Featured Photo by Shelburne Orchards

Best Apple Orchards Along Lake Champlain in the Richelieu River Valley

Lake Champlain divides the great states of New York and Vermont, creating a region of rolling hills, farmland, and an amazing shoreline. The region is a scenic playground with plenty to do and see all year long from outdoor adventure and attractions to events, history, and culture. With the seasonal change from summer to fall on its way throughout the US, the Lake Champlain Region is a great place to visit for a fall vacation. Here you can have all of the annual fall experiences you typically have, except surrounded by the beauty of Champlain Lake. An especially great fall experience to have in the region is visiting the many apple orchards, picking apples, and purchasing some other fall goodies while you’re there. Check out these orchards if you plan on visiting the region this fall!

Charming Galena Experiences

Lake Champlain Apple Orchards: Shelburne Orchards (Shelburne, Vermont)

Best For Exciting Events
Shelburne Orchards in Shelburne, Vermont can be found on the southwest portion of Lake Champlain. The orchard is on a 60 acre family owned and operated farm, making it a great apple orchard that values family and creating a space for all to enjoy. You can buy their apples, peaches, plums, sour cherries, and table grapes during your visit. Shelburne also has a well maintained pick-your-own produce operation during September and October (apple season). These fun-filled days at the orchard include hay rides, apple cider doughnuts, fresh pressed apple and ginger apple cider, and access to the tasting room for those 21+ to try the orchard’s apple brandy. Shelburne Orchard holds seasonal hours from September 9th to late October, but during this time they are open 7 days a week. If you are in the area, the orchard encourages you to bring the family or some friends, pack a picnic, pick some apples, and have a relaxing fall weekend at the orchard.

Shelburne Orchards Trip Tips
Pick Your Own Apples: Yes, Popular Activity: Apple Brandy Tasting, Popular Food Item: Cider Donuts, Nearby Local Places To Stay: The Inn at Shelburne Farms, Willow Pond Farm B&B, Nearby Attractions: Shelburne Bay Park, Shelburne Vineyard

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Lake Champlain Apple Orchards: Woodman Hill Orchard (Vergennes, Vermont)

Best For Variety of Apples
With over 300 trees and several popular varieties to choose from, Woodman Hill Orchard is another great apple orchard toi check out in the Lake Champlain Region. This apple orchard is located in Vergennes, Vermont and considers itself a pick-your-own micro-orchard. Open September 3rd through the end of October, visitors can come Wednesday through Sunday to pick their own apples and additionally purchase cider, handmade cider doughnuts, and orchard made jams and jellies. Woodman Hill offers apple pickers Honeycrisp, Rogers McIntosh, Thome Empire, Red Cortland, Macoun, Liberty, Sweet 16, Redfree, and Red Rome. You can have the fall experience of picking your own, or grab a pre-picked bag, too.

Woodman Hill Orchards Trip Tips
Pick Your Own Apples: Yes, Popular Food Item: Cider Doughnuts, Nearby Local Places To Stay: Strong House Inn, Nearby Attractions: Vergennes Falls Park, Button Bay State Park

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Lake Champlain Apple Orchards: Chapin Orchard (Essex Junction, Vermont)

Best For Location
Located just 20 minutes from Burlington, Vermont, Chapin Orchard is a great place to visit if you’re staying in the city. The apple orchard is open early September through the end of October, 7 days a week, so apple pickers can come out to grab some produce any day of the week between 9:30am and 5:30pm. Some of the orchard’s best apple varieties include Macintosh, Cortlands, Empires, Macouns, Liberties, Red Delicious, and Paula Reds. if you happen to visit on a Thursday, you can watch folks at Chapin Orchard make delicious cider with their renovated antique press.Chapin Orchard also has a beautiful barn storefront with a variety of produce, treats, and good for sale including pre-picked apples, pumpkins, jams and jellies, cider, and doughnuts.

Chapin Orchard Trip Tips
Pick Your Own Apples: Yes, Popular Activity: Pressing Cider, Nearby Local Places To Stay: North Hero House, The Whitcomb House Bed & Breakfast, Nearby Attractions: ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

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Lake Champlain Apple Orchards: Hackett’s Orchard (South Hero, Vermont)

Best For Variety of Apple Products
Growing apples and produce since 1967, and located on an island, Hackett’s Orchard is a historic, staple orchard in South Hero, Vermont and an exciting experience all in one. Hackett’s is a family run operation, making it a great place to bring your family for a variety of apple products including 47 varieties of apples, fresh cider doughnuts, apple cider, cider slush, and apple crisp. The orchard even has a picnic and play area making it a great place for the kids to run around and burn off extra energy. If you’re also getting ready for spooky season and Halloween, or just fall in general, you can pick up some pumpkins, gourds, and mums.

Hackett’s Orchard Trip Tips
Pick Your Own Apples: Yes, Popular Food Item: Apple Crisp, Nearby Local Places To Stay: The North Hero House, Nearby Attractions: Snow Farm Vineyard, Grand Isle State Park, Knight Point State Park

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Photo by Rulfs Orchard

Lake Champlain Apple Orchards: Rulfs Orchard (Peru, New York)

Best For Families
Rulfs Orchard in Peru, New York is another local Lake Champlain apple orchard that has been in the area a long time and continues to be a fall staple destination for locals and visitors alike. Operating since 1952, Rulfs has a lot to offer to visitors besides just apple picking (but the apple picking is spectacular, too). Here you can pick apples, check out their fully stocked retail store with products from the orchard, visit the farm and greenhouses, let the kids roam the petting zoo and kids area, visit the bakery for sweet treats, and even attend special events. With plenty to explore, the orchard can keep you busy all day and is the perfect destination for making a ton of fall memories all in one day!

Rulfs Orchard Trip Tips
Pick Your Own Apples: Yes, Popular Activity: Visiting the Petting Zoo, Popular Food Item: Homemade Pies, Nearby Local Places To Stay: Valcour Inn and Boathouse, Nearby Attractions: Livingood’s Restaurant and Brewery, Bluff Point Light

Content Writer and Social Media Coordinator. I paint, listen to music, and play with my dogs a lot. When I’m not doing all that, I love to read and try new things.

Maeve Miller

Writer, River Travel Magazine