Best Orchards for Vermont Apple Picking
September 08, 2022
Vermont apple picking season is finally here in the Green Mountain State. Orchards around the state are ripe with McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Empire, and heirloom varieties that are ready for pick-your-own Vermont apple picking.
Vermont apple orchards also host events—including live music, yoga, festivals, and cider tastings—and offer farm stands, scenic views, and more. Here are seven worthy Vermont apple picking destinations to add to your fall foliage season must-do list.
Scott Farm Orchard in Dummerston
Located on the iconic Kipling Road in southeastern Vermont, Scott Farm Orchard grows more than 130 varieties of heirloom apples that visitors can buy at its farm stand. For a pick-your-own experience, head into the orchard to find Macintosh, Honeycrisp, and Cortland apples.
Scott Farm Orchard is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been in active cultivation since 1791. The orchard is owned by The Landmark Trust USA, which also owns Rudyard Kipling’s house, Naulakha, next door. Scott Farm Orchard hosts the Stone Trust and its display of stone walls and sculptures. (707 Kipling Road, Dummerston; 802-579-1720; scottfarmvermont.com)
Opening day: Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022; The Farm Market is currently open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Events: Cider tasting every weekend; Crêpe Night on Sept. 14, 2022; Heirloom Apple Day Festival on Oct. 9, 2022.
Happy Valley Orchard in Middlebury
Conor and Leah McManus are the new faces of Happy Valley Orchard, where visitors can find apples, cider donuts, sweet corn, pumpkins, tomatoes, and Mountain Mac Hard Cider. The couple started Mountain Mac Hard Cider as a hobby project and grew it into a full-scale operation.
The orchard grows McIntosh, Empire, Cortland, Red Delicious apples, heirlooms, and lesser-known varieties, including Newtown Pippin, Northern Spy, Keepsake, and many others. (217 Quarry Road, Middlebury; 802-388-2411; facebook.com/happyvalleyvermont)
Opening day: The orchard is currently open seven days a week.
Events: Free Live in the Orchard musical performances are on Fridays in September and Saturdays in October. Performing artists through the fall include Footworks on Sept. 9. 2022; Seth Eames on Sept. 16, 2022; Green Heron on Sept. 23, 2022; The Tenderbellies on Oct. 8, 2022; Elise and Ethan on Oct. 15, 2022; and Sister Speak on Oct. 22, 2022.
Mad Tom Orchard in East Dorset
Mad Tom Orchard was planted in 1940 by the Parson Family. Now operated by Sylvia and Tom Smith, Mad Tom Orchard features 14 varieties, including McIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, and Ginger Gold.
Mad Tom Orchard is a timeless, no-frills orchard with apples, maple syrup, cider, donuts—and some of the best scenic views in southern Vermont. The orchard is dog friendly, too. (2615 Mad Tom Road, East Dorset; 802-366-8107; madtomorchard.com)
Opening day: Currently open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
Liberty Orchard in Brookfield
Sami Abdelfatah and Anna Bowlen purchased the central Vermont orchard in June. The couple also runs Stargazer Farm in nearby Randolph Center, selling grass-fed beef, lamb, pasteurized pork, and eggs. They said adding an orchard to the mix seemed like a good fit.
Visitors to Liberty Orchard in Brookfield can find several varieties, including the crisp and tart Liberty, the crisp and spicy Brookfield, and the sweet Shizuka. (2408 West Street, Brookfield; 802-728-3072; facebook.com/Liberty-Orchard-in-Brookfield-VT)
Opening day: Sept. 23, 2022; Monday-Thursday 1-5 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Burtt’s Orchard in Cabot
Burtt’s orchard, located on a former dairy and maple farm, has been offering pick-your-own Vermont apple picking since 2009. Featuring over 40 varieties of apples, Burtt’s includes everything from Honeycrisp to McIntosh to Snowsweet.
The orchard’s trees are grown by espalier, the horticultural and ancient agricultural practice of controlling woody plant growth by pruning and tying branches to a frame. Burtt’s includes cider donuts, a corn maze, activities, and a playground flanked by scenic views of northern Washington County. (283A Cabot Plains Road, Cabot; 802-917-2614; burttsappleorchard.com)
Opening day: Burtt’s is currently open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Events: Hard Cider Crush on Oct. 15, 2022
Yates Family Orchard in Monkton
Yates Family Orchard includes 28 varieties of apples in an orchard originally planted in the 1930s on scenic Monkton Ridge. The orchard, located on a quiet dirt road near the Hinesburg-Monkton town line, was purchased by Jessika Yates and her husband, Steven, in 2008.
The orchard has expanded in recent years, and the property includes a farm stand with cider donuts, specialty products, and more. Pick Honeycrisp, Honey Gold, Ozark Golds, Haralson, and Northern Spy in the orchard. Be sure to indulge in the orchard’s signature dessert—the Dreamee—a hot, fresh cider donut topped with Vermont maple soft serve ice cream. (1074 Davis Road, Hinesburg; 802-373-7437; yatesfamilyorchard.com)
Opening day: Yates is currently open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Events: Sunday morning yoga is offered through Sangha Studio starting Sept. 11, 2022 at 10 a.m. Enjoy live music on Sunday afternoons from 1-4 p.m.
Shelburne Orchards is a family-owned enterprise led by the legendary Nick Cowles, who was born on the property in 1950. The orchard, started by his father, began with 500 trees in the 1950s. It grew from 2,000 trees in the 1970s to 6,000 trees today.
Pick-your-own varieties include Honey Crisp, Gala, McIntosh, and more. The orchard’s farm store sells apples, donuts, and Nick’s own Dead Bird apple brandy. (216 Orchard Road, Shelburne; 802-985-2753; shelburneorchards.com)
Opening day: Sept. 9, 2022; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays; noon to 5 p.m. on Mondays.
Events: Live in the Orchard Concert Series includes Danny and The Parts on Sept. 17, 2022; Tall Travis on Sept. 18, 2022; The Meatpackers on Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, 2022; Rowan on Oct. 1, 2022; Emalou and The Beat on Oct. 8, 2022; and Queen City Cut Ups on Oct. 16, 2022.
For more information, visit vermontapples.org.