Pick Your Own Apples: A Guide to the Perfect Apple Picking Day

Apple picking is more than just a fall activity; it’s a chance to create lasting memories, enjoy the outdoors, and of course, pick your own apples. There’s something magical about wandering through rows of apple trees, the air crisp and the ground littered with fallen leaves. It’s a perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature, spend quality time with loved ones, and indulge in the simple joy of harvesting your own fruit.

In this guide, we’ll share some essential tips to help you make the most of your apple-picking adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned picker or a first-timer, these tips will ensure your day is filled with fun, laughter, and plenty of delicious apples. Let’s begin, shall we?

Choosing the Right Time for Apple Picking

The secret to the perfect apple-picking experience lies in timing. While it’s tempting to think that any time in the fall is ideal, the truth is a bit more nuanced. 

Apple varieties mature at different times, so the peak season can vary. Typically, late September to October is when the magic happens. This is when the orchards are brimming with ripe, juicy apples just waiting to be picked.

Before you set out, it’s wise to check with your local orchard for the best visiting times. Coming early in the day not only beats the crowds but also gives you the best selection. Plus, the soft morning light creates a perfect, dream-like setting for photos that capture the essence of autumn.

Imagine the orchard in the early morning: the air is fresh and crisp, just like the apples. Dew glistens on the grass, and the quiet is only broken by the sounds of nature. This serene setting is what apple picking is all about: a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Selecting the Perfect Apples

There’s an art to choosing the right apples when you pick your own. It’s not just about grabbing any apple that catches your eye. You’re looking for the ones that are firm to the touch, have a vibrant color, and are free of bruises or blemishes. A good apple should feel solid and heavy for its size; a sign that it’s juicy and ripe. For more details visit us at https://www.champlainorchards.com/.

When you spot your perfect apple, remember to twist it gently off the branch rather than pulling. This technique ensures you don’t harm the tree or its future harvests. It’s a small act, but it shows respect for nature and the hard work that goes into maintaining an orchard.

Every apple variety has its own unique taste and texture, and they’re not all for the same purpose. Some apples are crisp and tart, perfect for biting into right there among the trees. Others are sweeter and softer, ideal for baking into pies or making into cider. 

At Champlain Orchards, we encourage you to ask us about the varieties available. We love sharing our knowledge and helping you pick the best apples for your needs. Whether you’re a fan of classic Red Delicious, tangy Granny Smith, or the unique flavors of lesser-known varieties, there’s an apple to suit every taste.

Dressing Appropriately for the Orchard

A day at the orchard calls for practicality and comfort in your attire. Dressing appropriately ensures you can fully enjoy the experience without any discomfort. Layered clothing is your best bet, as temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day. A light jacket or sweater that you can easily take off or put on is ideal.

Footwear is critical; orchards are natural environments with uneven terrain. A pair of sturdy, closed-toe shoes will protect your feet and prevent any slips or trips as you navigate between the apple trees. Remember, you’ll be walking a fair bit, so comfort is key.

Sun protection is often overlooked but equally important. A wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen are essentials, even on days when the sun seems to play hide and seek with the clouds. And for those special moments you’ll want to capture, don’t forget to bring along a camera or your phone. The orchard presents numerous photo opportunities, from the scenic rows of apple trees to the joyous expressions of fellow pickers.

Making the Most of Your Apple Picking Experience

Apple picking is more than just filling your basket with fruit; it’s about savoring a unique experience. Imagine strolling through rows of apple trees, the leaves rustling softly in the breeze, and the sweet aroma of ripe apples filling the air. It’s an idyllic setting that invites you to slow down and appreciate the simpler pleasures in life.

To truly make the most of your visit, why not turn apple picking into a full-day affair? Pack a picnic with some of your favorite treats and enjoy a leisurely lunch amidst the orchard’s natural beauty. Many orchards offer more than just apple picking. From hayrides that gently roll through the scenic property to corn mazes that offer a playful challenge, there’s something for everyone.

Storing and Enjoying Your Apples

After a day of picking, you’ll likely have more apples than you know what to do with. Proper storage is key to keeping them fresh and tasty. Apples prefer the cool, so the crisper drawer of your refrigerator is ideal. If you’ve got a cool, dry place like a cellar, that works too. Remember, apples give off ethylene gas, which can hasten the ripening of other produce, so keep them separate if you can.

But what to do with all those apples? The possibilities are endless and delicious. Fresh, crisp apples are perfect for healthy snacks. Slice them up for a quick treat, or pair them with peanut butter or cheese for a satisfying snack. 

And let’s not forget about the myriad of recipes that call for apples. From baking a classic apple pie to creating a savory apple chutney, your kitchen will be an aroma-filled haven of apple delights.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making your own apple cider? It’s a fun process that yields a wonderfully fresh, flavorful drink. Apples can also be canned, made into apple butter, or even dried for a chewy, sweet snack.

Discovering Champlain Orchards

Welcome to Champlain Orchards, where apple picking is just the beginning of your adventure. As a family-owned orchard, we pride ourselves on a legacy that intertwines the rich history of Vermont with eco-friendly farming practices. With over 175 varieties of apples, our orchard is not just a place to pick fruit; it’s a destination where you can immerse yourself in the beauty and bounty of nature.

Our commitment to ecological stewardship means that when you pick your own apples here, you’re choosing fruit that’s healthier for you and the planet. We follow eco-certified practices, ensuring every apple you pick is a product of thoughtful, sustainable farming. Our orchard is a testament to our dedication to both quality and environmental responsibility.

But Champlain Orchards is more than just apples. We offer a range of activities that enhance your visit. Explore our farm market, where you can find handcrafted provisions, fresh cider, and an array of locally made products. Join us for special events throughout the year, where the community comes together to celebrate the seasons and the fruits of our labor.

In our quest to support a sustainable local food system, we’ve also embraced solar power, making our operations kinder to the earth. Our recent expansion to include the neighboring Douglas Orchards in Shoreham reflects our commitment to growth and community involvement.

At Champlain Orchards, we invite you to not just pick your own apples, but to be part of our story; a story of family, sustainability, and the enduring charm of Vermont’s agricultural heritage.


Apple picking at Champlain Orchards isn’t just about the apples. It’s about the experience, the memories, and the connection to nature. As you pick your own apples, remember that you’re part of a tradition that stretches back generations. 

We welcome you to our orchard to create your own apple-picking bliss, surrounded by the beauty of Vermont and the rich variety of fruits we lovingly grow. Come join us and make your own cherished memories.

Read More:

Pick Your Own Apple Orchard


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As one of the oldest continuously operating orchards in Vermont, we take pride in growing over 175 varieties of apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, nectarines, and berries.

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