Fall in northwestern New Jersey is a great time for apple picking. Apples are good for you and are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which reduces cholesterol, aids digestion, and prevents certain types of cancer. Research indicates that, because apples contain flavonoids, they may reduce the risk of lung cancer and generally improve lung function. Of the 30 different apple varieties grown in New Jersey, the Winesap is the oldest, dating back to the late 1700s. Other popular varieties grown in New Jersey include Red and Golden Delicious, McIntosh, and Granny Smith.
You can also get all kinds of late season vegetables and berries. And it’s time to begin the all-important pumpkin search. Some farms include wagon rides to the picking area and shops filled with baked goods. Others sell local cider, and a few places make their own. And it’s not hard to find a corn maze full of twists and turns.
As weather conditions dictate the apple growing seasons and picking times, it is suggested that you call the farms to confirm the picking schedule and special events or for additional information on their activities.
Here’s a quick list of locations:
- Brook Hollow Farm. PYO apples, several varieties including semi-dwarf trees (great for kids). Wagon rides on weekends. Winery on site. Near the beautiful Delaware Water Gap, Frog Pond Rd., Hainesburg, 908/496-4577.
- Windy Brow Farms. Pick your own apples with wagon rides on weekends. Homemade pies and baked goods, cider. 359 Ridge Road (Route 519), Newton, 973/579-9657.
- Race Farm. Gala Apples (plus beans, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers) are ready at the family-owned farm, quality growers for four generations. Free admission, parking and hayrides. Cider mill, bakery, concessions, and market. 93 Belcher Rd, Blairstown, 908/362-8151 (farm); 908/362-8520 (market).
- Riamede Farm. Thirty varieties of traditional, heirloom and modern apples on a 250 year old farm. 122 Oakdale Rd, Chester, 908/879-5353.
- Beemerville Orchards. Many varieties of apples, pumpkins, mums, homemade cider from their press. U-Pick Apples. Mon.-Sat. 9-6. Closed Sundays. Small groups welcome. For more information email or call. 73 Lusscroft Road (Route 649), Sussex, 973/875-1029.
- Longmeadow Farm. U-pick apples (15 varieties), berries, pumpkins (with hayride). Preserves, fruit butters, and home-harvested honey. Open Saturday and Sundays, 9-5. 561 Blairstown Rd (Route 521), Hope, 908/459-5351.
- Greenway Flowers Fields of Fun. Convenient, affordable Fields of Fun this fall at Greenway’s corn maze, pumpkin patch, and hayrides. Special rates for groups over 10. The farm is an easy drive from anywhere in the NY/NJ area, minutes from Interstate Route 80. Free Corn Maze. 441 Schooley’s Mountain Rd, Hackettstown, 908/850-0700.
- Stony Hill Corn Maze. Jersey Fresh family fun includes Maize Quest Fun Park with giant 10-acre corn maze; rope, tile and Miner Max mazes; pumpkin picking hayrides, farm animals; market and bakery. Group tours and school trips are a specialty. 15 North Road, Chester, 908/879-2908.