Parlee Farm Apples. Photo by Allegra Boverman

Gala apples from Parlee Farm in Tyngsboro.


A Guide to the Region’s Best Apple Picking

Nothing says fall in New England like picking your own crisp, juicy apples — not to mention plenty of freshly mulled cider and all the piping hot cinnamon and sugar sprinkled cider doughnuts you can eat. Here’s a round-up of pick-your-own orchards and farmstands serving up the season’s best bounty.

Atkins Farm
Corner of Rte. 116 & Bay Road, Amherst
A family farm in Western Massachusetts known far and wide for their delicious apple cider doughnuts. Although the farm stand is open year round, nothing beats visiting in fall when you can take the scenic back roads drive via US 202 (take exit 29B toward Leominster off I-495 S).
Mon – Sat, 7a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
| 413-253-9528

Autumn Hills Orchard
495 Chicopee Row, Groton
Not interested in long lines and crowds? This is apple picking off the beaten path with beautiful hilltop views stretching across the hills of Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Trails and paths wind around the farm with picnic tables on the high ridge to sit, relax and enjoy the scenery. Cider and bottled water available for purchase. Apples are around $1.30 per pound.
Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
| 978-448-8388

Photo by Allegra Boverman. Allison Turcotte snatches up a cider doughnut from Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro.

The Luna Theater’s Allison Turcotte is also HOWL’s official doughnut taste-tester. The verdict: delicious.

Hill Orchard
4 Hunt Road, Westford
A friendly local farm where you can pick your own apples from now until Columbus Day. The farmstand carries a nice selection of pies, jams and frozen farm picked berries.
Weekend apple picking, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wed, Sat & Sun, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thurs & Fri 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Lupien’s Farm
240 Westford St., Chelmsford
Since 1957, the Lupien family has been growing apples in Chelmsford. Paw through their many varieties and a mouthwatering selection of homemade pies and cakes. We especially love their apple turnovers.
7 a.m. to dusk
| 978-256-0654

Nashoba Valley Winery
100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton
Pick your own apples then go sample some apple wine or apple flavored brandy. $25 for a half bushel (approximately 45 apples) and $15 for a peck (around 22).
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
| 978-779-5521 

Photo by Allegra Boverman. Cider doughnuts from Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro.

Cider doughnuts from Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro.

Parlee Farms
95 Farwell Road, Tyngsboro
Besides the perfect selection for picking — more than 20 varieties including honey crisps — you’ll find an animal farm, hayrides and Mary’s Country Kitchen & Bakery, where you can sample award-winning apple cider doughnuts.
Tues – Fri 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat & Sun from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
| 978-649-3854

Red Apple Farm
455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston
A trip back to simpler times, this central Massachusetts farm has it all — sweet cider, doughnuts, pick-your-own, apple sundaes and even farm-fresh kettle corn. The Rose family, who has owned the land for four generations, relies on wind and solar power to run the farm’s electricity. Fall BBQ and hayrides every weekend.
9a.m. to 6p.m. daily
| 978-249-6763

Shelburne Farm
106 W. Acton Road, Stow
A fantastic farm store where you can watch the apple cider doughnuts go straight from the kitchen to your hand. Check out their tasty selection of homebaked goods, jams, honey and the most amazing farm-fresh sharp cheddar cheese around. A popular and busy family spot on weekends so if you don’t want to wait too long to sample the fare, visit during the week.
9a.m. to 6p.m. daily
| 978-897-9287

Photo by Allegra Boverman. Cider doughnuts from Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro.

Smolak Farms
315 South Bradford St., North Andover
Heaven for cider doughnut lovers, pick your pleasure here — plain, sugar coated or sugar and cinnamon coated. There’s also 20 varieties of apples to pick from.
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
| 978-682-6332


About The Author

HOWL Street Team

Exploring everything from food and shopping to arts and entertainment so you can experience the best of what Greater Lowell has to offer.