Location: Phillipston, Massachusetts
Fall has arrived in Massachusetts. The evenings are chilly, the leaves are turning, and as we made our way from Cape Cod to Central Massachusetts, the rolling hills and farms got us thinking about one of our favorite Fall activities, apple picking.
If you love apple picking as much as we do then you’ll agree it’s not just about the fruit, it’s about the full experience. While camping with friends in Barre, Massachusetts we visited Red Apple Farm in Phillipston. This place had everything we needed for a full day of family fun, and although the manager told us the weekends were very busy, we visited on a Tuesday and it was nice and quiet so we could easily social distance.
Our first stop was the farm store to purchase our picking bag and get the lay of the land. You can choose from a half bushel or a smaller bag. We went with the half bushel and, spoiler alert, brought home way too many apples for our tiny RV kitchen! The staff there were very friendly and helpful, someone even walked us out toward the orchard to make sure we headed in the right direction. Due to COVID-19 we were required to wear masks in the store and orchard, and apple tasting was not permitted.
It was just a short walk out to the orchards where the apples were still plentiful. Lucas had a great time running between the trees and acting as our official apple picker.
As we explored the farm, we passed pick your own berries and peach trees, sadly not in season but great to know for the spring and summer months. We stopped to enjoy the views and check out the pick your own pumpkin patch, but we all agreed that a pumpkin will not travel well in the RV. If you want to pick your own, pumpkins are $.75/lb and they had a variety of sizes.
Once we had stuffed our bag full of apples we visited the store for some seasonal treats. The Red Apple Farm Country Store included the usual offerings, such as produce from their farm, apple cider donuts, apple cider, fudge, and maple syrup. They also produce their own hard cider which they sell by the growler. We couldn’t resist the ice cream stand, John experimented with an apple soda float, while I got one of my favorites, pumpkin ice cream. The serving sizes were generous, and it was more than enough for the three of us.
While we were browsing inside the market we started chatting with the staff. I was curious because I had noticed a Class A trailer in the parking lot. The manager confirmed that Red Apple Farm is a Harvest Host location. He told us they usually had space for 3 campers at any given time, but the farm gets very full on the weekends. Although we already had a place to camp in the area, this would be a really fun spot for anyone looking to spend the night in an orchard.
On our way out we visited the farm animals. You can purchase feed for the animals in the market. Lucas loved the bunny, free range chickens, pigs, and goats.
If you visit on the weekend there is a BBQ restaurant and Brew Barn with outside seating and live music. When the restaurant is closed, this is a great spot for a picnic before heading out to the orchard.
Apple picking is one of our favorite family traditions and being on the road this year I was sad not to enjoy our usual trip to the Ipswich farm we typically visit with friends. I’m happy to have stumbled across Red Apple Farm and grateful we were able to keep our traditions going for Lucas as we travel.
A few more tips to help you plan your visit:
- While we left Jackson at home, they do allow dogs outside.
- They offer clean, public restrooms. (Always a plus when traveling with a toddler!)
- Make sure you bring a mask (they’re required.)
- Due to COVID-19 you do need to make a free reservation online before arriving.
- Parking is free but the lot is small, if you’re visiting on the weekend I would plan to visit early.
Address: Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston, MA, 01331