Apple Orchards: A Fall Favorite!

The leaves are changing and the apples are ripe and ready on the trees here in the St. Croix Valley. The short drive from the Twin Cities makes our area a perfect spot for the long weekends of fall and a sweet spot to visit an apple orchard. Be sure to plan your overnight stay in advance by checking out our lodging options.

Here are a few places to stop by and pick up some favorite autumn treats!

Pleasant Valley Orchard

Voted "BEST MN ORCHARD OF 2015" by WCCO Channel 4 viewers!

17325 Pleasant Valley Rd
Shafer, MN 55074
651-257-9159
www.pleasantvalleyorchard.com

Pleasant Valley Orchard is located on 71 acres in Shafer, MN and features all the favorite MN Grown Apples. The orchard also offers beautiful rolling views of the St. Croix Valley, which are breathtaking when ablaze with color. Pick your own apples on the weekends (select varieties ), or shop from the hand-picked selection in the barn. Breathe in the fresh country air as you take a walk on "the trail" which leads you around the ponds on the property. Or, take part in the autumnal tradition of the hay ride around the orchard. Be sure to visit the farm animals in the barn, let the kids play in the "corn box" and don't leave without some freshly baked goodies for the ride home.

appleorchards_pleasantvalley

© Linda Shober

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© Pleasant Valley Orchard

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Fresh Carmel Apples © Pleasant Valley Orchard

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© Pleasant Valley Orchard

FALL ACTIVITIES AT PLEASANT VALLEY ORCHARD:

* Hayrides: Weekends through the end of October. Hayrides  last approximately 20 minutes and take you through the orchard. Cost $3 per person.

* Pick-Your-Own Apples: PYO apples is offered on select weekends throughout the season on selected varieties, depending on availability, weather permitting.

* Music at the Orchard: Join us as neighbors and friends bring us live music at the orchard weekend afternoons. Groups will feature classic, blue grass, old-time, gospel and country.

* Hayrides to the Pumpkin Patch: Take a hayride to the pumpkin patch and pick-your-own pumpkin on weekends beginning at the end of September through the end of October, weather permitting.

* November Barn Sale – November 1-to close of season. The wood stove gently warms the Appleshed, unique Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts are available along with all your fall favorites! Its the perfect time to stock up on apples and pies for the Thanksgiving Holidays.

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How to get there:

Pleasant Valley Orchard is located at the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road (Cty.26) and Red Wing Ave. (Cty. 21) south of Shafer, Minnesota (5 miles West of Taylors Falls) off Highways 95 or 8. Look for the blue MNDOT signs. The main parking lot is located behind the Apple Shed; the front lot fills fast and portions are reserved for guests who are just stopping in for a quick pick-up of apples or other goodies.

For detailed directions click here.

appleorchard_taylorsfalls

© Pleasant Valley Orchard

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Baker Orchard

1594 Wisconsin 35, Centuria, WI 54824
763-439-9535
www.bakerorchard.com

bakerorchardstcroixfalls

© Baker Orchard

Baker Orchard is located on a family run orchard in Centuria, WI, just north of St. Croix Falls, WI and features crowd favorite, one-of-a-kind, gourmet apples, fresh cider, and  locally-raised chicken, pork, eggs, and vegetables. Be sure to pick up a Big Ben™ apple, which was started by Ruth Baker ( owner John Baker's grandmother), who did a lot of apple tree planting and exploration.

Feel the crunch of the leaves under your feet as you take a back woods hike on the property trails, or let your body and mind relax as you enjoy the gardens on the grounds. If the kids need to burn off some energy, let them scamp and jump around at the boulder park. Be sure to visit the renovated, century-old barn and the unique Orchard House Art Gallery housing local artists. If you're lucky, perhaps you will talk one of the owners, John Baker, into juggling some apples for your crowd.

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Boulder Park at Baker Orchard. © Linda Shober

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Hiking on the property trails. © Linda Shober

bakerorchard

© Baker Orchard

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Apple Cider! © Baker Orchard

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© Baker Orchard

FALL ACTIVITIES AT BAKER ORCHARD:

* Annual Orchard Art Festival: Late September
Come enjoy a wide variety of artists on the lawn and in the barn; live music and food; pick-your-own orchard tours; FREE admission and FREE parking!

* Cyclocross Race: Our annual Baker Orchard Cyclocross Race is typically held in  held on  October. Come watch bicyclists ride through the orchard, jump over barriers and race to the finish!

Stop by and sample our apples and cider, along with selected local foods to eat. Pick your own apples, or buy from the stand, and take a seat by the fire pit to relax. Enjoy our hiking trails, boulder park, the renovated, century-old barn and our unique Orchard House Art Gallery housing local artists. We’re also excited for you to experience our ever-changing gardens and grounds.

How to get there:

Baker Orchard is about an hour from the Twin Cities. Located 3 miles north of Highway 8 on Wisconsin 35. Just south of the town of Centuria, WI. From the Twin Cities:
35 North (approximately 30 miles)
Highway 8 East (approximately 27 miles)
Wisconsin 35 North (3 miles)
Wisc. 35 South is just after the St. Croix River; Wisc. 35 North is a few miles further east, about 1.5 miles after the roundabout by Menard’s)

For a map, click here.

This article was written by Linda Shober and produced by Linda Shober Marketing + Design, LLC – a marketing firm located in the St. Croix Valley specializing in providing content, strategy, management, design, and creative for digital and traditional marketing projects

Top photo © Pleasant Valley Orchard.

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