Apple Orchards! Finally!

I know, I know, picking’s been going on for weeks already.  In my defense, I ran into a guy at the farmers’ market last week who claims that he refuses to eat an apple until the last of the tomatoes are gone.  Well, yeah, that’s just silly.  I’m completely willing to allow overlapping produce.

Just like when I was looking into berries earlier, the Pick Your Own site was quite helpful.  I’m only listing places that indicate that they’re U-Pick places, because I’ve already told you about the various farmers’ markets in the area.

I’ve been to a few different orchards, so I’ll tell you what I know if I’ve visited.  But they do tend to change things up a bit each season, so if there’s something that’s extraordinarily important to you, it’s a good idea to call and double check.  Same thing with prices:  I didn’t want to misquote anyone, and it can be confusing occasionally, like when they charge a fee to pick or have you pay by say, the pound vs. the bushel.  If a reader is motivated, organized, and mathematically gifted enough to figure out the single cheapest excursion, I do hope that that person will spread the love by sharing the information with us.  You will be repaid in karma.

Random pick-your-own orchard tips:

  • Layer clothes for optimal comfort
  • Bring along extra sacks or baskets because kids always like to carry your own, and you might want to keep track of the different apple varieties for future reference
  • As long as you’re there, maybe grab a pumpkin?  I know that you might not be ready for Halloween yet, but if you wait until you are ready, the patch might be rather sparse
  • If you’re heading someplace in Saratoga County, many of the orchards have reviews on the Pick Your Own site.

M on hay stacks at Bowman, the playground behind her includes an ancient fire truck

Anyway, I’ve got a list here.

Altamont Orchards in Altamont–they also do U-Pick tomatoes.

Bowman Orchards in Rexford is a busy orchard, and we’ve been there several times over the years.  Cars drive pretty close to the trees, and it can feel a bit like a traffic jam on the weekends.  Of course, it’s handy if you’ve got someone with mobility issues, but it can cut into the whole back-to-nature atmosphere.  Bowman’s also got a fun playground–when I’ve been there in the past, it’s been free during the week and pay-to-play on the weekends. They’ve also got sheltered picnic tables nearby, and there are donuts and ice cream.

J & I along a roadway at Bowman

Buhrmaster Family Farm in Scotia is listed as a U-pick Apple place, but I couldn’t find much information on it.

De Voe’s Rainbow Orchard in Halfmoon is listed as a U-pick Apple place, but I couldn’t find much information on it.

J bonds with goats at Bowman

Fo’Castle Farm in Burnt Hills is also listed as a U-pick Apple place, but their website seems pretty eat-and-shop focused.

Goold Orchards in Castleton

Hicks Orchard in Middle Granville is a drive (they say 40 minutes from Albany), but it sounds like fun, with a variety of activities including making your own scarecrow. . . anyone ever gone?

Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont is a huge and busy place.  They’ve got a sit-down restaurant and very cute gift shop (it also carries Just Tomatoes, which I love),as well as a super-fun playground with old tractors and other equipment.  They’ve got places to picnic outside, as well as animals to see and nature trails to wander.  One of my guest bloggers also chose Indian Ladder as one of her favorite outings in the Capital District.

J enjoys tractor at Indian Ladder

Lindsey’s Idyllwood Orchard in Rexford is listed as a U-pick Apple place, but I couldn’t find much information on it.  Update:  see comment from reader below–after reading the comment, we checked it out, and Lindsey’s has since become a family favorite. Here’s a post about it.

Riverview Orchards in Clifton Park feels smaller than the other orchards I’ve visited, but in a good way.  There are pumpkins, animals, and a very modest kid-sized hay maze.  You park next to the main building and then have to cross a busy road to the orchard, but once there, it’s a pleasant hay ride to get to the apples.  Their gift shop is small but interesting, with bees to look at as well as unusual items like bug candies.  Plus you can watch the donuts being made.   Apple alert:  see the comment below!

J and friends enjoy hayride at Riverview

Saratoga Apple in Schuylerville is a popular destination, although it looks like they charge $5 or $6 per person to pick your own?  Is there something that makes this particularly worth it?

So, that’s what I found. . . anyone have opinions on these to share, or additions for the list?


  1. Julie

    If you go to Fo’Castle Farms in Burnt Hills, the cost is about ABOUT 80 cents per pound. However, if you pick off the ground, it’s half that cost…..great deal if you just want to use the apples for apple picking or pies.

  2. Julie

    Okay, last apple comment. If you want to just pick apples, I would recommend this place. You can drive onto the apple “fields” with a provided map. My boys like it esp. b/c it has ladders set up for them to actually climb and pick those high apples! It doesn’t offer much else than apples, but it’s a great family fun place and is never super crowded. It’s just down the road from Bowmans.
    Lindsey’s Idyllwood Orchard & Farm
    267 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford

  3. Claire

    Just an FYI: we went to Riverview Orchards today, and there were no apples left to pick! They had all fallen off the trees. They said it’s because of the frost back in May; the apples all fell off earlier this year. They’re still offering free hayrides on weekends, though.

  4. Mickey

    I am not a fan of Saratoga apple. Never had a good experience there, from high cost of the outing to lack of good and friendly service. I wish I could say I enjoyed it as it is so close ot me, but I just don’t. I do hope others have had better experiences there.

    Bowman Orchards‎ however has never let me down.

  5. I grew up going to Hick’s orchard every year because I lived in Washington County. Now that I have my own daughters and live in the Scotia area, I don’t go as often. However it is my favorite U-pick place. It is very similar to Indian Ladder farms and Bowman’s but not as big. The ride is gorgeous in the summer and fall due to the mountain views and foliage. If you don’t mind crowds, I recommend it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *