stone ridge orchards, about a 2 hour drive from downtown manhattan, is my favorite place for picking apples. they’ve got rows upon rows of gnarly old apple trees (with some newly planted ones mixed in). the apples grow on branches high and low; the orchard supplies you with picking poles to reach apples on the highest branches.
these old trees organically produce some of the crispest and most fragrant apples that i’ve ever sunk my teeth in. the apple variety varies from week to week. when we were there about 2 weeks ago, we filled our bag with fuji, golden delicious, red delicious and a few ida-red. they had mutsu, gala and honey crisp trees in the orchard as well, but the branches had been picked clean by the time we got there.
the orchard spans several acres, at its highest point you can see the tips of the catskill mountains in the distance. it’s an orchard where you can get lost in, an orchard perfect for playing hide and seek, an orchard where you can take it all in. and on the day we went, the clouds floating in the sheer blue sky just seemed to tickle the highest branches of the fruit laden trees.