Four orchards and farms to explore in Maryland and Virginia this fall

From Red Delicious to Granny Smith, pick-your-own apple farms are waiting for you

Four orchards and farms to explore in Maryland and Virginia this fall

Apple hanging and ready to be picked at Homestead Farms

As we begin to hope for 70-degree days, and people start to pull their sweater collections out from underneath their beds, it’s time for classic fall activities to commence. Of these activities, one of the best, most relaxing and delicious is apple picking. Don’t allow the concrete streets and government buildings of D.C. deceive you into thinking that you can’t go apple picking; you may just have to leave D.C. to do it. 

While you can always buy pre-picked apples from local farmers markets, like on Sunday mornings in DuPont, and attend apple-related functions such as the Adams Morgan Apple Festival, if you want an authentic farm or orchard experience, you’ll have to travel to either Maryland or Virginia.

Disclaimer: Most of the following farms and orchards are either inaccessible or not easily accessible via public transit. You should consider ride-sharing apps, taxi cabs or zip cars as alternatives. 

Homestead Farms

From Granny Smith to Red Delicious, Homestead Farms in Poolesville, Maryland has ten different types of apples you can pick. Beyond apples, you can also pick pumpkins and look at the animals of Homestead Farms. 

Address: 15604 Sugarland Road, Poolesville, Maryland, 20837

Length of commute from AU’s campus via car: 35 - 42 minutes 

Directions via public transit: Take Metro’s red line to Shady Grove, ride on the 76 bus toward Poolesville, walk 1.4 mi (approximately 1 hr and 37 min) 

Hours: Open seven days a week, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Admission: $2 per person for entrance into the farm

Cost of Apples: $2.49 per pound

*Complimentary picking bags are provided

Rock Hill Orchard

Rock Hill Orchard has thousands of apple trees that you can peruse and pick apples from in Mount Airy, Maryland. Similar to Homestead Farms, Rock Hill Orchard doesn’t stop your fall-filled experience at apple picking. You should also consider ambling through one of their two corn mazes (one which is 14 acres large!) or try their pumpkin cannon. If you find yourself at this farm on a weekend at 4 p.m., you could also help bottle feed their calves. 

Address: 28600 Ridge Road, Mount Airy, Maryland, 21771

Length of commute from AU’s campus via car: 41 - 44 minutes

Directions via public transit: Rock Hill Orchards is not easily accessible via public transit from Tenleytown, consider ride-sharing apps, taxi cabs or zip cars as alternatives. 

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. for the farm; apples are available for picking on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Admission: Free

Cost of Apples: Three types of bags you can select from and then fill until full: small, medium and large. It’s $12 for a small bag, $21 for a medium bag and $34 for a large bag.

*The website notes that potential pickers should always call ahead of time to assure the availability of the apples.

Larriland Farms

Larriland Farms is brimming with pick-your-own crops this year. Earlier this summer, they planted “1,650 apple trees, tomatoes, onions, squash, cantaloupes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants [and] snap beans, along with grass for all the new orchards and around all the new fields,” according to their website. Enjoy the rows of apple trees and also check out the straw maze, or if you are coming to the farms on a weekend, experience a 20-minute hayride. If you choose to go to Larriland Farms, be aware that their apple crops have been hit by three hail storms this season and thus have hail nicks in them. Their website ensures visitors that “as long as the nick is dry and has healed, [the apple] does not rot.” 

Address: 2415 Woodbine Road, Woodbine, Maryland, 21797

Length of commute from AU’s campus via car:  46 - 49 minutes

Directions via public transit: Larriland Farms is not easily accessible via public transit from Tenleytown, consider ride-sharing apps, taxi cabs or zip cars as alternatives.

Hours: Sunday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Monday - closed; Tuesday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Cost of Apples: Staff clerks placed in the fields and at the checkout stands can inform of you of prices once you’re on the premises.

*The website notes that potential pickers should always call ahead of time to assure the availability of the apples.

Baugher’s Orchard

Baugher’s Orchard in Woodbine, Maryland offers nine different types of apples for you to pick, including Empire, Fuji, Stayman Winesap, Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, Ida Red, Jona-Gold and Red Delicious. Once you’re done gathering all the apples you want, make sure you take a walk over to their petting zoo.  

Address:1015 Baugher Rd, Westminster, MD, 21158

Length of commute from AU’s campus via car:  46 - 49 minutes

Directions via public transit: Baugher’s Orchard  is not easily accessible via public transit from Tenleytown, consider ride-sharing apps, taxi cabs or zip cars as alternatives. 

Hours: September and October 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays

Admission: Wagon rides to and from the market to the field cost $2.00 per person.

Cost of Apples: $1.49 per pound 

*The website notes that potential pickers should always call ahead of time to assure the availability of the apples. 

*Complimentary picking bags are provided.

Don’t just buy store-bought apples this fall. Find your way out of the Tenleytown bubble and into the farms of Maryland and Virginia. After all, fall doesn’t last forever.

smirah@theeagleonline.com

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