Travel

Gorgeous Orchards for Apple Picking Outside of Philadelphia

Go on a fall adventure.

Can you feel the crisp air rolling in, Philly? As the sun sets on summer, you may feel the urge to throw on your favorite sweater and indulge in all your cottagecore fantasies. Luckily, fall in the Philadelphia area means orchards brimming with seasonal harvests begging to be hand-picked. These nearby farms and orchards offer pick-your-own apple adventures -- perfect for those apple pies and strudels you’re definitely going to make. As with every activity nowadays, things might look a little different due to COVID-19 protocols (don’t forget your masks!) so make sure to read up on the particulars for each location.

Brecknock Orchard

Mohnton, Pennsylvania
Distance from Philly: 1 hour, 15 minutes
On the longer end of a day trip drive, this farm just south of Reading has 35 varieties of apples available until November. Open every day but Sunday, you’ll have access to wagons, complete with a free bottle of water, to haul your haul. Don’t climb on trees or eat fruit out in the orchard. You must wear a mask while checking in and out. And be sure not to miss the famous apple cider donuts.

Highland Orchards

West Chester, Pennsylvania
Distance from Philly: 1 hour
Perfect for a weekend road trip, apples are available to pick daily through October. You’ll need to reserve your picking spot online up to two days in advance and you must wear a mask at all times. Upon arrival, check in at the red shed and staff will give you directions on how to drive into the field and picking bags.

Hill Creek Farms

Mullica Hill, New Jersey
Distance from Philly: 30 minutes
This South Jersey farm is open to pick-your-own apples Fridays through Sundays during the fall. If you’re making the half-an-hour trek on the weekend, you’ll need to reserve a time to arrive. Pay the $30 entrance fee for all the guests in your car (Fridays are free) and head out to the huge apple fields to harvest your own goodies. Bring your own picnic gear and have a socially distanced snack in the orchard. Masks are required in the market but not in the fields.

Indian Orchards Farm

Media, Pennsylvania
Distance from Philly: 40 minutes
This century-old farm uses organic and sustainable methods to grow their produce, which includes many varieties of apples in the fall. Pay $2.50 a person and pick-your-own apples through November. The farm is open daily and you’ll have to pay for what you pick. Remember to practice social distancing and wear masks when you can’t or are indoors.

Terhune Orchard

Princeton, New Jersey
Distance from Philly: 1 hour
Over a dozen varieties of apples are available through October at this farm in stately Princeton. The fields are open daily, but the number of people allowed to pick at one time is restricted so you might have a wait. You’ll have 30 minutes to pick your haul and you must wear a mask while harvesting -- and remember, if you pick it, you buy it.

Linvilla Orchards

Media, Pennsylvania
Distance from Philly: 30 minutes
Daily apple picking runs until mid-November with over 25 varieties to choose from -- and it's just half an hour away. Due to the pandemic, you’ll have to pay for a picking container ahead of time ($6 a person) and you’ll only be permitted to sit with your group on the hayride out to the field. Of course, masks and social distancing are required at all times. The farm will be limiting the number of pickers, so try to get there early to ensure you can get in without a wait.

Johnson’s Corner Farm

Medford, New Jersey
Distance from Philly: 30 minutes
Over the bridge in New Jersey is this cutesy farm offering daily pick-your-own apple adventures through mid-October. Due to the pandemic, you’ll have to reserve your picking time online a day in advance ($5 a person) since a wagon ride is required to get to the orchard. Try to get there 15 minutes before your departure time and remember, only pick what you’re willing to pay for. All guests will have to wear a mask and gloves while picking (so bring your own).

Shady Brook Farm

Yardley, Pennsylvania
Distance from Philly: 1 hour
You can pick your own apples Wednesdays through Sundays until October and get an old-fashioned wagon ride out to the fields. Reserve your spot online ahead of time (for all you procrastinators, you have the option of reserving a spot mere hours away) and recieve your picking container at the boarding shed. You’ll have to wear a mask while checking in and out and, of course, adhere to social distancing.

Styer Orchard

Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Distance from Philly: 40 minutes
Through early November, apples are ripe for picking daily at this orchard. Pick only what you’re going to purchase and don’t climb the trees or eat any fruit while in the fields. Be sure to limit the amount of people inside the stand when arriving to receive instructions and while paying for your haul before leaving. You’ll have to wear a mask while inside the stand and if you can’t keep more than six feet from others in the orchard.

Solebury Orchards

New Hope, Pennsylvania
Distance from Philly: 1 hour
In quaint New Hope, you can pick apples through early November on Thursdays through Sundays. Throughout the season, the farm yields more than 20 different varieties of apples, from Sun Crisp (available early-to-mid October) to Crimson Crisp (available mid-to-late September). Check in at the market to grab a bag, walk or take a wagon ride out to the orchard, and be sure to pick only what’s in-season (there’ll be signs letting you know). Other rules include pay for what you pick and mandatory mask-wearing at all times.

Weaver’s Orchard

Morgantown, Pennsylvania
Distance from Philly: 1 hour
Out in Morganstown you can pick from over 30 varieties of apples -- like Red Delicious and Pink Lady -- every day but Sunday through early November. New safety requirements include hand washing before heading to the field, mandatory mask-wearing while checking in and walking to the orchard, and social distancing of 20 feet. Upon check-in, you’ll have to purchase one of the farm’s picking containers (remember to only pick what you’ll buy) and then get picking.

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Allie Volpe is a writer based in Philadelphia. She hasn't slept in days. Follow her on Twitter: @allieevolpe.