• Search

rhode trip: Picking an Orchard for Apple Picking

clear appleApple season is in full swing: crisp, local apples are available even at the most ho-hum grocery store. When you want to get closer to the essence of the apple than the supermarket/farmer’s market/roadside stand, it’s time to head for an orchard. But which one? New England is rich in apple orchards; it’s almost impossible to choose. We polled local apple pickers/parents who chose the following as their favorite orchards for all sorts of reasons. (Note: unless otherwise specified, all orchards listed here are in Rhode Island. Always call first to confirm PYO times and availability.)

Phantom Farms, 2920 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland

Karen and her family in Providence are huge fans of Phantom Farms. Great apple picking, of course, but she says “it’s all about the extras” with her crew: “apple crisp–with ice cream! Tractor/wagon rides! A playground!”
Open daily 6:30AM-7PM weekdays/7AM-7PM weekends
Call for PYO hours
Phone 333-2240

Sunset Orchards, 244 Gleaner Chapel Road, North Scituate

Apples, fresh baked pies and pastries, group tours. Jenn in Providence says that she saw “a coyote or small mountain lion”–wild excitement in addition to perfect apples! Italian bread, barrel train rides, and apple pies, too. Visit Sunset’s frequently updated facebook page for the most up-to-date information on apples and activities.
Open daily, 8AM-6PM
Phone 934-1900

Barden Family Orchard, 56 Elmdale Road, North Scituate

Jill in Barrington recommends Barden for its large variety of apples, pumpkin patch “and a small store with Narragansett Creamery yogurt and cheese.” A bushel of Barden Macouns can be devoured in an instant.
Open daily 9AM-6PMtommychomps
Phone 934-1413

Dame Farm & Orchards, 94 Brown Avenue, Johnston

Many families are introduced to Dame Farm on nursery school field trips and then return year after year. Given its proximity to Providence, it’s impossibly bucolic, with PYO apples galore. With added attractions like horse-drawn carriage rides (and horse-drawn bobsled rides later on in the year, when the terrain is right) and bedazzling mom & daughter-made caramel apples for sale in the tiny market.
Open Daily 9:30AM-5PM
Phone 949-3657

Hill Orchards, 86 Winsor Avenue, Johnston

Kathleen in Providence loves Hill Orchards for its “old trees in not-so-perfect rows.” Horse-drawn hayrides through the apple orchard and pumpkin patch.
Open weekends and holidays. Call for times.
Phone 949-2940

veraRocky Brook Orchard, 997 Wapping Road, Middletown

Noteworthy for having forty-five (45!) varieties of apples (as well as peaches, pears and quince). Family friendly, with boughs low enough for toddlers to do their share in filling a basket.
Open Saturdays & Sundays 10AM-4:30PM
Weekdays, by appointment only
Phone 851-7989

Sweet Berry Farm, 915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown

Apples, peaches, pumpkins, cider, and applesauce too. Andrea in Portsmouth recommends both the apples and Sweet Berry’s tantalizing market, where you will find gorgeous sandwiches, homemade ice cream, and deli tubs of gummy frogs.
Open daily 8AM-7PM
Phone 847-3912

Young Family Farm, 260 West Main Road, Little Compton

Joan in Rumford says this one’s “very pretty and has YUMMY apples!” PYO apples and then purchase pumpkins and amazing cut flowers at the farm stand.
Open daily 8:30AM-6PM
Phone 635-0110

Holmberg Orchards, 12 Orchard Lane, Gales Ferry, Connecticut

Anna in Stonington gives Holmberg Orchards top marks for variety (peaches, pears, nectarines in addition to lots of apples) and proximity to another farm with excellent ice cream. With PYO flowers, hayrides, hard cider and wine (in the Wine Barn, of course) to boot.
Open daily 10AM-5PM
Phone 860-464-7305

facebehind appleMaple Lane Farm, 57 NW Corner Road, Preston, Connecticut

Dwarf trees make picking easy for your shorties. One dozen varieties on nine beautiful acres.
Open Thursday through Sunday, 10AM-4PM
Phone 860-889-3766

C.N. Smith Farm, 325 South Street, East Bridgewater, Massachusetts

An eighty-year-old family farm with over a dozen varieties, including the luscious Mutsu. The farm also features an on-site cider mill, pumpkins, and “Not to Creepy Hayrides” for Halloween excitement. Maria (eight months pregnant) and Tom (age 2) in Brockton left happy, with scads of apples.
Open for PYO Thursday through Sunday 10AM-4PM
Phone 508-378-2270

Keith’s Farm, 1149 Main Street, Acushnet, Massachusetts

One of several lovely farms in Acushnet recommended by Jessica in New Bedford. Apple picking, pumpkins, and hayrides to jostle you over to the pumpkin patch. Food court with candy apples and other goodies.
PYO weekends only 9AM-5PM
Phone 508-763-2622

Worth a day trip:

Atkins Farms, 1150 West St, Amherst, MA

In the scenic Holyoke Mountains, with a bountiful market and a facebook page to lure you and yours onto the Turnpike. Francesca in Winnipeg (Manitoba) recalls Atkins as her all-time favorite New England apple-picking spot.
Market open daily 7AM-7PM
Call for PYO hours (weekends)
Phone 413-253-9528

Photo credits: Abe Dane (polka dot girl), Maria Sullivan (boy chomping apple), and Anna Sawin (the rest.)


Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I love Tougas Farm in Northboro,Ma for fall fun. They have apple picking, pumpkin patch, farm animals, a large playground, fresh baked goods, tractor ride, and other fruit picking. They have a great website to let you know what is in season. This is our family’s favorite fall activity!

  • We went to C.N. Smith Farm in Bridgewater,MA during the Columbus Day weekend & we were disappointed in the way we had to pre-pay for our apples. They were not ready for the amount of people they had to give hay rides to & we had to pay $5 to get in. Then you had to pay for hayride to pick the pumpkins that you had to buy anyway. I will not be returning here.

  • Thanks! This is so helpful – just to note, some of these places have ended their picking seasons already according to their websites, so check before you go.

  • I would also add Steere Orchards in Scituate? Greenville? Somewhere up there anyway. It has great dwarf trees that make picking easy.

  • I Dare You to Make this After School Snack Apple Cake and Not Eat the Whole Thing Before Dinner:

    Cream together 3T butter and a cup of sugar. Beat in two eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla. Sift in: one cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp, baking soda. Stir to combine. Stir in 3 cups (about 3 to 4 apples) of diced apples–the batter will be mostly apples with a sort of batter dressing.

    Spread this into a greased 8×8 pan and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until set.