Whether you are visiting New England for leaf peeping, mountain hiking or apple picking, there are multitudes of fall things to do! As my husband is a new resident of New Hampshire, I introduced him to this autumn bucket list. The first item on the list for September is to Pick Your Own Apples.
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PICK YOUR OWN APPLES: GILFORD, NH
STONE BROOK HILL FARM
The closest Lakes Region apple orchard for us is Stone Brook Hill Farm. This Gilford-based fruit orchard is easy to find. It is located at 123 Glidden Road. A 2 mile ride from Gunstock Mountain Resort.
Here there are 12+ acres and over 1,600 apples trees for you to get lost in. The space is helpful when the season gets busy!
PARKING & CONCESSIONS
Parking is in a large field next to the office. There are mums for sale as well as pumpkins, cider donuts and apple cider. Unfortunately, they do not offer gluten free donuts.
If you are planning on picking multiple bushels of apples, there are handy carts available. These also work great if you have a small child you want to pull around. ha ha!
There is an area for families to take photos. If everyone behaves, the setting of pumpkins and hay bales are perfect for that Christmas card!
If you are looking to enjoy lunch or your warm cider donut, stop on by one of the many picnic tables. They are located by the concession stand and parking lot.
HOW TO PICK YOUR OWN APPLES
We were not given much information on how to pick the apples or what was in season. However, my training from years of apple picking and living in New Hampshire came in handy.
For those of you new to apple picking, look for the fruit on the outside of the tree. Those will ripen first. Turn the apple over to see if it is free of nicks or bruises. Then find one that is crisp and firm to the touch. If your apple meets all these criteria, gently twist it to release it from the tree.
TYPES OF APPLES
The open field contained McIntosh, Red Delicious and Cortland apples. McIntosh apples are the national apple of Canada. It has a tart flavor and ripens in late September. Red Delicious apples have a sweet, mild flavor. Lastly, Cortland apples have a sweet-tart flavor and are incredibly juicy.
There were plenty of trees loaded with beautiful fruit. We spent more time taking photos than apple picking!
APPLE ORCHARD TIPS
I recommend you visit as soon as the apple orchard opens at 10:00 AM. By noon, the field was full of couples, families and groups. Some were taking photos, some browsing and some filling their baskets with fruit. Parking was also hectic about 12:00. Cars from all over New England were haphazardly parked everywhere.
In conclusion, I highly recommend Stone Brook Hill Farm to pick your own apples. Everything is easily accessible and the scenic backdrop makes for a perfect New England photo op. Let me know if you need further tips on things to do in New Hampshire.