Did you know that Michigan is the third-largest producer of apples in the United States? The state is home to nearly 15 million acres of apple trees. That means that when autumn rolls around, you are bound to find a great apple orchard nearby.
If you’re looking for the best apple orchards in Northern Michigan, we’ve got you covered. These Northern Michigan cider mills and apple orchards are some of the best places to visit when the leaves start to turn.
Northern Michigan Apple Orchards & Cider Mills Near Mackinaw City
Knaebe’s Apple Farm And Ciderworks | Rogers City, Michigan
Knaebe’s Apple Farm and Ciderworks is known for all things apple-related — but that’s not all. The orchard is known far and wide as the top place to visit for the most delicious doughnuts you can find in northern Michigan.
It is a reputation they have developed since the early 1990s, and they are dedicated to keeping it!
There is plenty to do at Knaebe’s apple orchard and cider mill – from visiting farm animals to picking your own apples in the orchard. There is even a barrel train ride for kids, yard games, and exploring the pumpkin patch.
When you are worn out, stop back at the farm store for fresh doughnuts, wood-fired pizza, and fresh hard cider.
Golden River Orchard | Cheboygan , Michigan
Golden River Orchard is a first-generation family farm established in 2002. In the two decades since the farm began, it has already become known as one of the best orchards in northern Michigan!
The orchard is verified by the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program to commit to sustainable growing practices, which is just one more reason it should be on your list of places to visit.
Fall is the best time of year here, with many apple varieties, pumpkins, squash, and of course, apple cider and fresh doughnuts. You’ll find apples at Golden River like McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Zestar, Cortland, Paula Red, and many more.
Uncle Frank’s Apple Town | Alanson, Michigan
Uncle Frank’s Apple Town is the quintessential fall farm experience. With a big red barn and the surrounding Michigan fall colors, this farm offers everything from hayrides to a corn maze, fresh apples and apple cider, and much more.
Visitors have the chance to watch how staff press fresh apple cider and bake doughnuts on-site every day. There is also a pumpkin patch where you can pick your perfect pumpkin for decorating or eating.
There are many other fresh treats to be had at Uncle Frank’s, including fresh fruit pie, cookies, and much more. This is one of the northern Michigan apple orchards that should be on your list!
Greater Traverse City Michigan Cider Mills & Apple Orchards
Friske Farm Market | Ellsworth, Michigan
Friske Farm Market in Ellsworth might just be one of the most action-packed orchards you can find in northern Michigan.
Not only are there tons of activities, but there are also events and festivals scheduled throughout the year. In other words, there’s always something going on at Friske Farm Market!
A visit here might take an entire day, with all there is to do. From picking your own apples and pumpkins to visiting the farm store to get fresh produce and homemade jam, Friske Farm Market offers everything you need to enjoy a great day in the country.
Royal Farms | Ellsworth, Michigan
Royal Farms isn’t just any Northern Michigan apple orchard. It is also a Northern Michigan winery where visitors can enjoy tastings of fresh fruit wines and hard ciders!
This family-owned farm has been thriving for 25 years and has been awarded accolades for its status as an environmentally friendly orchard.
There is something for everyone at Royal Farms in Ellsworth. Kids can enjoy the corn maze, scavenger hunts, and hayrides in view of Lake Michigan. Adults, meanwhile, might want to visit the tasting room to try fresh cherry wine and hard cider.
Like any good farm, they also have a farm store and bakery where you can find other delicious things to eat and drink.
King Orchards | Central Lake, Michigan
King Orchards in Central Lake is a treat to visit. This family-owned farm is all about fruit, with an emphasis on apples and cherries.
Much of their fresh produce goes into the delicious pies, breads, cakes, jams, and jellies that the family sells in their farm store. But there is also plenty of opportunity for visitors to pick their own fruit!
King Orchards offers U-pick fruit throughout the year, including throughout the summer with cherries, peaches, and more.
Once September rolls around, it’s time to help yourself to the many heirloom apple varieties grown at King Orchards, as well as more popular varieties like McIntosh and Jonathan.
Rennie Orchards | Williamsburg, Michigan
Rennie Orchards in Williamsburg is a family farm that has been under the same management since 1938. In the decades since then, the Rennie family has expanded its orchard operation and now provides all kinds of fun on the farm.
Visitors are welcome to head out to the orchard to pick their own apples or buy the pre-picked varieties available in the farm store. Employees offer help and equipment for anyone who wants to pick their own apples, including convenient harnesses for holding fruit.
Rennie Orchards also offers plenty of family activities including a hay bale maze, wagon rides, and a log cabin.
Flynn Orchards | Mancelona, Michigan
Flynn Orchards is a small family farm in Mancelona that has only been in operation since 2008. The current owner planted the fruit trees with his parents and now runs it full-time with his wife and children as a second-generation orchard.
Though the farm doesn’t offer U-pick apples, visitors are welcome to visit the store to buy some of the delicious, fresh produce produced by Flynn Orchards. You can also find them at farmers’ markets in and around Mancelona throughout the year, including in the fall for the apple harvest.
Visits to the farm can also be booked by appointment.
Apple Orchards Near Crystal Mountain Michigan
Nugent Orchards | Frankfort, Michigan
Nugent Orchards in Frankfort is a family-owned farm that has been in business since 1918! In the century since then, it has been developed into a place that every family in Michigan needs to visit in the fall.
From picking apples and pumpkins to taking hayrides and exploring the corn maze, there is so much to do at Nugent Orchards. The farm even offers an event space and a glamping ground for anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of ordinary life.
Visitors can help themselves to fresh U-pick apples from the orchard in some of the most popular varieties.
Brixstone Farms | Bear Lake, Michigan
Brixstone Farms in Bear Lake is a fruit orchard and maple syrup farm focused on environmentally sustainable growing practices. This beautiful orchard is located between Lake Michigan and Bear Lake in the perfect location for growing the best fruit in the state.
With more than a century of production behind it, Brixstone Farms is still going strong with offerings that are not to be missed.
You’ll find dozens of apple varieties here, growing in a picturesque valley with beautiful sights all around. The on-site farmstand sells 15 apple varieties as well as peaches and locally-made maple syrup.
How Many Cider Mills Are In Michigan?
It is difficult to say exactly how many cider mills are in Michigan. Some estimates put the number around 63. Many apple orchards press cider on-site with fruit straight from their own fields. You can also find various options around the state for fruit wines and hard ciders, often in the same facilities.
What Is The Oldest Cider Mill In Michigan?
The oldest cider mill in Michigan is Dexter Cider Mill. This mill has been in operation since 1886 and still uses its original oak rack press to produce its cider. Visitors can taste and buy different cider varieties and even watch the press at work.
What Is The Best Month To Go Apple Picking In Michigan?
Apple season varies significantly based on the growing season, but most particularly on the apple cultivar. Some early varieties like Lodi may be ready as soon as July, while late varieties like Pink Lady can be ready to harvest as late as November. However, most apple orchards in Michigan kick things off in late August or early September, with the harvest continuing as supplies last throughout September and October.
More to Enjoy During Fall in Northern Michigan
If you are looking for a great apple orchard or cider mill to visit in Northern Michigan, you have plenty of options from which to choose! The state is full of family farms that offer great experiences, no matter where you are looking for amazing Michigan apple orchards.
Check out our interactive map of Michigan apple orchards to find an “apple orchard near me” no matter where you are in Michigan!
But beyond the best Northern Michigan apple orchards and cider mills, there are so many great things to do in fall in Northern Michigan – from Northern Michigan scenic drives to the best fall hiking trails in Northern Michigan and the best Northern Michigan pumpkin patches!