Apple season in Ontario and Quebec feels like the kickoff to autumn. The days are still warm and sunny, but you can slowly start to feel a crispness in the air. It’s the ideal weather to spend time outside looking for the best apples to pick. Grab your boots and bring the family together for a fun day making memories.
Typically, apple picking around Ottawa occurs from late August to mid-October, but the season relies on Mother Nature, so check orchard websites for updates. Here are nine orchards you can visit near Ottawa to enjoy an early fall tradition and gather some fresh fruit.
Address: 1341 Merkley Rd., Winchester, ON
Pick your apples just South of Ottawa from a family-run orchard. Grab a wooden wagon on your way in and navigate the rows of trees to pick McIntosh and other varieties. Apples are sold by weight, so you can get the exact amount you need. Make sure to bring cloth bags for a waste-free experience. Treat yourself to fresh cider, candy apples or local honey for sale while quantities last. Cash and debit are accepted forms of payment.
Address: 10175 Clark Rd., Mountain, ON
Spend the day enjoying seasonal activities at a historic farm that has tons of apple trees to pick from. Depending on how the crop turns out, there are between 10 and 12 varieties of apples available, including Golden Delicious, Lobo and Honeycrisp. Take a wagon ride to the orchard to select your favourites; apples are priced by bag size, so keep picking until it’s full. Bring your kids to the straw jump or through the corn maze, enjoy BBQ meals and sweet treats, and browse baked goods like delicious apple cider donuts in the farm store.
Orleans Fruit Farm
Address: 1399 St Joseph Blvd., Orleans, ON
There are 12 apple varieties at this East-end fruit farm, with Lobo, McIntosh, Cortland, and Empire being the primary for picking. You can visit at weekends to harvest the fruit from the trees. Pricing is per bag, and there are two available bag sizes, medium (up to 10 pounds) and large (holds about 20 pounds). While you’re visiting, enjoy some mini donuts and browse other fresh market goodies.
Address: 1480 County Rd. 32, Crysler, ON
Home to the spooky Acres of Terror attraction that starts in September, you can also stop by during the daytime, seven days a week, and pick apples. Different varieties are available depending on the time of the season, such as Lobo, McIntosh and Empire. Visit with your little ones during Family Activity Weekends, and with an all-inclusive bracelet, you can ride the cow train, navigate hedge mazes, use pedal cars and more. Browse jams, fudge, cider and much more at the country market.
Log Cabin Orchard
Address: 6121 Cabin Rd., Osgoode, ON
Climb a wooden ladder to reach the highest apples at this historic orchard. Pick McIntosh and Liberty apples, or grab some pre-picked varieties, all priced per bag. Admire the farm animals in the little petting zoo, sit by a campfire as you snack on a giant churro and grab a bottle of apple cider. The cantina also serves BBQ dishes like hotdogs and cold drinks. As the apple season ends, you can pick pumpkins, followed by Christmas trees.
Address: 101 Herzberg Rd., Kanata, ON
Experience apple picking at a mature orchard in the Greenbelt. You’ll find trees with multiple varieties of fresh apples, many of which are about 75 years old. Priced by bag, choose between two sizes and fill it to the brim. There is apple cider and other produce for sale, including pumpkins, later in the season.
Address: 199 Rte. 300 E, Casselman, ON
Explore 200 beautiful acres of land where you can pick fresh apples, browse maple products from the sugar shack and sip hard cider on a patio. You can buy multiple apple varieties, including Honeycrisp, Lobo and McIntosh. Visit on a September weekend to pick your own, with apples priced by the pound. Check the orchard’s Facebook page for events, as they often have outdoor concert performances.
Verger Croque Pomme
Address: 20 Mnt. Berndt, Thurso, QC
Head to the Outaouais region for a fun fall day at an orchard with 3000 trees and 30 different apple varieties. Other produce grown include pears, blueberries, grapes, squash, pumpkins and more. Apples are sold by weight, and you can bring a container to fill. Enjoy a free cider tasting, take a wagon ride, grab hot food from the canteen and watch your kids on the playground during your visit.
When exploring, bring your CAA Membership
CAA Members can save wherever they go, and memberships start from just $30 a year. Save money when dining out on your road trip, or fill up the car and save 3 cents a litre on fuel. You can view the list of 126,000 partner locations worldwide online.