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The in-cider scoop on the best local apple picking spots

Illustration of a hand picking an apple from a tree with names of apple-picking locations pinned to it
Image Credit: Gary Hopkins

The autumn months are known for a few things: pumpkins, falling leaves, cozy sweaters, and of course, apples. In Ontario, peak apple picking occurs in mid-September, and the London area is home to various orchards that make it easy to enjoy the best the season has to offer. From delicious Honeycrisps to the famous Ontario McIntosh, here are all the best places to find your favourite fall fruits.

Apple Land Station

329 Richmond St., Thorndale, Ont.

Apple Land Station, located just outside of London in Thorndale, is a local favourite for apple picking and fall fun. Their fall season, which runs from Labour Day weekend until Oct. 31, plays host to apple picking, pumpkin picking, and a train ride tour of the nearly 50 acre farm. Don’t forget to try a glass of fresh pressed apple cider while you greet barnyard animals and play on the farm’s famous “sand mountain.” If all that wasn’t enough, Apple Land Station also has its own bakery with fresh-baked pies made entirely from scratch.

Millar Berry Farms

7375 Longwoods Rd., London, Ont.

Don’t let the name fool you — this London farm has both a pick-your-own berry season and a pick-your-own apple season. Located in the southwest corner of London, in an area known as Lambeth, this family-owned farm began as a door-to-door strawberry selling operation. Over time, their U-pick system, which encourages pickers to access crops during their seasonal prime, grew into a London staple that still welcomes visitors from across the province. Stop by their fresh market before departing on your own apple-picking adventure.

Ingram’s Apple Orchard/Bad Apple Brewing Company

73463 Bluewater Hwy., Zurich, Ont.

Located one hour from London, the Ingram family’s orchard and brewery is worth the drive. The orchard is open for apple picking in September and October only, with varieties such as McIntosh, Mutsu, and Golden Delicious growing in abundance. Once you’ve picked to your heart’s desire, stop by Bad Apple Brewing’s Beer Garden for hard cider, yard games, and live music. All this just 10 minutes from a public beach on beautiful Lake Huron. If you’ve got the time and a car, take a day trip up to this spot for an amazing fall experience!

Great Lakes Farms

5111 Union Rd., Port Stanley, Ont.

Autumnal vibes are aplenty at this Port Stanley farm. Roughly a 45-minute drive outside of London, Great Lakes Farms kicks off their apple picking season in August, when their Paula Red, Sunrise, Zestar, and Ginger Gold varieties of apples come into season. Start your visit with a wagon ride before taking a trip through a corn maze. Then, grab either a $20 or $30 bag and get picking! Be sure to stop by the bakery and cafe for freshly baked apple pies and delicious hot beverages.

Nothing says fall quite like a bushel of fresh apples, picked fresh from a local orchard. Luckily, London and the surrounding area is home to a number of family-owned farms that can help make your autumn dreams a reality. How about them apples?