If you’re a senior living in Cincinnati, you know that autumn is apple harvest time. And many older residents of the Tristate love to avail themselves of the many orchards in the area that allow you to pick your own apples right off the tree.
For some, it’s a fun day trip out into the country to enjoy the fall leaves and clean, crisp air. For others, an opportunity to take the grandkids along and spend quality time together. And for some — especially seniors who grew up on farms in the Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana countryside — it’s a nostalgic trip that reminds them of simpler days.
"Why go to the grocery store when you can pick your own fresh apples and other fall produce?"
Many apple farms in the area press their own cider and bake their own apple-flavored pastries. Some offer local honey, jams and preserves. And most also offer pumpkins, squashes, decorative corn and gourds.
So, why go to the grocery store when you can pick your own fresh apples and other fall produce? Take a day trip to one of these farms near Cincinnati instead!
22141 State Route 251
Midland, OH 45148
Located way out in the scenic farmlands of Brown County, on State Route 251 between Blanchester and Fayetteville, A&M Orchard is a wonderful spot to go pick apples and grab a few gallons of fresh-pressed cider.
The farm allows visitors to take a hayride out to the orchard rows and pick from among several varieties of apples, including Gala, Jonathan, and Grimes Golden apples. Availability depends on the week.
Best of all? A&M doesn’t charge you an extra fee for the opportunity. You only pay by the pound for what you pick! And the orchard even provides you plastic buckets to take out to gather your personal apple harvest.
You can also take the hayride over to the pumpkin field and pick up your Halloween jack-o’-lantern before heading back to the barn, where you pay for your picks.
Be sure to sample A&M’s cider — it’s unpasteurized, so it tastes just like the farm-fresh ciders you’ll remember drinking in your childhood!
Iron’s Fruit Farm
1640 Stubbs Mill Road
Lebanon, OH 45036
Located in Lebanon, Iron’s Fruit Farm was founded in 1910 and has been allowing Cincinnatians to pick their own apples for decades. Depending on when you’re there, you can pick McIntosh, Red Delicious, Gold Delicious, Jonathan, Melrose or Stayman Winesaps.
Take the hayride out to the orchard or to the pumpkin patch, lose yourself in the super fun corn maze, then head back into the historic barn with your haul. There, you’ll be greeted with the delicious smells of piping hot, fresh-baked apple fritters (for our money, possibly the best apple fritters in the world, no lie) and amazing apple cider donuts.
On October weekends, Iron’s hosts live music, roving entertainers, a local honey stand and more. And it’s well worth the scenic drive. After your farm adventure, take Stubbs Mill Road over to US 22/Ohio 3 and follow it east along the Little Miami River valley to see the leaves at peak season!
8200 Worley Mill Rd
Out in Highland County, near Hillsboro, Karnes Orchard features over 40 varieties of apples — including several hard-to-find heirloom varieties — in its fields. And you can pick your own! The orchard is operated by the same friendly family that has owned it since the 19th century.
Right now, you can also pick your own pumpkins and gourds. The orchard is worth the trip at other times of the year, too: During the summer you can pick pears, plums, peaches and cherries.
And when you’re done picking, take a drive down US 41 from Hillsboro to the Ohio River at Aberdeen. Cross over to historic Maysville, Kentucky — the first major river settlement in the Bluegrass — and grab a nice, Southern fare dinner at Chandler’s or a wonderful Italian meal at Caproni’s, right on the scenic water.
These are just a few of the options you have for picking apples this fall.
You can find out about other farms and orchards offering pick-your-own apples by clicking on this link. So gather your friends and family, head out to for the rarified country air, and enjoy the season. It’s well worth the drive.