There is nothing that says a CapNY fall like being out in the orchard on a crisp sunny day! Whether you’re competing for the best looking apple or chowing down as many cider donuts as your stomach will allow, it’s a great day out for families and friends. The only hard part is trying to save room for the homemade apple crisp later.
Upstate New York is known for some of the best apple picking IN THE WORLD. Even though you may have a favorite spot, I challenge you to visit a new spot this year! Try our downloadable Google Apple Picking Map of the “U-Pick” locations all over the Cap Region, which you can find at the bottom of the page.
We’ve also marked all of the nearby local brews and ciders, to check out before or after your orchard adventures. Here are some of my orchard and craft beverage combo picks…
Albany County: Indian Ladder Farms & Meadowdale Winery
A visit to Indian Ladder Farms is an annual tradition in my family. There are so many things to see and do at this farm aside from great apple picking (Honeycrisp are my favorite by the way). They have farm animals that you can pet and feed, incredible scenery, drool worthy cider donuts, a restaurant, brewery…and the list goes on… You could spend the whole day here, but if you’re looking to explore more of the Altamont area, there are a few spots I’d recommend exploring.
Head on over to Meadowdale Winery to try one of their nine wines (some award winning!) made wholly of New York ingredients. You might be happy to know that this spot is an ultra-low-carbon, zero-waste winery. Win-win! Then, you HAVE to venture right nearby to Thatcher State Park to see enjoy the beautiful fall foliage and if you’re feeling up to it, explore one of the trails and you might see a few small waterfalls!
Rensselaer County: Windy Hill Orchard East & Stable Gate Winery
I think I am just going to let these next few photos speak for themselves…
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! These are just a few of homemade desserts you can enjoy at Windy Hill Orchard East after you pick your apples. They also have wagon rides, a corn maze, sunflower field, fire pits and frequently have food trucks and live entertainment to enjoy! This place has it all.
If you’re looking to maximize your time in the area, head on over to Stable Gate Winery. Stop by for a wine tasting, some live music, yoga on the farm, or even brunch! Their events calendar is always jam packed.
Between these two spots, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable day.
Click HERE to download a PDF list of all of the Apple Orchard locations on our Apple Picking Map
Written by: Gabby Fisher
Gabby is a serial entrepreneur living solo with her toy poodle, Mochi, in Schenectady. She also happens to be the Senior Producer on the CapNY branding initiative!