Kidd’s Gala, Sheep’s Nose, American Beauty, Duchess of Oldenburg, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Ashmead’s Kernel, Crow Egg, Buckeye, Early Joe. You know the apples are good when they sound like a list of Kentucky Derby winners. Forget the mealy cafeteria Red Delicious and grocery store Granny — it’s autumn in New England. Here are a few good places where you can pick your own peck.
Cider Hill Farm boasts 65 varieties of apples in total, from Arkansas Black to Zesta. On any given day, there could be more than a dozen varieties — from Staybrite to Mutsu to Linda Mac — ripe for picking. Afterward, jump aboard a hayride and end the afternoon with a hot cup of award-winning apple cider and a fresh apple cider doughnut.
The bakery also makes pies, breads, muffins, and pastries; the store offers farm-fresh fare, including jams, jellies, apple butter, and honey from the farm’s beehives. Pick a peck (about 10 pounds) for $20 or a half-bushel (about 20 pounds) for $35.
45 Fern Ave. 978-388-5525, www
Attempt to escape the “Big Green Monster” at Honey Pot Hill Orchards. This monster 1½-mile hedge maze — made of some 3,000 hedges, six bridges, and a gazebo — can take up to an hour to complete. Kids can attempt the Tunnel Maze or Mini Monster Maze.
After you pick your apples — and escape the Green Monster — take a hayride, meet the farm animals, then grab a cider slushie and caramel apple from the farm store, which also serves fresh-pressed cider and doughnuts. Approximately 10 pounds for $17 or 2o pounds for $26. Maze tickets $2 to $11.95. 138 Sudbury Road. 978-562-5666, www.honeypothill.com
Weekends are filled with autumn awesomeness at Shelburne Farm , where, after you pick, you can enjoy live music, pony rides, and kids can meet the farm animals — including miniature donkeys, alpacas, ducks, sheep, ponies, and bunnies. An all-day $6 “fun pass” gives kids unlimited access to the moon bounce, hay maze, hay mountain, pedal tractors, and more. The playground and animals are available daily. Peck, $20; half-bushel, $28. 106 West Acton Road. 978-897-9287, shelburnefarm.com
Visit the farm where “Cider House Rules” was filmed — and stay in author Rud-yard Kipling’s house — at Scott Farm Orchard. Pick Jonagolds and Spigolds, sip heirloom cider and shop local fare — including peanut butters, jellies, cheese, maple syrup, bacon, and eggs — in the farm market.
Make a weekend of it and stay in one of the farm’s historic properties, including Kipling’s home, in which he wrote “The Jungle Book,” and his carriage house, converted into a cozy home at the edge of the forest covering Kipling Hill. $16 for half a bushel. Rentals vary. 707 Kipling Road. 802-254-6868, scottfarmvermont.com
Hard cider fans, fill a growler — and pick sweet dessert apples — at Poverty Lane Orchards & Farnum Hill Ciders. Note that some apples are for pressing, not eating. So pick the Esopus Spitzenberg, Hudson’s Golden Gem, and Calville Blanc d’Hiver, but skip the Harry Masters Jersey and Foxwhelp. $1.10 per pound. Ciders vary. 98 Poverty Lane. 603-448-1511, www.povertylaneorchards.com
Pick your own Hampshire, Baldwin, or Northern Spy at Gould Hill Farm. With 80-mile views and a circa 1810 post-and-beam barn housing the store and bakery, this is an Instagram-worthy apple-picking trip.
Enjoy the bakery’s farmhouse pies and fresh-pressed cider, and, on the weekends, hot apple crisp and fresh apple cider doughnuts. Get everything you need to turn out an apple pancake breakfast: pancake mix, jams, jellies, and local maple syrup — at the farm store. Half-peck $9, peck $14, half-bushel $20. 656 Gould Hill Road. 603-746-3811, www.gouldhillfarm
LITTLE COMPTON, R.I.
The picturesque Old Stone Orchard offers a quaint, old-New England farm vibe. Wander the rolling orchard on a hill where pick-your-own may include Fuji, Empire, Granny Smith, Idared, plus pears, gourds, squash, and pumpkins. Apples $1.40 per pound, pumpkins 50 cents per pound. 33 Colebrook Road. 401-635-2663
Sweet tooth? Head to Jaswell’s Farm, where, after you pick your apples, you can sink your teeth into a “gourmet apple” — a homemade caramel apple, dipped in fresh chocolate, drizzled with chocolate, then topped with anything from Twix, M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers pieces, crushed Oreos, or pecans. Pick your own apples, $1.70 per pound. Gourmet apples vary. 50 Swan Road. 401-231-9043, www.jaswellsfarm.com
At Sweet Berry Farm you can get a taste of autumn by picking apples and pumpkins, and relive a taste of summer with a cup of hand-made ice cream in flavors like peach, salted caramel swirl, and peppermint stick. Have pizza, soup, and sandwiches at the post-and-beam cafe, then peruse the fresh fruits, veggies, breads, and baked goods at the farm store. Half a peck, $9.95; peck, $16.50; half bushel, $29. 915 Mitchell’s Lane. 401-847-3912. www.sweetberryfarmri.comLauren Daley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.