Ontario is known for the beautiful nature that surrounds it, and the season change is no exception. Fall brings will it plenty of activities and a change in scenery; surrounding forests are alight with hues of orange, red, brown, and yellow, and it's arguably one of the most beautiful places in Canada. Many people might think that a place as far north as this in Canada would yield nothing but frigid temperatures and snow, but they'd be wrong.

A great fall activity in the city - and one that many people travel for - is apple picking. Perhaps the epitome of the first few days of summer, apple picking is wonderful in Ontario for a variety of reasons. Not only are apple pickers treated to some of the best fruits of the season, but they also have the chance to take in the gorgeous scenery that surrounds Ontario's best orchards.

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When To Go Apple Picking In Ontario

Throughout North America, the apple season varies from place to place. Not all crops will follow the same schedule and it's all dependent on the weather, altitude, soil conditions, and weather patterns.

In Ontario, apple-picking season is slightly later than some; orchards in the U.S. usually open up the weekend of Labor Day (the first week in September) while Canada's orchards are in full swing a few weeks later. By mid-September, orchards in Ontario are open for U-pick, and the apples themselves are in peak season.

Ontario Apple Varieties

The most beloved apple that's picked throughout Ontario is the Honeycrisp. This apple is full of juice and is slightly sweeter than other varieties, making it not only a fall favorite but a Canadian favorite, as well. Another quality that makes the Honeycrisp so memorable is its signature crunch, which is audible from the first bite.

This isn't the only apple found on Ontario's orchards, though. Other varieties that can be found in mid-September include:

  • Zestar
  • Sunrise
  • Gala
  • McIntosh
  • Red Delicious
  • Empire
  • Cortland
  • Gingergold

Where To Go Apple Picking In Ontario

There are just as many apple orchards as there are types of apples (okay, maybe more) in Ontario. These orchards combine tradition with agriculture to produce some of the best seasonal favorites, along with gorgeous landscape views and some fall festivities to follow at certain locations.

Dixie Orchards

With more than 23 different varieties of apples throughout the month of September, it's easy to see why Dixie Orchards have pulled in the attention of locals and visitors alike. This orchard has plenty to offer in the apple department but it also has much to offer in the way of additional fall activities. The Dixie is home to a corn maze, farm bakery, and they also produce their own apple cider on-site. A nearby sunflower field is open for visitors to walk through, and some apple varieties might be available as early as late August.

  • Price: $3 admission
  • When: Open daily
  • Address: 14309 Dixie Rd., Inglewood, ON

Mountain Orchards

When it comes to autumn treats, Mountain Orchards is a truly unique fall stop. These orchards also have a variety of apples that are available during September, and they have the reputation to follow. The orchard has been open since 1973 and for decades now, they've perfect the experience and the art of pick-your-own. The landscape surrounding Mountain Orchards is also worth the trip, featuring a scenic nature trail and a corn maze. After all of that exploring, visitors will be happy to treat themselves to pies, tarts, and cider donuts.

  • Price: Admission is free; apples $1.75 per pound
  • When: Opens August 29th for U-pick
  • Address: 10175 Clark Rd., Mountain, ON

Applewood Farm & Winery

Another farm that has garnered quite a reputation is Applewood Farm & Winery. This farm and its orchards have been an ongoing operation for 40 years now with the same family, meaning consistency and a great visiting experience are priority. The orchards here are so expansive that tractor rides are offered to certain fields, and families will find a playgorund for kids to pass the time in between. Additionally, this farm produces pumpkins, sunflowers, and hazelnuts, with an adjacent market selling fresh goods.

  • Price: $10 admission, apples start at $15 per bag
  • When: Opening September 5th
  • Address: 12416 McCowan Rd., Stouffville, ON

Apple-Picking Tips

For those new to apple picking, it's sometimes worth hoofing it to the back of the orchard in order to find lesser-touched trees. When finding the perfect apple, pickers should take care to twist and gently tug on the apple stem. By strictly pulling, pickers can damage trees and branches, and can potentially break off more of the tree than necessary.

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