Apple season is right around the corner!

Head out to the country and pick a bushel or two! Here are a some of the best orchards to get your fresh air fix. There's nothing better than a fall family outing to pick some tree-ripened apples. Here are three Maryland orchards where you can make some family memories of your own. 

Rock Hill Orchard and Woodbourne Creamery

apple tree, apples

Courtesy of Rock Hill Orchard on Facebook

ADDRESS: 28600 Ridge Road | Mount Airy, MD
PHONE: (301) 831-7427

Rock Hill Orchard is a great Maryland u-pick spot that also has its own dairy. You know what that means—HANDMADE ice cream! You can really taste the care put into their artisanal flavors, so treat yourself after working hard in the orchards.

The location is a little puzzling the first time you go. It seems much too suburban, but it's really there! Look for the little farmstand on the road and check in; they'll tell you where to go to pick what's ripe. Many of the tree fruits are in the back of the property so you can drive all the way back instead of hiking up on foot. Just look for a tent or staff members to tell you which rows to pick. With over 25 varieties of apples that ripen at different times, you'll have plenty of options to choose from.

This year, face coverings are mandatory all around the orchard, including when you're in line to check out or in the farm store. In the spirit of social distancing, follow all posted rules on site.

Milburn Orchards

apple cider doughnuts

Courtesy of Milburn Orchards on Facebook

ADDRESS: 1495 Appleton Rd. | Elkton, MD
PHONE: (410) 398-1349

Apple picking season starts on Labor Day at Milburn Orchards. Tractors or wagons will take you out for the best picking, and the farm stand has amazing apple cider doughnuts. Click here to see their ripening schedule for all of the varieties they grow.

Face coverings are required indoors for visitors over age 5 and recommended but not mandatory outdoors.

Baugher's Orchard

apple tree, apples

Courtesy of Baugher's Orchard

ADDRESS: 1015 Baugher Road | Westminster, MD
PHONE: (410) 857-0111

Honeycrisp apples are already ripe for picking! This u-pick farm is loads of fun—you get to ride a wagon out to the fields ($3 per person), and you pay to fill containers are provided upon check-in.

Don't forget to see the petting zoo! Call before you head out and check what's ripe that day. Hours vary by month, too, so make sure you plan accordingly.

Know Before You Go

  • Many of these u-pick orchards have a wide range of apple varieties that ripen during different months. If you're looking for a particular kind, call ahead.
  • Some of the best apples are high up on the trees. Grab an apple picker (looks like a broom handle with a basket at one end) at the orchard before you venture too far away from the entrance.
  • People tend to drop blemished or bruised apples at the base of the tree. Wear sturdy walking shoes or boots because things will get messy.
  • As tempting as it is, don't eat the apples straight off the tree. You'll want to give them a thorough washing first to get off any pesticides.
  • There are eating apples and baking apples—make sure you know what you're going to do with them before you start picking!

Do you go apple-picking every year? Where are your favorite u-pick Maryland orchards? Let us know in the comments!