BY TAYLOR HERZLICH
As the sun sets on summer and autumn approaches on Long Island, area residents flock to the East End to celebrate the change of seasons with a perennial favorite family activity: Apple picking.
So load up the car, make room for bushels of apples, and don’t forget to grab some fresh, homemade apple cider donuts and wash them down with some hard cider. Of course, don’t forget your masks and be prepared to follow social distancing mandates meant to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Here is our annual guide to Long Island’s nine orchards where you can pick your own apples.
The apple orchard will open September 2020 offering a deal of $25 to pick a one-peck bag of apples, maximum four people per bag every Saturday and Sunday. The orchard offers a wide variety of apples, and posts weekly updates on their Facebook page stating which kinds will be available for picking. 240 Montauk Hwy., Watermill, 631-726-4667, hankspumpkintown.com
Harbes Family Farm and Orchard
Apple picking will open September 2020, along with the Annual Apple Harvest, from September 12 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., which features a Robin Hood corn maze, pumpkin picking, pony rides, and more. All guests (except children 2 and under and those with special needs) are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing. 5698 Sound Ave., Riverhead, 631-369-1111, harbesfamilyfarm.com
Hayden’s Peach Orchard
After reopening for U-Pick on July 29, the orchard will be open for fruit picking 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily and continually posts updates on their website regarding which days are available for orchard picking. 561 Hulse Landing County Rd. 54, Wading River, 631-929-1115, davis-peach-farm.business.site
Enjoy locally grown fresh apples starting in late August throughout October. Customers can call to find out about U-Pick date availability from day-to-day. Guests must maintain social distancing and anyone with symptoms will not be allowed to enter the fields. 812 Sound Ave., Calverton, 631-929-4327, lewinfarm.com
Milk Pail Farm
The Milk Pail Farm will be open Saturday of Labor Day weekend through October offering over twenty apple varieties for picking from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Five-pound bags are $13 cash for one person and 20 pound bags are $48 for six people. 1346 Montauk Hwy., Watermill, milk-pail.com
Seven Ponds Orchard
The orchard is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for U-Pick apples and berries. The farmers market also offers freshly baked goods for sale. More information about U-Pick dates can be found on their Facebook. 65 Seven Ponds Rd., Watermill, 631-726-8015, facebook.com/pages/category/Farmers-Market/Seven-Ponds-Orchard
Wickham’s Fruit Farm
Apple picking will be available throughout October, Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The farm recommends calling ahead in the morning to confirm whether or not U-Pick will be open. Masks and social distancing are required in the fields. 28700 Main Rd., Cutchogue, 631-734-6441, wickhamsfruitfarm.com
Windy Acres Farm
The farm sells $8 apple-picking quarter peck bags at the entrance from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Kids ages 2 and under enter free. The orchard has miniature trees, perfect for children, as well as a kids play area, corn maze, hayrides, and more. 3810 Middle Country Rd., Calverton, 631-727-4554, facebook.com/WindyAcresFarm
The orchards open for apple picking mid-September through Columbus Day weekend. The Aquebogue location is open 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, while Jamesport is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Peck bags are sold for $17. Outdoor seating compliant with COVID-19 restrictions for hard cider tastings, cookies, and doughnuts is available. Masks are required. 729 Main Rd., Aquebogue and 116 Manor Lane, Jamesport, 631-722-5770, woodsideorchards.com
This story first appeared on our sister publication longislandpress.com.