2020 COVID-19 Alert: be sure to check each farm’s website or give them a call before making the drive. Every place you go will have its own rules for how it is handling public health requirements.

Apple picking is a fall ritual for many. The opportunity to pursue the orchards and their accompanying markets, enjoy freshly baked pies, crumbles and blossoms is just too good to pass up. Let’s not forget the opportunity to take in the last bit of nature before the air becomes too frigid.

Here are 10 of the best orchards and farms in and around the Brampton area for apple picking.

1. Downey’s

Downey’s is a tried-and-true favourite for lots of Bramptonians. They kick off apple picking season in late August and go into early November. It’s free to enter, under the condition you pick a minimum of $5 of apples per person. Apples are $1.45 a pound or fill a bag for $27.

2. Albion Orchards

Albion Orchards is just down the road in Caledon. From the end of August to the end of October the farm offers pick-your-own apples or you can purchase them from their on-site market. Admission is free and the farm also has wagon rides and a little market which also offers pies, homemade jam and more.

3. Dixie Orchards

This Caledon farm has 23 different varieties of apples to choose from. They also offer cider, pies, caramel apples and other baked goods. Hay rides and a corn maze add to the fun.

4. Carl Laidlaw Orchards

Laidlaw Orchards has been in Brampton for generations. The family-run farm offers apple and pear picking in September and October on weekends and holidays. You can bring your own bags, or purchase some from the orchard.

5. The Big’r Apple Farm

This Brampton farm, just down the road from Laidlaw Orchards, has both weekday and weekend picking in September and October, with five different types of apples to choose from. The farm also offers vegetable picking.

6. Chudleigh’s

Chudleigh’s is just a stone’s throw away in Milton. Apple picking begins in mid-August every year and winds down in late October. The farm’s signature apple blossoms and freshly baked goods are a must-try.

7. Spirit Tree Estate Cidery

Spirit Tree Cidery in Caledon has pick-your-own apples as well as great local cider (both alcoholic and non), a great restaurant and farm shop. You can get in on the fun Saturdays and Sundays and when you’re done, you can grab a bite on the patio.

8. Rural Route Orchard

Off 4th Line in Halton Hills, Rural Route Orchard offers 18 different varieties of apples to pick and plenty of cider too, both hard and soft. Apple picking is open on weekends only. If picking isn’t your thing, they also offer pre-picked apples.

9.  Pine Farms Orchard

King City’s Pine Farms kicks off its apple picking season in mid-August, closing it off by the beginning of October. Hours are pretty flexible, and they open daily. The orchard offers delicious pies, honey, and cider, too.

10. Williams’ Orchard

Williams’ Orchard in Milton has a simple pay for what you pick plan with no pre-purchase required. While the farm is open daily, you an only pick your own on the weekends. During the week you can buy pre-picked if you are in a hurry for fresh apples.