Gourmet Market, which includes a bakery, deli, and fresh produce. They are a staple in the community, donating funding to support local sports teams, the Bowmanville Hospital and other local healthcare initiatives and educational causes.
6275 Liberty St N, Bowmanville
Are you planning an adult-friendly getaway with the girls or a romantic date? If so, Archibald Orchards & Winery is the perfect option. In addition to their large orchard with 13 varieties of apples, they are also home to a winery with complimentary wine and cider tasting and educational tours of the facilities. During apple season, you can purchase apple-themed goods like apple jelly, apple butter mustard, apple syrup, apple pies and caramel apple dumplings. At the end of the day, you can sit down with a glass of your favourite wine or cider and enjoy the beautiful orchard view from the patio.
The Archibald family isn’t new to the world of apple farming or pick-your-own fruit. They began growing apples in 1967 and have since developed their farm into a well-known producer of high-quality fruit and a must-see destination. If you fall in love with one of their fruit wines or ciders, they are all for sale online with delivery across the province.
16365 4 Rd, Avonmore
While this location positions itself as a pick-your-own strawberry farm first and foremost, you don’t want to miss out on their apple-picking season. The farm also produces an assortment of fruits and vegetables to purchase throughout the year, including asparagus, potatoes, beans, sweet peas, carrots, raspberries, peppers, zucchini, squash, pumpkins, and more. These can be purchased at their Avonmore location, or any one of their market locations in Cornwall, Ottawa, Orleans, Maxville, and Lon Sault.
For parents that are looking to include their kids in their apple-picking adventure, Avonmore Berry Farm offers some fun, family-friendly attractions. You can choose from wagon rides, a hay mow, sandboxes, and other children’s play areas. There is also a pantry where you can purchase snacks, drinks, baked goods, jam and jam-making supplies, and ice cream cones.
1633 County Rd 3, Carrying Place
If you are searching for apple picking in Ottawa and the surrounding area, The Campbell’s Orchard & Country Market is a place you should explore. Kids can meet and feed the many farm animals on-site, go for a wagon ride, enjoy a ride on the covered carts (ideal for rainy weather as it keeps you sheltered), play in the kid’s play area, hop on the straw slide, navigate the corn maze, or enjoy their choice of caramel and candy apples. They also host seasonal events outside of apple season, like an egg hunt in the spring.
Families that enjoy travelling with their furry family members will be happy to know that the orchard is pet friendly. However, they ask that pets remain outside and not be brought into the indoor market area due to the limited space. In addition to apples, they have pick-your-own strawberries and raspberries, tomatoes, cherries, field cucumbers, squash, sweet corn, and more grown on-site. They also partner with local farmers to offer an assortment of locally grown produce and pantry staples, like eggs, butter, and coffee.
1480 County Rd 32, Crysler
Speaking of family-friendly apple orchards and farms, we believe Cannamore Orchard is unmatched! They focus on creating a fun destination for all ages, including a covered wagon, pedal cars, giant mazes, roaming chickens, and a family activity area. Their famous cow train is one of the most unique activities. It features 15 spotted, cow-shaped barrels for children and parents to ride around the farm grounds. There are four green labyrinths and mazes for children to explore, including one grown from cedar trees, one grown from spruce trees, and a beautiful flower labyrinth for a more relaxing experience.
The farm offers pick-your-own apples, strawberries and pumpkins depending on the time of year. Apple picking begins in August and continues until October or the trees are bare. And yes, they are popular enough that it does happen!
10175 Clark Rd, Mountain
Another family-friendly apple-picking experience, Mountain Orchards offers a pick-your-own orchard, bakery, store, and BBQ for families to enjoy. There is no fee to enter the orchard, and many activities they offer are free, except for purchases made and apple-picking. In addition to standard baked goods and preserves, the bakery sells pie kits to make your own “Mountain Orchards” apple pie at home.
The farm offers ten varieties of apples to choose from depending on the point in the season, from Silken in late August to Golden Delicious in early to mid-October. They also offer wagon rides to the orchard, a straw jump for the kids, a corn maze, forest trails, and a picnic area.
11652 County Rd 18, Iroquois
Southeast of Ottawa is the tiny hamlet of Dundela, Ontario. Here, on an old farm, the McIntosh is believed to have originated. The farm was owned by Gerd Skof, who purchased it with his wife in 1987. However, today it sits abandoned and in disrepair, with the trees still producing the crisp, tart apples.
Near this historic location is a must-visit stop – Smyth’s Apple Orchard. This location may not be large and showy, and it lacks many of the extra bells and whistles seen at other apple farms. It also doesn’t offer the opportunity to pick your own apples. But it provides a selection of delicious, high-quality, locally-grown apples. The farm is one of the longest-operating apple orchards in the province, operating since the 1800s.
This is the perfect spot to purchase fresh apples, jams, jellies, tarts, pies, apple cider and more. It has recently changed ownership, so we’re excited to see what will come next.
1345 Washburn Rd, Kingston
This family-run apple farm is a beautiful example of family values and ecological farming practices. The farm’s owners, Rik and Carmen Vanderlinde, have lived on the farm since 2003 and are now raising their family there. Located on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, you’ll enjoy the experience of picking your own apples and the opportunity to do so with a scenic and eye-catching view. This is an excellent spot if you’re planning a romantic date night.
Here, you can purchase either a medium bag, which holds 10 lbs of apples, or a large bag, which holds 20 lbs. In addition to apples, you can also purchase homemade jellies, jams, apple butter, apple cider, local honey, maple syrup, cheese, and delicious baked goods.
2287 Durham Regional Hwy 2, Bowmanville
If you are looking for an apple-picking in Bowmanville, the Watson Farm Market is a beautiful family-owned pick-your-own apple orchard and farmer’s market where you can purchase apples, pears, squash, pumpkin, strawberries, peas, raspberries, sweet corn, and other great local produce. While many of the orchards on our list offer sunflower fields to walk through and enjoy, Watson Farm Market takes this a step further with a creative sunflower maze.
This farm is also the location of one of Bowmanville’s largest handmade markets, with over 150 local vendors. Here you can find fresh produce, delicious baked goods, homemade gifts, wagon rides, a petting zoo, and other fun activities for the whole family. Another spot for the kids at the property is “Watsonland,” a large farm-themed playground with climbers and equipment suitable for all ages.
8191 Hwy 33, Greater Napanee
Another family-run orchard, Wynn Farms has much to offer for visitors of all ages. The pick-your-own apple orchard was first planted 35 years ago. Today, the farm is owned and operated by Jim & Sarah Wynn. Jim is the third generation to live on the farm, and they are happily raising the 4th generation in this beautiful location.
In addition to the apple orchard, the farm features a 50-acre waterfront flower farm that they rent out for weddings and other events. It is also a beautiful spot for photography, but all photo sessions must be booked in advance to avoid conflicts with other on-site events. There is also a large corn maze on sight, designed following a theme that changes yearly to keep it new, engaging, and challenging for repeat visitors.
Following apple season, the farm’s pumpkin patch comes alive with a Halloween-themed corn maze, haunted farm events, and other spooky, festive activities.
Best Apple Farms and Orchards in Western Ontario
329 Richmond St, Thorndale
Featuring nearly 50 acres of space, the apple season at Apple Land Station is one to enjoy for the whole family. The first crop was harvested in 1986, and the family continues to produce high-quality produce today. In addition to apples, the farm has pumpkin picking available in their large pumpkin patch and Christmas Tree shopping in their tree barn.
To see and experience the whole farm, hop on board the train for a fun ride and a full tour. The whole family can enjoy Sand Mountain, the corn maze, straw play, a playground, farm animals to visit, and a singing chicken show. Walk the sunflower in early September for the optimal viewing season. You can also purchase all your produce, baked goods, and other local products at the on-site bakery, store, or outdoor market.
2194 Shaver Rd, Ancaster
Owned by the Inksetter Family, Carluke Orchards has been in operation for over 200 years. While it started as a traditional pick-your-own apple orchard, it has since grown into a much larger operation with a Gourmet Food Market and Bakery. In addition to apples, they also offer pick-your-own pumpkins and squash later in the season. Other fruits available at the farm include blueberries and strawberries.
This is a more traditional orchard environment, meaning there aren’t any additional kid-focused activities. But many kids come and enjoy the apple-picking experience each year. You can also bring the family dog as long as they stay on leash, are well-behaved, and you clean up after them.
23778 Richmond St. N, London
While Crunican Orchards doesn’t have a pick-your-own apples option, they are known as one of the best places to purchase fresh apples in the London, Ontario area. The farm has been in operation since 1877 under the operation of four generations of the Crunican family. With over 15 varieties of apples available, they even have some that continue to grow into the winter season and beyond. This means that they can deliver fresh, locally grown apples year-round.
In addition to fresh apples, Crunican Orchards is a go-to spot for other seasonal produce, including beans, sweet corn, pears, squash, asparagus, and more. They have also partnered with other local farms and businesses to deliver high-quality products like maple syrup, cherries, peanuts, baked goods, and cheese.
5111 Union Road, Port Stanley
This family-friendly spot has many activities to entertain kids of all ages. The “Fun Farm,” as they refer to it, includes Straw Mountain, a giant pirate ship playset, pedal tractors, a corn maze, and a sandbox with diggers. For those looking for something a little more thrilling, a zip line is sure to get your heart racing. Later in the season, a pumpkin launcher introduces a fun twist to their pumpkin patch.
Of course, one of the biggest draws to the farm is their pick-your-own apple orchard. When you are done filling your bag or basket with fresh apples, you can sit down and rest your feet at the apple barn café where you have the opportunity to purchase refreshments and delicious baked goods. Depending on the season, other pick-your-own produce options include strawberries and peaches.
Best Places for Apple Picking in Northern Ontario
2935 Barrie Hill Rd, Springwater
For over 40 years, Barrie Hill Farms has been a go-to stop for pick-your-own produce, including apples, strawberries, peas, sweet corn, beans, blueberries, and raspberries. Unlike apple-picking farms that sell dedicated bags for apples, each with its own specified price, Barrie Hill Farms charges by weight. This means you can bring your own baskets or containers or purchase from their available options. Owned and operated by the Gervais family, the farm features over 200 acres of fruits and vegetables.
While on the property, you can also shop from the Farm Market for an assortment of produce, baked goods, jams, honey, maple syrup, and other local products. When you’re done shopping and apple-picking, end your visit at the Silo Café, where you can choose from a creative fruit-inspired menu including apple cheddar paninis, strawberry bliss cheesecake paninis, apple cider donuts, farm fresh muffins, and more.
2697 Concession 10 N Nottawasaga Rd, Collingwood
Formerly Meesters Farms, Maxwell Apple Orchards has been a well-known and highly respected family farm in the Collingwood area for over 30 years and continues to attract new visitors every year. The farm offers an impressive 24 varieties of apples to pick from. They are dedicated to maintaining and operating a sustainable and environmentally friendly farm environment.
While we obviously recommend their pick-your-own-apple orchard (that is the point of this list), they do have a wide variety of other produce options to pick from. This includes strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, asparagus, rhubarb, sweet corn, cucumber, zucchini, and more. Their high-quality produce is sold on-site at the farm, local farmer’s markets, and local restaurants and to local commercial operations. They also host a local farm market every morning from May to October.
651 Scugog Line 2, Port Perry
Owned by Cathy and Marvin, this family-run farm spans 10 acres with an assortment of apples, pumpkins, squash, and sunflowers to choose from. The farm is also home to a flock of friendly sheep for those who enjoy visiting with the farm animals. In addition to apple picking, the farm offers a self-guided nature walk, obstacle course, corn maze, and pumpkin patch. Dogs are allowed on the property for those who enjoy travelling with their pups, but make sure to bring bags to clean up behind your friend while you’re there.
One unique attraction of the farm is its gourmet picnics. Having teamed up with Olive and Brie Charcuterie, this is an incredible option for those planning a romantic date, bachelorette party, family get-together, or birthday celebration. You will be set up at a picnic table in a quiet corner of the property with a picnic blanket, gourmet grazing box and refreshing beverages.
7550 19th Ave, Markham
Are you looking for apple picking in Markham? If so, Organics Farm is the perfect destination. They offer a wide assortment of ready-picked vegetables, pick-your-own apples and strawberries, an organic farm market and a wood-fired bakery all in one spot. Organics Farm is the only Certified Organic farm in the GTA operating a wood-fired bakery. They also offer Naturally Pasteurized Meats throughout the season. While they don’t have a playground, petting zoo, or other kid-focused activities on site, the farm is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the traditional apple-picking experience for apple lovers of all ages.
While the farm, owned by the Passafiume Family, has been operating for many years, they transitioned to organic farming in 2001. This meant eliminating synthetic pesticides and herbicides, reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, and focusing on environmentally friendly practices.
Is your love for apples driven by a love of apple pie? Are you looking for other apple-inspired activities, menus, and products in the Southern Georgian Bay area? If so, the Apple Pie Trail may be the perfect plan for your next outing. This self-guided trail will introduce you to local orchards, breweries, seasonal activities, apple-inspired artists, and more. Download the digital map or app to get started. Interested in staying a little longer? Check out some of the great hotels and accommodations in the Blue Mountains for the best place to rest your head.
Tips & Tricks for Apple Picking Season
Now that you’ve located a nearby place to pick your own apples let’s talk about how to make the most of your apple-picking day. A little preparation and knowledge of the apple-picking process can ensure that you enjoy the experience while also leaving with the best apples to enjoy at home.
- Bring water with you. Apple picking may look easy, but it is physical work!
- Be prepared for the weather. This means a sweater for cool days, a rain jacket if there’s a chance of rain, and sunscreen if the sun is out. Remember that while some apple-picking farms will have shelter available, this isn’t true for all of them, so you may have to withstand the elements outdoors.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Depending on the size of the apple orchard you visit, a lot of walking and standing will be involved.
- Pay attention to the tips provided by the orchard staff. They will know which areas of the orchard will offer the best apples.
- When selecting apples, choose those that are firm to the touch and free from wrinkles or blemishes.
- When picking the apple, don’t tug at it or pull it directly away from the branch. Instead, roll it up off the branch with a slight, gentle twist. Don’t shake the branches.
- If you are trying to pick an apple and it falls to the ground, don’t worry! It is still good. Just pick it up and place it in your basket. But avoid any apples that you come across already on the ground. Even if the local insects haven’t already infested them, they only fall off the tree when they are past their prime.
- When handling your apples or placing them in your basket, be gentle. Apples bruise easily, and bruised apples will go bad faster.
What Month is the Best Time for Apple Picking in Ontario?
The best time to visit an apple orchard in Ontario is during the fall season. Many locations will open in mid-August and continue to operate until mid to late October. However, the best apple picking in Ontario occurs in September.
What Should I Wear to Pick Apples?
When planning your outfit for a day of apple picking, you want to consider two key priorities – your comfort throughout the day and the weather. Make sure you select comfortable footwear, as you will be on your feet a lot throughout the day. If you are apple-picking as part of a fun, romantic getaway, there are options that are both stylish and comfortable.
For clothing, focus on layering. For example, a t-shirt with a light sweater or cardigan topped with a quilted jacket or windbreaker will allow you to adjust throughout the day. You can always take layers off if you feel too hot, but you can’t warm up if you don’t have layers to put on.
Do Apples Ripen After Picking?
You should only pick ‘firm’ apples, those that are not quite ripe. This is because apples continue to ripen in the days and weeks after they have been harvested, especially if they are stored somewhere warm or in direct sunlight. Picking apples that are already at their prime will mean a much shorter shelf life when you get them home.
What is the Best Way to Store Apples? Do Apples Last Longer in the Fridge?
After bringing your apples home, take a moment to look them over and check for any signs of bruising. Not only will a bruised apple start to go bad faster, but it also gives off ethylene which will, in turn, start turning the rest of the apples.
Apples that are stored in the refrigerator will last approximately a month. This is perfect if you keep a small batch to enjoy in the coming days and weeks. If you have a larger batch, the best storage solution is to place them in a cool, dark corner of a root cellar or basement. Keep them out of direct sunlight to help them last longer.
Cut your apples into slices and freeze them in an air-tight container for the longest storage time. They will not maintain their crispness this way but are perfect for baking or making applesauce.
Enjoy The Many Opportunities for Apple Picking in Ontario
This fall, get out and enjoy this iconic seasonal activity. With so many incredible apple orchards and apple farms in Ontario, there will surely be a great location in your area to explore. This includes small “mom-and-pop” orchards, larger commercial farms, and everything in between.
If you’re looking forward to quality family time, many spots offer family-friendly activities, promising fun for the whole family.