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13 Aug, Saturday
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Montreal Families

How to safely pick apples near Montreal this fall

There is something about the crisp autumn air that beckons a visit to an orchard. Apple picking is, and has seemingly always been, a quintessential fall activity – right up there with raking up leaves and jumping into the pile, a total must. This year, taking part in outdoor activities is even more important as families have spent so much time confined to their homes, with limited social interactions. Thankfully, with plenty of local u-pick orchards nearby, families don’t have to go too far to enjoy the country air and some crisp, juicy apples this fall.

(This article has been updated for fall 2021 but you may want to call ahead as pandemic health restrictions may change due to the Delta variant).

SOUTH OF MONTREAL

Hillspring Orchards
1019 Route 202, Franklin Centre.
450-827-2565
Approximately an hour and 15 minutes from Montreal.
From Aug. 21 to Oct. 31 on weekends, and Thursdays and Fridays on September 16 and 17, 23 and 24, and 30 as well as Oct. 1.

This orchard has a corn maze, game structures, swings, slides, a large sandbox and a new giant jumping pad. Come and pick apples, jump on inflatables, visit a mini-farm and enjoy animation and walking paths.
vergershillspring.com

Potager Mont-Rouge Halte Gourmande 
154 Rang de la Montagne, Rougemont
450-947-6663
Approximately a 45-minute drive from Montreal.
Open early August to end of October. From 8 a.m to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

A tractor ride will take you to the apple orchard at Potager Mont-Rouge Halte Gourmande, where you’ll also be able to see animals in a mini-farm, jump on a giant trampoline and walk through a corn maze. Masks will be mandatory on the tractor rides and in the shop. There will be a limit to the number of people who can enter the shop and there will be hand-washing stations throughout the orchard.  pmrhaltegourmande.ca

Vergers et Cidrerie Denis Charbonneau 
575 Rang de la Montagne, Mont St. Grégoire.
450-347-9184
Approximately a 45-minute drive from Montreal.
Open the weekend of Aug. 28 and 29. As of September, it is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This place doubles as an apple orchard and sugar shack. There are several playgrounds for kids, a mini farm as well as motorized and horse-drawn carriage rides. Families with older kids might find this orchard appealing as next to the sugar shack area is an Arbraska forest adventure park (for age 5 and up). The restaurant and store are both open this year. vergersdc.qc.ca

Verger Au Coeur de la Pomme
42 Route 237 N., Frelighsburg
450-298-5319
Approximately one hour and 15 minute drive from Montreal.
Apple picking starts September  5. Thursday through Sunday to mid-November. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A family-run orchard in Frelighsburgh, families will not only be privy to apple picking but also to the orchard’s very own old-fashioned cider vinegar, jellies, preserves, mustards and apple doughnuts. You can take a stroll through history as the renovated vinegar mill and boutique are both found inside historic barns built in 1856 and once owned by Quebec Premier Adelard Godbout – read all about the history of the farm on different informational panels scattered throughout the site. Or, you could just sit back, relax and have a picnic by the Pike River. Visitors must wear masks in the store. aucoeurdelapomme.ca

WEST OF MONTREAL

Quinn Farm 
2495 Perrot Blvd. S., Notre Dame de l’Île-Perrot.
514-453-1510
Approximately a 40-minute drive from Montreal.
Open from Aug. 14 to the beginning of October.
Wednesday to Monday (closed on Tuesday) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Quinn Farm has a barn full of animals to visit, a small cedar maze and large play yard with giant slides, tricycles and tractors to play on.  Families need to make a reservation online before they arrive at the farm and masks are mandatory in the store and on tractor and wagon rides. quinnfarm.qc.ca

How to safely pick apples

Le Verger Labonté (updated)
2291 Perrot Blvd., Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot.
514-453-5379
Approximately a one-hour drive from Montreal.
Open from mid-Aug until apples run out. Everyday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This orchard has a playground area, mini-farm, and corn mazes set up for kids of different ages and adults.  Families can bring their own picnic. Due to the pandemic, the number of people allowed on site has been reduced and families must reserve online in advance. In the event of rain, animation and tractor rides may be cancelled.  vergerlabonte.com

Vergers Écologiques Philion 
389 Route 202, Hemmingford.
450-247-3133
Approximately an hour drive from Montreal.
Open late August to mid-October. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.

A little outside Hemmingford, Philion Ecological Orchards boasts a variety of apples and pears available to pick. There are also picnic tables located throughout the orchard for families who want to pack their own lunch. Guided tours as well as walking paths in the woods are available. Due to the pandemic, masks will be mandatory in the boutique.  vergersphilion.com

NORTH OF MONTREAL

La Magie de la Pomme
925 Fresnière, St. Eustache.
450-623-0062
Approximately a one-hour drive from Montreal.
Open Sept. 4 to the end of October. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week (closed on some Mondays, check the website before going.)

This orchard offers a wide variety of activities that are fun for the whole family. Take a tractor ride, visit the mini-farm, enjoy gourmet treats and a beer and cider bar. There’s also a mouthwatering donut shop, a boutique with local products, a playground, a picnic area, and of course apple and pumpkin picking. For more information visit lamagiedelapomme.com

Jude Pomme 
223 rang Sainte-Sophie, Oka
450-479-6080
Approximately a one-hour drive from Montreal.
Open from mid-August to end of October.
From 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

The orchard’s name is a play on the owner’s name and the French word for apple juice, jus de pomme, which hints at the light-hearted atmosphere you’ll find at Jude Pomme. Families can pick from more than 30 varieties of apples, as well as collect pears and plums, or have a picnic. Due to the pandemic, tractor rides will be limited; they will take place only when there are not a large number of people on site. Guides will bring families to orchards after they’ve chosen which apples they want to pick. Visitors have to wear masks in the store.  judepomme.com

Verger La tête dans les pommes 
1673 Principal Rd., St. Joseph-du-Lac
450-491-7319
Approximately 45 minutes from Montreal.
Open from the end August to Oct. 22, everyday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

La tête dans les pommes orchard doesn’t use chemical pesticides and will get the organic certification for the apple-picking section just in time for the 2021 season. There are more than 25 varieties of apple to discover, free tastings, a small farm, areas for picnics, playgrounds for kids, a rustic store and more.  latetedanslespommes.ca

 

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