Like everything, apple picking won’t be the same this year. May freezes put a hurt on the crop at some of the orchards closer to DC proper. And there’s a thicket of new pick-your-own policies: Some spots require masks outdoors, others don’t. Some require paid-up-front reservations, others allow you to walk right in.
Here’s a quick run-down on area orchards that generally have apples in September and October. But note that given weather and picking patterns, you should check an orchard’s website the week you want to visit for the most up-to-date conditions.
Waters Orchard — Germantown, MD
No apples this year. But the Doc Waters Cidery is open, with hard ciders and apple juices.
Hours for the cidery: Fridays 3-8 PM; Saturdays 12-8 PM; Sundays 12-6 PM.
Address: 22711 Wildcat Rd., Germantown, MD 20876
Gaver Farm — Mt. Airy, MD
No apples this year. But pick-your-own pumpkins and sunflowers are open, and no reservations needed. You need a mask on the hayrides to pick-your-own. You do need tickets ($13) to attend Fall Fun Days (corn maze, slides, etc).
Hours: 10 AM-6 PM daily
Address: 5501 Detrick Rd., Mt. Airy, MD 21771
Homestead Farm — Poolesville, MD
Freezes destroyed much of the crop. Some varieties won’t come in at all, others may do OK. As of September 18, picking is scattered and almost out. Reservations not required; $2/person admission fee.
Hours: 9 AM-5 PM daily
Address: 15604 Sugarland Rd., Poolesville, Maryland 20837
Butler’s Orchard — Germantown, MD
As of September 18, apples are slim pickings, only available “while supplies last.” Reservations required for all pick-your-own options. Tickets are loaded on Sundays at 5 PM for Tuesday – Thursday visits, and on Thursday at 5 PM for weekend visits. Masks are required on the farm.
Hours: Tuesday through Friday 9 AM-2 PM; Saturday and Sunday 9 AM-6 PM
Address: 22222 Davis Mill Rd., Germantown, MD 20876
Baugher’s — Westminster, MD
Apples are in, through October. No reservation needed. Masks needed for the wagon ride ($3/person) to the fields.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 9 AM-4 PM
Address: 1015 Baugher Rd., Westminster, MD 21158
Catoctin Mountain Orchard — Thurmont, MD
Apples are in, and picking is weekends-only through October. No reservation needed. Masks needed for the wagon ride ($3). Cash only (there’s an ATM on site).
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 10 AM-4 PM
Address: 15036 North Franklinville Rd., Thurmont, MD 21788
Great Country Farms — Bluemont, VA
Apples are in, and reservations are required for weekends ($14 kids, $16 adults).
Hours: Weekdays 9 AM-5 PM; Saturday and Sunday 9 AM-6 PM
Address: 18780 Foggy Bottom Rd., Bluemont, VA 20135
Larriland Farm — Woodbine, MD
Apples are in, and no reservations needed. Masks required the entire time you are on the farm.
Hours: Tuesday through Friday 9 AM-6 PM; Saturday and Sunday 9 AM-5 PM
Address: 2415 Woodbine Rd., Woodbine, MD 21797
Rock Hill Orchard & Woodbourne Creamery — Mt. Airy, MD
Apples are in for picking Friday through Sunday, and reservations are required (priced by the bag). Masks required on the entire property, unless you are sitting at a picnic table.
Hours: Wednesday through Friday and Sunday, 12 PM-5 PM; Saturday 10 AM-5 PM
Address: 28600 Ridge Rd., Mount Airy, MD 21771