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A Guide to Apple Picking

By Kathryn Taleporos | October 2, 2023

Bowman Orchards

Photo Credit: Kathryn Taleporos / ASP

It’s that time of the year again! It’s apple-picking season in the Capital Region, and this article will be your guide to the perfect apple picking experience.

Where to Go: There are several different places to get apples around Albany. The closest one to campus is Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont, about a 23 minute drive from campus. In addition to that there’s alo Altamont Orchards, and, the most popular of them all, Bowman Orchards.

When to Pick: There is no best time to pick apples because different varieties are ready to pick at different times. The apple picking season in the Capital Region typically runs from early September to late October.

Apples at Bowman Orchards

Photo Credit: Kathryn Taleporos / ASP

What to Pick: According to Bowman Orchards, some of the popular varieties that you can pick in October are Granny Smith, Fuji, and Rome apples. When you are picking, be sure to note what apples are best for eating and which are best for cooking. For example, Granny Smith may be too sour for some people to eat, but they bake really well into an apple pie. And Pink Luster apples, which you can also pick in early October, will not hold up well in baking, but are delicious to eat. In addition to getting apples, every apple orchard has the fall staple, apple cider donuts. Getting donuts and cider is essential to the apple picking experience.

Cost: The cost of apples varies across orchards. A half a bushel can range from $34 at Bowman Orchards to $29 at Indian Ladder Farms. The main difference between these two places is the varieties of apples, Bowman Orchards picks a larger variety than Indian Ladder Farms but it will cost you five dollars more.

Be Prepared: If you do go apple picking this season you should be prepared when you go to the orchard. The fall scenery of the apple orchard is perfect for taking cute Instagram pictures, but wearing brand new high heeled boots may not be the right decision. The apple orchards are farms, so it will be muddy and the ground will be uneven and filled with apples. Wearing sneakers and dressing for the weather is recommended to ensure the best apple picking experience.

Other than Apples: Fall is not always just about apples, at orchards like Indian Ladder Farms and Bowman Orchards, you can also pick other things like pumpkins. Both orchards also offer a petting zoo with farm animals and hayrides. These attractions will cost you more money, but they are definitely a fun addition to the apple picking experience.

This fall season has so many opportunities for fun! Apple picking is a staple of being in New York and there are many opportunities to enjoy it around Albany.


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