Five best places to pick apples in Colorado
Apple-picking is the quintessential way to celebrate the coming of fall. The chilly mornings and sun-filled days make this a perfect time for a stroll, whether around your neighborhood or through your favorite apple orchard.
Here, in no particular order, are our five favorite you-pick-it orchards.
See also: Boulder Farmers Market says goodbye to peaches, hello to apples
5) Ya Ya Farm and Orchard
Ya Ya Farm
6914 Ute Highway, Longmont
The picturesque Ya Ya Farm and Orchard is over a century old, and today uses organic practices to grow its signature variety of heirloom apples. Until the end of September, you can e-mail the farm in advance to take advantage of the you-pick-it program, which doesn't end at filling your bag with fresh apples -- guests can meet the farm animals, take a hay ride, walk the orchard boundaries, and feast on apple cider donuts, too. You can even press your own cider here.
4) Camelot Farms
15911 Black Bridge Road, Paonia
Camelot Farms uses natural growing practices for its organic produce. In addition to apples that visitors can pick themselves, Camelot offers fresh herbs and eggs -- and it's just a hop, skip and a jump away from Orchard Valley Farms and Black Bridge Winery, where you can find end-of-season peaches, heirloom balsamic vinegar and Paonia-made wine.
3) Happy Apple Farm
Happy Apple Farm
1190 1st Street, Penrose
Due to a late freeze in April and then the drought, Happy Apple Farm lost its apple crop -- but you can still have your pick of fresh Fuji, Gala and Granny Smith apples that the farm shipped in from the Western Slope, and there are plenty of blackberries, raspberries and pumpkins that you can actually pick youself.The on-premise country store boasts fresh-baked apple pies, fresh cider, blackberry cobbler and a vast selection of jams, apple butter and pickled vegetables.