Southeastern Michigan offers autumn fun at area orchards
Ah, fall! The dog days of summer are gone. And the sights, sounds, and smell of an apple orchard are perfect when the air is a bit more crisp.
Fortunately, southeast Michigan is home to some of the best orchards offering fall-time activities. When we’re talking fresh Michigan apples, cinnamon donuts, freshly squeezed apple cider, and hayrides, we want to visit them all!
Blake’s Farms, South Lyon, 61475 Silver Lake Road, South Lyon, MI 48178, (248) 437-0150. Longtime family-owned Erwin’s Apple Orchard has been bought out by longtime family-owned Blake’s! The first apple tree was planted here in 1920 by James N. Erwin and the Blake Family continues the apple growing tradition plus delicious cider, donuts and much more. Blake’s is going to add more foods, desserts and activities through the year!
Spicer Orchards Farm Market, 10411 Clyde Road, Fenton (810-632-1692): Spicer Orchard says the current crop ready for picking are Honey Crisp, Gala and MacIntosh. Red raspberries also are ready for picking. The orchard recommends calling ahead to inquire about fruit picking time. Also available are: a now-open corn maze, winery shop, baked goods, and ice cream.
Apple Charlie’s Orchards, 38035 S. Huron Rd, New Boston (734-753-9830): This orchard, southwest of Detroit Metropolitan Airport, offers the traditional orchard fare (apple picking, cider, donuts). However, the orchard also offers a farm with animals the kiddies can feed. As with any orchard, it’s suggested to call ahead as picking fruit in the orchard is subject to time in the season, weather, and other farm conditions.
Plymouth Orchards, 10685 Warren Road, Plymouth, (734-414-0366): What sets this orchard apart is its claim to grow everything organically. And it offers more than just organic apples. Visitors can purchase organically grown veggies, too. Not to worry, though, as the staples of any orchard still are offered: Wagon rides, pumpkin patches, live music, and highly regarded baked goods - and of course you can watch the fresh apple cider being pressed daily!
DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch, 50240 Martz Road, Belleville, (734-260-0334): DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch may just be the place to visit as we get closer to Halloween. The farm’s corn maze is a whopping 15 acres, and its pumpkin patch is 20 acres. DeBuck’s also has a family fun area with swings, slides, pedal-powered go-carts, and wagon rides to the pumpkin patch!
Long Family Orchard, Farm & Cider Mill, 1540 E. Commerce Road, Commerce Township, (248-360-3774): What often gets overlooked at orchards is Michigan’s other export (hint: not cherries!). Sweet corn! Long Family Orchard handpicks its non-GMO corn every morning and tries to sell all of it the day of so patrons get it fresh off the stalk. The farm and orchard offer a goat farm and a highly detailed corn maze (https://www.longsorchard.com/corn-maze/corn-maze-archive). Long also ensures they have plenty of cider, donuts, and other goodies on hand.
Franklin Cider Mill, 7450 Franklin Road, Bloomfield Hills, (248-626-8261): Take a step back in time when you visit the Franklin Cider Mill. The Grist Mill goes all the way back to 1837! That was a few years before Michigan gained statehood. This pet-friendly cider mill offers all the sumptuous fall food. It also features a food tent with concoctions made with Michigan-grown produce and products. You can still get hot dogs and donuts.
Yates Cider Mill, 1950 E. Avon Road, Rochester Hills, (248-651-8300): If you are up for a mild adventure, check out the rolling hills of the Rochester area to get to Yates Cider Mill. This popular cider mill brings in visitors from the tri-county area and all over. This mill, too, has a history. The mill has been around since 1863. The water-powered mill has all the trappings of a well-run mill: ice cream, cider, baked goods, and jarred goods. Yate’s also offered fudge made in Frankenmuth, saving you a drive to Saginaw County.
If you think “you’ve seen one orchard you’ve seen them all” you probably haven’t been to many in Michigan. Go, enjoy!