Every year around this time, some readers ask about farms where you can pick your own apples. While there are no true “pick your own” apple orchards right in Fairfax County, there are plenty nearby, just a short drive away. Below we present our annual list of farms for apple picking in Northern Virginia, all within an hour or an hour and a half from Fairfax. Please note that varietals and availability can vary greatly from season to season, so it’s always best to call ahead; also see the individual websites for rules about bringing pets and any other policies.
Marker-Miller Orchards – Winchester
With 325 acres of apples in the orchard and more than 20 varieties to choose from, you’re bound to find something you like here. Their online chart that tells you what you can expect when. The orchard also has a playground, cow train, and wagon rides.
Great Country Farms – Bluemont
Apples are $1.29/lb and are available for u-pick http://www.greatcountryfarms.com/index.php/u-pick.html from 9am-5pm daily. Weekday admission is $8/child and $10/adult and weekend admission is $10/child & $12/adult; admission includes all the farm activities (playground, slides, farm animals, wagon rides, and more). Later in the season you also can pick pumpkins and greens. Also see their special events including the Fall Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Chunkin’.
Hartland Orchard – Markham
Pick your own apples including Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Jonagold at this family working farm with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hours are 9 am to 5 pm daily. You can also pick peaches and pumpkins.
Stribling Orchard – Markham
From mid-August through early November, visit this farm with amazing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and pick Honeycrisp, Gala, Jonathan, Empire, Red Delicious, McIntosh, and Grimes Golden apples. Prices are $1.50/lb. for up to 20 pounds and decreases for larger amounts; you also can buy them by the peck, half-bushel, and bushel. Also visit farm animals and (later in the season) pick your own pumpkins.
Mackintosh Fruit Farm – Berryville
Pick your own apples daily (8 am-6 p) during the active growing season, which usually goes through late October. Apple varieties include Ginger Gold, Gala, Honeycrisp, Blondee, Golden Delicious, York, and Fuji.
Rinker Orchards – Stephens City
Since 1972, locals have been able to pick their own apples at Rinker Orchards in Frederick County, Virginia. They produce 10 types of apples that are grown in this region, including Ida Reds and Golden Delicious. Open Fridays-Mondays.
Crooked Run Orchard – Purcelville
Pick your own apples including Gala and Golden Delicious (you also can pick pears and blackberries). Note: the orchard’s Facebook page is updated more frequently (and has more information) and the website directs you there for updates.