If you’re like Thoreau and believe that “Surely the apple is the noblest of fruit” then get your overalls on and your apple picking boxes ready and head out to one of the u-pick apple orchards within driving distance of Lake Oswego.
September and October are the best months to catch the most varieties available. This summer’s heat conditions have changed the rules somewhat on the timing and duration of crops so best to call ahead and check to see what’s available before you head out. In most cases, visitors should also bring their own boxes or bags to bring the fruit home in; however, boxes are recommended as they protect the fruit better.
CLOSER TO HOME
SHERWOOD ORCHARDS. This 26 acre farm boasts over 1300 fruit trees and 70 varieties of apples as well as Bosc, Bartlett and Seckel pears. So chances are good you won’t come home empty-handed. Hours: Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. depending on fruit availability. 23995 SW Pacific Highway, Sherwood. 503.625.7705.
BELL’S ORCHARD. Apples are ready to pick here beginning mid to late August with Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Gala at their peak in September followed by Jonagold and Braeburn in October. This family run farm takes pride in their “short orchards” featuring trees with fruit hanging low enough to the ground that kids can easily reach them. No ladders needed. Hours: Monday through Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Thursday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Sunday. 24350 SW Farmington Road, Beaverton. 503.313.1346.
BEILKE FAMILY FARM. Located just 30 minutes from Lake Oswego in Brooks, this three-generation farm also offers dwarf trees that keep the fruit easy to reach for adults and kids (although some of them may need to stretch a bit). You’ll find 15 different varieties of apples on this ten acre farm but be sure to check in advance to make sure your favorites are available. Hours: Monday through Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 4925 Rockdale Street, NE, Brooks. 503.393.1077.
A LITTLE FURTHER OUT
MOUNTAIN VIEW ORCHARDS. This orchard has bragging rights. It made USA Today’s Top 10 list of Best Apple Orchards in the United States both in 2018 and 2020. Set at the foot of Mt. Hood, it might top the list of most picturesque as well. Three generations have been running this operation that grows 125 varieties of apples and 15 of pears. In addition, visitors can enjoy beer, wine and cider tasting (reservations needed for the Grateful Garden tasting). Picnic tables invite you to make a day of it. Hours 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Tasting room is open Mondays through Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 6670 Trout Creek Ridge Rd., Mt. Hood. 541.352.6828.
KIYOKAWA ORCHARDS. Operating since 1911, this farm claimed the #1 spot in USA Today’s Best Apple Orchards list in 2018. Thirty-eight varieties of apples and 12 of pears are due for harvesting in September including the ever-popular Honeycrisp. Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 5625 Hutson Drive, Parkdale. 541.352.7115.
DRAPER GIRLS COUNTRY FARM. There is lots to like here from the picturesque views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams to the cinnamon-sugar dried apples. Kids will appreciate the dwarf trees that make picking easy and the chance to feed the farm animals. Adults will appreciate the hard cider. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. 6200 Highway 35, Mt. Hood. 541.490.8113.
DETERING ORCHARDS. If you’re headed down south for a Beaver or Ducks game, this might be a fun add-on to a weekend getaway as it’s only about a half hour from both Corvallis and Eugene. Besides apple and pear picking, there are lots of activities to enjoy including a kids’ playground, animal corral, saloon and a mechanical bull on weekends. In the fall, the farm adds on treasure mining, cow barrel rides, an apple blaster and corn and hay mazes. Hours: Monday through Sunday 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. for u-pick. 30946 Wyatt Drive, Harrisburg. 5411.995.6341.
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