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Best Apple Orchards in New England

Yankee Plus Dec 2015


Best Apple Orchards in New England
26 votes, 4.00 avg. rating (79% score)
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Autumn is a magical time of year for many reasons, but one of our favorite fall traditions is the annual trek into the orchard to gather up as many apples as we can carry. Looking for a few good places to pick? Yankee senior lifestyle editor, and author of the The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, Amy Traverso, shares her list of best apple orchards in New England.

Alyson's Orchard in Walpole, New Hampshire.
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, New Hampshire.

Poverty Lane Orchards — Lebanon, NH
Steve Wood and Louisa Spencer operate two businesses on this beautiful hilltop farm overlooking the Connecticut River Valley: Poverty Lane Orchards, where they grow dozens of antique and unusual apple varieties, and Farnum Hill Ciders, where they make complex ciders from the aforementioned apples. Both are worth exploring for their nuance and quality, whether in the pick-your-own orchards or in the farm stand/tasting room.

98 Poverty Ln., Lebanon, NH. 603-448-1511;

Gould Hill Farm — Contoocook, NH
Is this the most beautiful orchard setting in New England? We certainly haven’t seen another one that matches its 75-mile view, which can spread as far as the White Mountains. It’s worth coming back just for that. You can also make a project of tasting the seventy-plus apple varieties that Tim and Amy Bassett now grow. One varity particular is worth noting: Hampshire, a tree that sprang up from seed on this very farm and, with its abundant juice and rich flavor, makes a great pie. There’s also live music, a pumpkin patch, a farm store with cider donuts, and a charming little nature museum.

656 Gould Hill Rd, Contoocook NH. 603-746-3811;

Nashoba Valley Winery — Bolton, MA
Set in the heart of America’s first fruit bowl, this beautiful winery/restaurant/wedding destination is also home to acres of pick-your-own Cortland, McIntosh, and Roxbury Russet trees, as well as a spectacular antique apple orchard stocked with rare finds like Pink Pearl, Ashmead’s Kernel, and Esopus Spitzenburg—nearly 100 in all. Tack a wine tasting and dinner onto your day and you have a make-your-own harvest festival.

100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton MA. 978-779-5521;

18th-Century Purity Farms at the Hall Homestead — Plainfield, CT
Paul and Jo-Ann Desrochers grow vegetables, peaches, plums, and nectarines, but they have a special love of heirloom apples—nearly 90 varieties, all grown without pesticides. You’ll find ‘Westfield Seek-No-Further’ (a Massachusetts native), ‘Newtown Pippin’, and the wondrous ‘Hidden Rose’, whose bland green-brown skin gives way to bright fuchsia flesh that tastes of raspberries. Open Saturday afternoons in the fall.

156 Plainfield Pike Road, Plainfield, CT. 860-564-2154;

Alyson’s Orchard — Walpole, NH
The view from Alyson’s hilltop orchards is a close second to the one at Gould Hill Farm, with long views to the west toward Vermont. The orchard is run by Homer Dunn, a true-blue New Englander who takes tremendous pleasure and pride in his fruit. He grows all the regular favorites but has a soft spot for rare heirlooms like  Ashmead’s Kernel, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Belle de Boskoop, Reine des Reinettes, and Esopus Spitzenburg. The orchard (which also grows peaches, plums, nectarines, and berries) spreads over 450 acres and there’s a seasonal farm stand, plus family-friendly entertainment on weekends.

57 Alyson’s Lane, Walpole, NH. 800-856-0549;

Scott Farm — Dummerston, VT
This 626 acre property, owned by the non-profit Landmark Trust USA, produces 70 varieties of “ecologically grown,” low-spray heirloom and unusual apples, such as Roxbury Russet, Belle de Boskoop, Winter Banana, and Hidden Rose. It also served as the primary location for the filming of the movie Cider House Rules. There are classes on pruning and grafting, apple pie baking, hard cider making. And you can rent any of several historic structures on the property for a weekend getaway­—including Rudyard Kipling’s estate, Naulakha, where he wrote “The Jungle Books.”

707 Kipling Road, Dummerston VT. 802-254-6868;


Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Amy Traverso


Amy Traverso


Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American. Follow !

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38 Responses to Best Apple Orchards in New England

  1. Ted McCord September 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    We highly recommend Sandy River Apples in Mercer, Maine. The farm begun in the mid-nineteenth century is now run by ninety-six year old Francis Fenton and his daughter Carol Fenton Gilbert. Recently they have restored the barn on the property for quilting workshops and added a carriage house next door for Francis’s vintage tractors and other equipment.

  2. carol gilbert September 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Thanks Ted…….yes our orchard has been in our family since 1852 and we take pride in our heritage apple crop. The crop includes Wolf River, Cortlands, Romes, Jonathans, Snows, Dollie Delicious, Arkansas Black, Blue Pear Maine, Empires, Macouns and many other varitities.

  3. Charlene Gottlieb September 13, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    I love to make Autumn trips to Kelly Orchards in Acton Maine (off Rte 109). A small orchard, so easy to navigate, but has many types of apples, incluing heirloom varies just planted! Also has peaches, raspberries, pumpkins. Honor system in place for picking. Lovely area!

  4. Lynn Nichols September 19, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    I’d recommend Clarkdake fruit farms in Deerfield, MA. Tom and Ben Clark grow 35 varieties of apples and it’s one of the locations for the annual CiderDays event (first weekend in Nov, Yankee editor Amy Traverso, author of The Apple Lovers Cookbook, will be there on Nov 3rd to do an apple butter demo (as part of CiderDays).

  5. Karen Emerson September 19, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    My favorite orchard here in west central Vermont is Champlain Orchards in Shoreham Vermont. They have a lovely farm store as well as pick your own. Their homemade pies are very delicious, and their apple cider donuts and homemade cider yummy! The organic veggies and meat, ice cider and other vermont specialty foods make it very much worth the trip…

  6. Sue September 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Gould Hill farm is our favorite. It is gorgeous!

  7. Kim September 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    We have been going to Wellwood orchards in Vermont for years. Every fall we make a few trips with our children, pet the animals, eat fresh doughnuts and enjoy the atmosphere. They get my vote!!!

  8. Ellen Murphy September 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I would highly recommend Morning Star Perennials in Rockingham VT. The one and only no spray apple orchard my family and I were able to find anywhere near our area. There we met Scott and Laurie Bolotin. Scott led us through his humble orchard where he has over 350 varieties of apples, personally grafted and lovingly cared for. Some of the trees had over 25 varieties on just one tree. He encouraged us to sample different varieties and took the time to explain the best uses of the various apples, and their names. We went home with several bags filled with more than 30 varieties of apples–each unique. He even introduced us to Thomas Jefferson’s favorite kind of apple. We had an experience we will long remember, and have already made a commitment to visit this orchard every year from now on.

  9. donating money September 25, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Great list! I’d add Shelburne Orchards in VT. Picking apples from the trees sloping down towards Lake Champlain makes for a magical experience. Another good place is Carlson Orchards in Harvard, MA. Tons of trees and variety, plus they have pumpkins, hay rides, apple crisp, etc which make for a nice New England-y experience.

  10. Richard Sharpe September 26, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Gould Hill farm in Hopkinton/Conoocook is the best

  11. Nelson an Dottie Megna September 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    We love going to Gould Hill Farm. The setting is beautiful, the view is spectacular, and the fresh cider and doughnuts can’t be beat!

  12. Kevin October 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    For Connecticut, Bishops Orchards in Guilford,CT. Great food center, winery and plenty of Orchard parcels with a huge selection of apple varieties. Also it’s one of the easiest Orchards to get to being right off of I-95.

    • Dawn September 9, 2014 at 7:39 am #

      Blue Jay Orchard in Bethel, CT is located in a beautiful bucolic landscape. It offers many types of apples and has an amazing store filled with fresh bakes goods, jams and jellies and so much more!

  13. Alicia September 9, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    Holmberg’ s Orchard in Gales Ferry Connecticut. It’s a piece of Heaven on earth. Fabulous pick your own, and a wonderful farm store.

    • Traci March 4, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

      We love Holmberg’s Orchard. Have been going there since I was a child and now take my children every fall to pick apples!

  14. Barbara Ward September 9, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    Treworgys apple orchard in Glenburn Maine, is so delightful, with a corn maze trivia, pumpkin patch, raspberry , and blueberry patches, animal barn, ice cream snack bar, and to top it off free concerts every week end all fall through October. Love that place, so family orientated

  15. Don September 9, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    Echo Hill Orchard, Monson Ma.

  16. Robin September 9, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    Maine didn’t make the list? Wallingfords in Lewiston, Me, and Bailey’s in Windsor,Me
    I go to both every year, each is a unique place and choice of apples and apple related products.

  17. Pat H September 9, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    2 New Hampshire favorites in Strafford County- Butternut Farms in Rochester & McKenzies in Milton

  18. Kelley September 9, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    You’re totally missing out if you haven’t been to Windy Ridge Orchard and Christmas Tree Farm ( in North Haverhill, NH! It’s a short and beautiful trip from Lincoln if you’re leaf peeping! Besides apple picking, there are nature trails, farm animals to visit, a winery (, and the Cider House Cafe…best cider donuts anywhere!

    • Joscelyn Beaudin October 11, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

      TOTALLY AGREE!! Yankee needs to trek up to the Upper Valley area! Love Windy Ridge!

  19. Pamela Owen September 9, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    My favorite is Carlson Orchards of Harvard Mass.
    I especially love their apple cider which is the best tasting cider ever!!!

    • Jean September 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

      I will agree with you on the cider at Carlson Orchards. And they have a good variety of apples. :)

  20. PartyPatrolKyle September 9, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Take some time this September and find your way to Lost Acres Farm in North Granby CT. Hidden in the hills of northernmost (almost in Mass!) Connecticut, Lost Acres is what you think of as a classic New England apple orchard. Pick-your-own apples, tractor rides and the best tasting and looking goodies baked duly in their kitchen. The smells are worth the trip alone!

  21. Lousianne Smoothie September 9, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Holmberg Orchards & Winery in Southeastern CT, near Mystic and the casinos. Meticulously maintained orchard specializing in Pick-Your-Own, Wine & Sparkling Hard Cider tastings, Farm Market with bakery and more. Not to be missed!

  22. Jeanne eames September 9, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    My favorite is Hyland Orchard in Sturbridge. Free entertainment on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, brewery on property , great for kids with small animals, kids tractor rides, outdoor pavilion, disc golf, bring your own food and blanket or sit at the outdoor bar or picnic tables. Dogs love it there too! Great place during September and October months!

  23. Diane Guilmette September 9, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    Brackett’s Apple Orchard in Limington, Maine. Best apples ever.

  24. Diane Guilmette September 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    Brackett’s has been around for a long time. I can remember going there as a little girl and picking apples.(I’m 70 now) They sell squash, pumpkins ,cider etc. along with apples. They also have a gift shop. I came back to Maine over 15 years ago and each fall I make a trip to Brackett’s for their apples.

  25. Holly Cetto September 11, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, Mass. Best apple farm around. Weekend bbq’s and hayrides, pumpkin patch, farm animals, snack shop with lots of homemade pies, fudge, donuts and lots of goodies, hiking trails. They also host weddings and festivals throughout the year…..check them out!

  26. Pauline Dyson September 11, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

    I love the tradition, as well as the apples, of Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, Ct. my hometown for thirty years, seventeen years ago. It is family owned, has pick-your-own and an excellent variety of apples and peaches.
    The Lyman family have been good citizens of Middlefield, a small Connecticut town once known for their farms. The old family homestead is still there. We lived near-by and would walk through the orchards for exercise and for fantastic views of the Connecticut River Valley..
    Our daughter as a high school student in the late l980 was hired part-time to bake cookies and doughnuts. She now lives in Massachusetts where she is delighted to find Lyman Orchards in her Wholefoods Market. Lyman apples have been widely distributed through New England and the country as a whole for many years, a testament to its “wholesome” goodness and enduring customer loyalty.

  27. Roy Rowland September 12, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

    Norton Bros. Farm, Cheshire, CT; more than two centuries of apple-growing history, and delicious varieties of their own wonderful apples; a great visit!:)

  28. Anne Simunovic September 17, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    Green Mountain Orchards in Putney, VT!
    Apples (and blueberries!), farm store, beautiful views, friendly and knowledgeable staff. Last weekend we picked Zestar, a variety new to us, as beautiful to behold as to enjoy fresh! It’s become a regular stop for our family.

  29. Doris Shaw September 17, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    Our favorite is Russ Allen’s Orchard in Westminster, VT. Strictly a pick-your-own, innumerable varieties, including many heirloom.

  30. Armand Zottola September 17, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    I have found that the cider produced in Connecticut is superior to that of the North Country. I think it may be because the climate allows for a wider variety of apples to be raised…AND…many locals add peaches to mellow the acidity.
    Just an opinion…I enjoy them all.

  31. Frederick September 17, 2015 at 10:28 am #

    Another lovely Orchard is Lyman Orchard’s in Middlefield, CT, since 1741, not only are their orchards full of apples Pick your Own”, and in season, peaches, pears and more. There is a lovely retail store where you can buy produce, fresh cider donuts, cider, and amazing pies, especially the apple, all baked on premises. If you feel like golfing, there are three professional golf courses on the site. A fun destination for the entire family. It is Connecticut’s “Sweet Spot”.

  32. Sunny September 18, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

    The town of Stow, MA has many apple orchards and farm stands; 40 miles drive from Boston to a quaint, scenic town. Honey Pot Hill Orchards, has been a family owned and operated farm since 1926.Their 180-acre farm offers bountiful fruit available to pick yourself or purchase at their farm store. There are farm animals and maze.

    When entering Stow, you will see signs for other apple orchards; such as Derby, Carver Hill, Shelburne Farms. I grew up in Stow and now, own a third generation business.

  33. Mrs. Garland H.Hunt October 11, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    We only eat organic apples, due to cancer risk.
    I wonder how many of these farms grow organic pesticide/chemical free apples?
    If anyone can help we would appreciate it.
    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE apples and eat them every day. One of my favorites is the Macoun.
    Happy for Apple season!


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