Person wearing bright red and blue checkered flannel shirt holding whicker basket of small picked Vermont apples.

Fall has arrived in Vermont. There’s a crispness to the air and days are growing shorter. The trees have nearly all changed their leaves and brilliant pops of reds, oranges, and yellows now dot the fields, rolling hills, and mountainsides. On autumn days like these, our minds turn to cozy flannels, hot beverages, leaf-peeping, and fresh-baked pies—especially apple pies made with local Vermont apples!

Cluster of vibrant red and pink ripe apples.

Apple-picking season starts in late August and lasts until late October, so plan your visit accordingly. Vermont is home to dozens of orchards that cultivate over 150 different varieties of apples annually. While it’s great to support our local farmers markets where you can buy apples by the bushel, picking your own fresh from the trees is fun for the whole family. Most orchards have ladders and specialized tools available to help even small children reach those perfectly ripe apples way at the top of the tree.

An Apple a Day…

Vermonters love apples so much that we made it our official state fruit. We even have an official state pie—you guessed it—apple! Apples have long been a vital part of Vermonters’ diets since early European settlers brought over cultivars (seeds and saplings) from their homelands. Because apple trees are hardy and produce fruit annually for many years, it was not uncommon for most early homesteads to have a stand of several trees or even a full orchard on their land. Apples were also fed to livestock and foraged by game animals. The only apple native to North America before other varieties were introduced, was the crabapple. Crabapples are a much smaller and tarter variety than the apples we enjoy today, and are not usually suitable for raw consumption, at least by people. Once picked, apples can last about a week, unrefrigerated, before they begin to spoil. But contrary to the common saying, “one bad apple spoils the bunch,” spoiled apples also have important uses, especially when it comes to making cider.

Apples, Apples Everywhere…

Apples are one of America’s favorite fruits, making them an important part of our agricultural industry, with nearly 2,500 varieties—and counting—grown and harvested annually. There are also hybrid varieties unique to specific orchards and the farmers who develop them. You can easily find many varieties of Vermont apples at our farmers’ markets and roadside fruit stands, but if you can, we recommend visiting one of our many orchards and picking your own!

As with pick-your-own berries, apples are often sold by weight, and some orchards will provide you with baskets or bags, while others encourage pickers to bring their own containers. Some orchards also lend out ladders, wagons, and fruit picking tools. Be sure to keep an eye out for “Pick Your Own” signs (sometimes shortened to “PYO” or “U-Pick”) along the roads as you travel through the Green Mountain State!

Closeup of light pink, red, and green colored apples.

Here are some Vermont orchards where you can pick your own apples:

Wellwood Orchards, Springfield, VT – 14 miles from our Rockingham, VT store

Green Mountain Orchards, Putney, VT – 22 miles from our Rockingham, VT store

Mad Tom Orchard, East Dorset, VT – 26 miles from our Weston, VT store

Propagation Piece Orchard, Shaftsbury, VT – 36 miles from our Weston, VT store

Terry’s Orchard, Bennington, VT – 40 miles from our Weston, VT store

Moore’s Orchard, North Pomfret, VT – 43 miles from our Weston, VT store

Cobble Knoll Orchard, Benson, VT – 48 miles from our Weston, VT store

Happy Valley Orchard, Middlebury, VT – 59 miles from our Weston, VT store

Champlain Orchards, Shoreham, VT – 63 miles from our Weston, VT store

Sunrise Orchards, Cornwall, VT – 64 miles from our Weston, VT store

Liberty Orchards, Brookfield, VT – 69 miles from our Weston, VT store

Stine Orchard, Monkton, VT – 76 miles from our Weston, VT store

Adams Apple Orchard, Williston, VT – 90 miles from our Weston, VT store

Chapin Orchard, Essex Junction, VT – 98 miles from our Weston, VT store

Apple orchard with ladder leaning against tree and floor carpeted with dropped apples.