Fall is one of the best seasons of the year; the temperatures are mild, the falling leaves are beautiful, and the harvest bountiful. Montreal offers many opportunities to make use of the season and engage in fall activities, including mazes, hay rides, petting zoos, horseback riding, and most importantly, apple picking. Below are the best places for a perfect apple picking getaway just outside of the city.
1. La Ferme Quinn
La Ferme Quinn offers fruit and vegetable picking all year. At the moment, the farm has apples, sweet corn, and pumpkins that can be picked. For $20, Quinn Farm offers an 18-pound apple bag to fill. There are numerous varieties that are available—updated weekly on the farm’s website—allowing for a mixed bag of apples to be brought home. The farm also has an ample amount of other attractions, such as their animal barn with pigs, sheep, chickens, goats, horses, and even a llama. For those who want to unlock their inner child, there is a farmyard playground featuring a straw castle, tire pyramid, labyrinth, and duck races. This family farm provides the perfect weekend escape from the stresses of school and a way to reconnect with nature. For the perfect end to a trip to Quinn Farm, visit the farm shop, which offers baked goods made with the products of the farm.
2. Le Verger Labonté
Le Verger Labonté is the closest farm to downtown Montreal, located only 25 minutes away. This orchard was founded in 1989, when approximately 2,000 trees were planted. It is now owned by Nathalie Gervais, who is committed to providing quality apples, friendly service, and freshly baked muffins. The farm has one of the most diverse variety of apples to pick, with themed years, this year being the theme Pömmland. Access to the field costs $2, with additional costs to fill a 10-pound bag ($12) or 16-pound bag ($16). In 2005, the farm added a corn maze that supposedly takes 90 minutes to get through. However, plan to stay longer, as the corn maze is extremely fun. There is also a restaurant, Pet’t Bistro, which offers freshly cooked meals to enjoy with friends.
3. Les Vergers Petits et Fils
Les Vergers Petits et Fils has an extremely long apple picking season, beginning in late August and lasting well into November. They were one of the first apple orchards in Quebec to resist the use of chemical treatment on their apples. Instead, the farm grows organic crops by leveraging predatory insects found in nature. The prices are also very reasonable—$15 for an 18-pound bag, with the price per bag decreasing with the more bags purchased. One of the biggest attractions about this apple picking location is that customers can end the day at the farm’s pancake restaurant and indulge in delicious, warm pancakes and Québec maple syrup. Les Vergers Petits et Fils also has its own cider house, where the farm makes cider wine with apples. The cider house alone is worth the trip.