It’s apple-picking season. Head out to a local farm to stock up. We found a few pick-your-own (PYO) farms and orchards in our area that you can explore with your family.
Catoctin Mountain Orchard
15036 N. Franklinville Road, Thurmont
Founded in 1948, this 100-acre farm is nestled in the slope of its namesake, the scenic Catoctin Mountain Ridge. Not only does the orchard offer quality apple picking from September to October, but it also provides apples to Frederick County Public Schools for student lunches. Although the orchard has plenty of apple varieties, its specialty is the crunchy Autumn Gala, which was discovered on the farm more than 20 years ago. After picking, head to the playground area for a picnic and playtime. Be sure to stop by the bakery for a savory treat such as an apple pie or apple cider doughnut.
Admission to the orchard is $3 for everyone ages 4 and older. PYO pricing is TBD. Open September through October weekends from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 301-271-2737; catoctinmountainorchard.com
5501 Detrick Road, Mount Airy
Escape to this picturesque farm in Mount Airy for a breath of fresh air and some fall fun. During weekends, visitors can take a free hayride to the orchard for apple picking and browse the array of fresh food stands at the farm market. Starting Sept. 4, kids can enjoy the farm’s Fall Fun Fest complete with more than 60 activities such as a corn maze, jumping pillows, animals, slides and bike tracks.
PYO pricing is $25 per peck bag and $35 per half-bushel bag. Open Sept. 3 through Oct. 31 weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 301-865-3515; gaverfarm.com
Hollabaugh Bros. Inc.
Farm Market Location: 545 Carlisle Road, Biglerville, Pennsylvania
Visit Hollabaugh Bros., which intentionally designed its orchard so that different apple varieties are ripe at different times. Guests can satisfy their taste buds throughout the fall with apples such as McIntosh, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, Granny Smith and Gold Rush. As a fun activity, the farm hosts an apple scavenger hunt in the orchard where guests do some sleuthing to discover a missing variety. Guests can also come to the gardens after Labor Day and cut their own flowers to make a beautiful bouquet.
The orchard scavenger hunt is $2 per group of four. PYO and cut-your-own flower prices are TBD. Open end of August through October, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. 717-677-8412; hollabaughbros.com
Rock Hill Orchard & Woodburne Creamery
28600 Ridge Road, Mount Airy
This orchard contains several thousand apple trees with more than 30 varieties of mouthwatering apples for you to pick, including Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Ida Red, Suncrisp and Mutsu. Stop in at the farm market to pick up some veggies, jam and freshly baked pies. Top off the day with a sweet treat from the Woodburne Creamery, Montgomery County’s only “cow-to-cone” creamery. PYO pricing is TBD. Open Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. 301-831-7427; rockhillorchard.com