Applejacks Orchard Pick-Your-Own Apples (Peru, NY)

Pick Your Own Apples at Applejacks
Apples are the perfect fruit in my opinion. I don’t have to peel one. It easily slips into a lunchbox and my children have always been able eat one without any assistance. I bake it, cook it, boil it and eat it raw. It can be tart and sweet. Apples are even members of the rose (Roseaceae) family. How perfect.

The first time I ever went apple picking my daughter’s contribution was a small bite out of each one before placing it back into the bag. She would pick and eat anything without balking about a small bruise or misshapen form. Now my Adirondack kids slowly turn each apple before eating it, as if they are professional inspectors. The slightest brown spot will delegate that apple for pie or sauce. 

Pick Your Own Apples at Applejacks Orchard in Peru (NY)
This time my children know that they are responsible for picking only the apples they are willing to eat. Just beyond the Adirondack "Blue Line," apple orchards abound. Each one is special and provides a different service. At Applejacks Orchard in Peru there are apples to be picked, a petting zoo, hay maze and more. We are shown a list of varieties that are ripe and ready for picking. 
The only reference I know to applejack is as a colonial hard cider that upon further research is still made today. No we didn’t partake in the Jersey Lightning but did have a sampling of a different sort.

Visit Applejacks' Petting Zoo
We walk into Applejack's Orchard shop door and my children shoot directly through the other side and dive headfirst into a hay bale maze. I just take in all the various caramel, spicy apple smells. We are helped from every corner of the small shop. It is not that the store isn’t busy, it’s that each person’s task seems to be a separate entity. One person shares the apple pepper sauce and exclaims her love for it over fish. (Now I am focusing on a spicy-apple fish dinner.) 

Reminiscence of a wine tasting, we are handed a sheet of paper with every type of available apple currently available for picking.  Do we want to pick Honey Crisp, Macoun or Fuji?

Adirondack Family Time Champlain Valley
has a complete list of apple orchards, pumpkin patches
and other fall/autumn activities as well as
easy hikes, swimming holes, ski trails, maps
trivia and four-seasons of fun!
My Adirondack kids grab an apple as they run through the apple shack on their way to see the goats at the petty zoo, then take a quick turn reminiscent of a slide into home plate as they glimpse the hay maze behind them. 

There is also an observational bee hive which gives the opportunity to learn the importance of bees pollinating an apple crop. Hayrides are available on weekends. (Call for availability) 

We are given a red wagon, basket and directed to a color-coded row. We are asked that when we eat an apple (not if) to make sure to throw the core near the trunk. The rows of trees are lush with colors. Green, red and yellow apples hang heavy on the branches. It takes a matter of moments to fill the ½ bushel. My son lobs an apple into the basket and is promptly told by his sister that it’s bruised; it’s his. He carefully places the rest of his picks into the bushel.

Applejacks Orchard and Country Gift Shop is located at 751 Brand Hollow Road in Peru, 518-643-2268.  To get there take I-87 to Exit 36 and follow Route 22 south for about 4 miles. Turn right onto Brand Hollow Road and look for the sign. There is plenty of parking. 

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time™guidebook series: with fun for all ages including kids, parents, retired/seniors, and dog/pet owners. Adirondack Family Time™ guidebooks have easy Adirondack (ADK) hikes, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack (ADK) family guidebooks  online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.


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