Oh Pie! Where to Pick Your Own Cherries near NYC

a bucket of cherries in an orchard Wikimedia cc
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Cherry-picking season is a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of deal. If you’re thinking of picking some fresh cherries for your favorite pie or jam recipe, you’ll have to head out from around mid-June to early July. There are a number of fantastic farms in the NYC area where you can pick your own cherries—and cherries are the perfect size for tiny hands to pick. Farms recommend coming earlier rather than later, as it’s picking while supplies last. (Your best bet is to check a farm’s social media feeds before heading out.) Cherries are typically gone by early July, but you can still pick your own berries at one of these farms near NYC, and pick your own flowers at these farms. Just can’t get enough of farm life? How about a farm stay?


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Some Tips Before You Pick

  • There are many varieties of cherries, but they fall into two main categories: sweet and tart. Ripening times may vary for each type of cherry, so make sure you’re going at the right time for the type of cherry you want.
  • Most of these farms also sell fresh produce, various types of food, freshly baked goods, ciders, jams, and more
  • Remind little ones to be courteous: No shaking of branches, climbing trees, or tasting of fruit as you pick
  • Outside bags are generally not permitted. You have to use the provided picking containers
  • Dogs are never allowed into the orchards and fruit-growing areas (with the exception of service animals), though some farms allow animals outside planted areas, like in designated picnic spots.
  • All listed dates are predictions. Always check the sites website or facebook, or call ahead to double-check the U-Pick details for the day you’re thinking of going.

Kate Loweth

Cherry Picking in New York

Lawrence Farms Orchards
Family-owned by a family that’s been involved with agriculture since 1892, Lawrence Farms Orchards is a charming place to visit for cherry-picking and a picnic (if you plan to picnic, you’ll need to buy your fruits first). As always, June-July is the time to pick sweet and sour cherries, but the farm also has a huge selection of other U-Pick fruits and veggies from June through October, including peaches, pears, raspberries, peppers, eggplant, and so many more. Make sure to take a gander at the farm’s spectacular show chickens and adorable goats, and check out the hay bale maze and “Little Village” — a small-scale replica of an old-fashioned New England farm town.

Good to know: Admission is $5 per person (children under two are free), and there are season passes available if you plan on coming back to pick any of their other offerings. Non-cash methods of payment are accepted at an additional 4% fee from your final total.

Where: 306 Frozen Ridge Rd., Newburgh, NY

Phone: 845-562-4268

Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Online: lawrencefarmsorchards.com

Distance from NYC: 1h 30m

Prospect Hill Orchards
From mid-June to July 4th, Prospect Hill Orchards’ nine acres of sour red or sweet red and white cherries will be ripe for the picking. There are over 10 different varieties available, from the extremely sweet Heidelfingen to the bright red tart Montmorency. No appointments are needed. You can also buy some homemade goods to be delivered, including homemade jam, granola, and dried apples.

Good to know: Credit cards are accepted as long as they have a chip. You can catch a ride on a tractor from the parking lot up to the cherry hill.

Where: 340 Milton Tpke., Milton, NY

Phone: 845-795-2383

Hours: Fri.-Sun., 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Online: prospecthillorchards.com

Distance from NYC: 1h 40m

Fishkill Farms
Fishkill Farms is one of the only U-Pick farms in NY where you can find organic cherries. In fact, all the farm’s vegetables, berries and eggs are certified organic, as well as a third of the apple orchard (the rest is ecologically responsible). Expected picking dates are between June 26 and July 10, for sweet red, golden and tart cherries. Once you’re done picking, stop by the farm store for freshly made donuts and pies, grab dinner at the outdoor grill or practice some al-fresco yoga (reservations for the latter are required).

Good to know: Pets are allowed on the property, except in the farm store or areas where fruits and vegetables are grown. Picking requires a reservation, which open up as the fruits ripen and it becomes clear how many visitors the farm can accommodate.

Where: 9 Fishkill Farm Rd., Hopewell Junction, NY

Phone: 845-897-4377

Hours: Tues.-Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; cherry-picking only available on weekends to the public

Online: fishkillfarms.com

Distance from NYC: 1h 40m

Rose Hill Farm
Since 2018, the farm has completely changed the way it operates, using a holistic approach that emphasizes the health of the land and ecosystem. The result is way more cherry varieties than you probably knew existed. Sweet cherries are plentiful and are awesome for fresh eating, freezing for later, or making smoothies out of. Rose Hill recommends using the sour types for baking, canning, fermenting, and infusing, instead. The grounds are open for picnicking and fire pits, and you’ll often find live music, food pop-ups, events, classes, and more entertainment in this lively spot.

Good to know: You’re allowed to bring your own food for a picnic in certain areas. If you decide to stop by The Taproom for food and drinks for the adults, outdoor seating is available but you’re also welcome to bring your own camping chairs or picnic blankets and stay the afternoon.

Where: 19 Rose Hill Farm, Red Hook, NY

Phone: 845-758-4215

Hours: Fri. 2-8 p.m., Sat. 12-8 p.m., Sun. 12-7 p.m.

Online: pickrosehillfarm.com

Distance from NYC: 2h 10m

Wickham’s Fruit Farm
With 300 acres of space, of which 200 acres are planted with fruit, Wickham’s Fruit Farm is one of the larger U-Pick farms in the area. Plan to visit in June, which is when Wickham’s estimates the cherries will be ripe for the picking this year. The farm also has a variety of cheeses, pies and preserves, as well as freshly baked donuts for sale.

Good to know: Pets aren’t allowed anywhere on the farm, and outside bags are prohibited, as well.

Where: 28700 Main Rd., Cutchogue, Long Island

Phone: 631-734-6441

Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-“maybe 4 or 5” p.m.

Online: wickhamsfruitfarm.com

Distance from NYC: 3h 10m

 

a bucket of cherries in an orchard
Wikimedia cc

Cherry Picking in New Jersey

Terhune Orchards
Terhune Orchards encourages visitors not to wait until “next weekend” to pick cherries, as the season is short and will be over before you know it! You’ll likely be able to pick sweet cherries starting mid-June and tart ones beginning in late June. Plan to make a whole day out of it, because there’s plenty to keep kids curious and occupied here. Kids (and adults) of all ages can visit the barnyard to see sheep, goats, ducks, geese, and chickens, while kids six and under can ride on pedal tractors. Head out for a walk on the farm trail discovery walk, which takes you on about a mile-long walk through an impressive variety of natural locations, including a pasture, orchard, large pond, meadow, and even a forest. Adults can also enjoy a drink at the winery on weekends 12-5 p.m., and catch some live music by the firepit.

Good to know: Terhune often holds classes (on topics like herbs and gardening) and live music. You can also sign up your children for “Read and Pick Tuesdays,” a program that combines fruit picking with an educational and fun activity meant to teach kids about the farm. The cherries Read and Pick Tuesday is scheduled for June 14, and registration is $12 per child (one accompanying adult can come along for no additional charge).

Where: 330 Cold Soil Rd., Princeton, NJ

Phone: 609-924-2310

Hours: Mon.-Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Online: terhuneorchards.com

Distance from NYC: 1h 30m

Battleview Orchards
Visit the oldest U-Pick orchard in New Jersey — open since 1908! — for sour cherries during the incredibly narrow window of June 16-25. (But don’t forget to check the Orchard’s Facebook to confirm the exact dates). Don’t miss out on shopping at the Country Store while you’re here, for fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade pies, breads, and other baked goods, as well as freshly pressed cider and apple cider donuts. You can also snag a gift for someone (or, why not, just treat yourself) from your choice of gift baskets, fruit and veggie platters, and a wide selection of gourmet options.

Good to know: This location is cash only and pets aren’t allowed. Senior citizens get a 10% discount on Mondays and Thursdays at the store and orchard. Not sure what to do with those sour cherries? Battleview Orchards has shared some of their favorite sour cherry recipes on their website.

Where: 91 Wemrock Rd., Freehold, NJ

Phone: 732-462-0756

Hours: Wed.-Mon., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Online: battlevieworchards.com

Distance from NYC: 1h 30m

Stoneyfield Orchard
The family-owned and operated Stoneyfield Orchard is kid-friendly, with cows and other animals to delight the little ones. In addition to sour and sweet cherries, you can buy fruit, eggs, cheeses, cider, honey, preserves, and much more from the farm stand. Good to know: It’s cash only here, so come prepared! Sometimes, the farm will increase its hours due to an over-abundance of fruit, so check Facebook or call ahead to plan your visit.

Where: 5 Orchard St., Belvidere, NJ

Phone: 908-475-5209

Hours: Sat. & Sun., 12-4 p.m.

Online: stoneyfieldorchard.com

Distance from NYC: 1h 40m

Two girls hold bags full of picked cherries
Christine Lai

Cherry Picking in Connecticut

Belltown Hill Orchards
Located in the beautiful hills of South Glastonbury, this farm approximates sweet cherry picking season to be mid-June to mid-July, while sour cherries will be available throughout July. You’ll find more farm-fresh goodies at the farm store, including veggies like corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions, green beans, and more, depending on what’s ripe.

Good to know: Don’t miss out on the farm’s delicious baked goods, including pies, breads, donuts, and their famous hot apple fritters. (Some bakery items are even sugar-free!) You can also snag plenty of jams, preserves, soups, salsas, relishes, and any other fruit or veg product your heart desires at Grandma’s Pantry.

Where: 483 Matson Hill Rd., South Glastonbury, CT

Phone: 860-633-2789

Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Online: belltownhillorchards.com

Distance from NYC: 3h

 

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