Enjoy The Local Bounty; A Guide To Pick Your Own Fruit

Have you been asking where to pick your own fruit near me? Well, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know to plan a most excellent adventure at farms and orchards in Albany, New York, and around the Capital Region.

Whether you’re a seasoned local or an adventurous traveler, there’s nothing quite like spending a sun-drenched afternoon roaming through local farms and orchards, your hands immersed in foliage, searching for the ripest, juiciest fruits. From crunchy apples to succulent strawberries, Albany’s fertile lands offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the farm-to-table experience, one juicy bite at a time.

When my children were barely toddlers, I introduced them to the pleasures of picking your own fruit.  In the spring, we visited The Farm At Kristy’s Barn for strawberries, and in the Fall, we headed to Goold’s Orchards (now sold to Windy Hill Orchard & Farm Market) for the Honeycrisp Apples (and cider donuts.)  Our love affair with pick your own fruit didn’t end there, however, and soon our yard was covered with fruit trees and berry plants of all shapes and sizes. Now, after the wildlife gets their cut, we may find any of the following home-grown fruit: cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, apples, peaches, and pears.

Despite our best efforts, our little home farm is not big enough to satisfy the family’s fruit cravings.  We supplement our harvest by foraging along hiking trails for fresh berries, shopping at the local farmer market, and returning to pick-your-own farms for the freshest produce.

Looking for more fun activities in Upstate New York? Check out our extensive list of things to do in the Capital Region.

Fruits Found At Pick Your Own Fruit Farms In The Capital Region

In and around Albany, NY, there’s an abundance of pick-your-own fruit farms that offer a wide variety of fruits throughout the year. The region is perhaps most renowned for its extensive apple orchards, offering a multitude of different varieties like McIntosh, Honeycrisp, and Empire from late summer to late fall.

Cherries and strawberries generally kick off the picking season in June, followed by raspberries and blueberries in July and August. Peaches also make their debut in the summer, with their sweet, juicy flesh being a real treat. In the late summer and early fall, you’ll find plump pears and grapes perfect for picking.

Don’t miss out on the pumpkin patches in October, too – while not a fruit, it’s a picking tradition you don’t want to skip! This cornucopia of fruits makes Albany and its surrounding areas a veritable paradise for fruit lovers.

When To Pick Fruit Near Albany NY

Approximate harvest dates of crop calendars in New York can vary widely, call to confirm.

  • Apples – September 1 – October 25
  • Blackberries – July 15 – July 30
  • Blueberries – August 1 – September 10
  • Cherries – June 10 – June 25
  • Grapes – September 10 – September 20
  • Peaches, Nectarines – July 20 – September 1
  • Pears – August 10 – August 31
  • Raspberries – July 5 – July 21
  • Raspberries (Fall and everbearing) – August 15 – September 30
  • Strawberries – June 5 – June 20

Tips For Picking Your Own Fruit

When embarking on your pick-your-own fruit adventure, a few tips can enhance your experience and ensure you come home with the best possible bounty. Firstly, do some research to understand the peak season of the fruit you wish to pick; ripe fruit not only tastes better, but it will also be easier to pick.

Call ahead to confirm what’s available. As of June 2023, many local farms and orchards are reporting that some fruits will not be available this year due to a late Spring Frost.

Always dress for the occasion – wear comfortable clothing, bring a hat, and apply sunscreen, as you’ll be out in the sun. Comfortable shoes are crucial too, as you may be walking on uneven terrain.

Some fruit farms provide bags or buckets; consider bringing your own, just in case. Also, bear in mind that fruit farms usually charge by the pound, but some only accept cash.

Remember to be gentle when picking to avoid bruising the fruit or damaging the plant. It’s often a good idea to pick fruit from the bottom of the tree or plant first, as these are usually the ripest. Lastly, always respect the farm’s rules and only pick what you intend to use to reduce waste and maintain sustainability. Happy picking!

Where to Pick Your Own Fruit In Albany (And Nearby)

Click on www.pickyourown.org to find a farm near anywhere in the U.S., fruit picking tips, and recipes. Or, closer to home, check out Harvest Connection. Available as an app on Apple App store or Google Play, Harvest Connection lets you plug in your zipcode and desired product (the list runs from craft beverages to Christmas holiday) and includes the option to filter by farm and/or farmers market.

The app was created by Rensselaer County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension with Spiral Designs Studios and covers 110 farms throughout Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Washington counties. You can also find recipes and home preservation tips on the site.            

Here is a great selection of some of the best u-pick farms in the Capital Region, sorted by county:

Pick Your Own Farms In Albany County

  • Altamont Orchards – U Pick strawberries and apples. 6654 Dunnsville Road, Altamont, NY 12009. Phone: 1-800-BUY-APPLE. Strawberries: usually finish by the beginning of July; Please bring your own containers. The Pick Your Own (PYO) Fields are located on Route 146 in Altamont. About 1 one-half miles before the Altamont Fair entrance. There’s also a Farm Market with pre-picked produce and on weekends, the Allied Brewing Company.
  • Indian Ladder Farms – strawberries, apples, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pumpkins, 342 Altamont Road Route 156, Altamont, NY 12009. Phone: 518-655-0108. There’s also a Farm Market with locally grown produce such as tomatoes, Cidery & Brewery, and the Yellow Rock Cafe. Check out the Indian Ladder Trail nearby.

For more outdoorsy things to do in Albany County, check out the Indian Ladder Trail.

Picking cherries at Fix Brothers.

Pick Your Own Farms In Columbia County

  • Fix Brothers Inc. – apples, cherries (sweet & sour,) peaches, pumpkins. 247 White Birch Road, Hudson, NY 12534. Phone: (518) 828-7560. Cash only.
  • Golden Harvest Farms – U Pick Apples. 3074 US Rte 9, Valatie NY, 12184. Phone: 518-758-7683. They also have a Roadside Stand selling fruit and vegetables, Distillery, and Harvest Smokehouse.
  • Love Apple Farms – U-Pick apples, strawberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums,  and pears. 1421 Route 9H, Ghent, NY  12075. Phone: 518)828-5048. They also have an outstanding shop, cafe, and delicious ice cream.
  • Philip Orchards – 23 varieties of apples and pears. 270 Route 9H – Claverack, NY 12513 – (518)851-6351. Picnickers welcome. August through October
  • The Pickin Shack at Hellers Farm – Concord Grapes and Christmas trees. Hover Avenue – Route 9G & Hover Avenue, Germantown, NY 12526. Phone: 518)537-6076. Open Labor Day-Christmas Eve.
  • Samascott Orchard – U Pick Apples, Blueberries, Peaches, Sour Cherries, Plums, Green Peppers, Pumpkins, Beans, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Cucumbers. 5 Sunset Avenue, Kinderhook NY, 12106. Phone: 518-758-7224. Also, Farm Market, Cider.
  • Smith Farms – apples, blackberries, cherries (sweet & sour,) nectarines, peaches, raspberries (red), raspberries (Autumn, red.) 200 White Birch Rd, Hudson, NY 12534. Phone: 518-828-1228. Payment: Cash, only.
  • Thompson-Finch FarmU Pick Organic strawberries, blueberries, and apples. 750 Wiltsie Bridge Road, Ancram NY, 12502. Phone: 518-329-7578. It’s the largest pick-your-own organic strawberry farm in New England.
  • Yonder Fruit Farms – U Pick Strawberries, raspberries, apples, and pumpkins. 3167 US Highway 9 Valatie, NY 12184. Phone (518) 758-7011. There’s also a Farm Market selling local produce.

Pick Your Own Farms In Greene County

  • Boehm Farm – Apples, peaches, nectarines, and pears. Route 26, Climax NY, phone 518-731-6196
  • Bulich’s Creekside Farm – Pick your own strawberries and pumpkins in season. Open 10-6 pm, May to October. Homegrown produce; vegetables, sweet corn, tree fruit, berries, horticultural plants, nursery stock, and flowers. 1682 Route 23B Leeds, NY 12451, phone: 518-943-5739
  • Story Farms – Pick your own strawberries and peas in season. Open June to November every day. Farm stand featuring fresh produce picked daily. Also, fruits, flowers, maple syrup, honey, and hay. 4640 Route 32, Catskill, NY 12414, phone: 518-678-9716
Gathering strawberries at a pick your your own fruit farm in the Capital Region.

Pick Your Own Farms In Rensselaer County

  • Best Berry Farm – U Pick Apples and strawberries. 1078 Best Road Box 142 B, East Greenbush NY, 12061. Phone: 518-286-0607.
  • Windy Hill Orchard – Apples, pumpkins, raspberries, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, corn maze, and prepicked produce. 1297 Brookview Station Road, Castleton-on-Hudson, NY 12033. Phone: 518-732-7317.
  • Engelke Farm – U Pick fruits and vegetables. 463 Garfield Road, Troy, NY. Phone: 518-279-3971.
  • The Farm At Kristy’s Barn – Strawberries, Red Raspberries, Black Raspberries, Currants Apples, Pumpkins. 2385 Brookview Rd. Schodack, NY. 12033. Phone: (518) 477-6250. Plus, Fall Fun Activities, and the Farm Market (sells fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving,) and some of the best Cider Donuts in the Capital Region.
  • Swartz Farm – pick your own strawberries and vegetables. 1532 Eleanor Dr, Schodack Landing NY, 12033. Phone: 518-858-1174. There’s also a Roadside Stand.

For more fun things to do at Rensselaer County farms, check out our blog post about Liberty Ridge Farm.

Pick Your Own Farms In Saratoga County

  • Ariel’s Farm – U-Pick Strawberries. 194 Northern Pines Road Wilton, NY 12831, (518) 584-2189
  • Bowman Orchards – Pick your own and picked apples, cider and donuts.141 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford NY, 12148. Phone: 518-371-2042. Roadside Stand, Farm Market, and Farm Attractions: Hay Rides, Pony Rides, Maze, and more.
  • Devoe’s Rainbow Orchards – U Pick Apples. 1569 Halfmoon Parkway, Route 9, Clifton Park NY, 12065. Phone: 518-371-8397. Roadside Stand, Bakery, and Ice Cream.
  • Fo-Castle Farm Country Store – U Pick Apples. 166 Kingsley Road, Burnt Hills NY, 12027-9531. Phone: 518-399-8322. Farm Market and Cafe serving lunch.
  • Ellms Family Farm – U Pick Pumpkins. 468 Charlton Road, Ballston Spa, NY. Phone: 518-884-8168. Plus, Corn Maze and Fun Fall Activities.
  • Riverview Orchards – U Pick Apples. 660 Riverview Road, Rexford, NY, 12148. Phone: 518-371-2174.  There’s also a Bakery and Country Store.
  • Saratoga Apple – U Pick Apples. 1174 Route 29, Schuylerville, NY, 12871. Phone: 518-695-3131. There’s also a Farm Stand and Hard Cider Tasting Room.
  • Schuyler Farms – U Pick Pumpkins. 1124 Route 29, Schuylerville, NY, 12871. Phone: 518-695-5308. There’s also fun fall activities with a Corn Maze, Hayrides, and more.

Pick Your Own Farms In Schenectady County

  • Buhrmaster Family Farm – U Pick Strawberries, Apples. 189 Saratoga Road, Scotia NY, 12302. Phone: 518-399-5931. There’s also a Farm Market with fresh flowers, and the farm offers a CSA program.

Pick Your Own Farms In Schoharie County

  • Bohringer’s Fruit Farm – Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries. 3992 State Route 30, Middleburgh, NY.
  • Terrace Mountain Orchard – apples, Honey from hives on the farm, prepicked produce. Apple Blossom Lane,, Schoharie, NY 12157. Phone: 518-295-8212.

Pick Your Own Farms In Washington County

  • Billy Bob’s Orchard – apples, and prepicked produce. 720 County Road, Putnam Station, NY 12861. Phone: (518) 547-8309.
  • Fairview Orchard – U Pick Apples. 11962 State Route 4, Whitehall NY, 12887. Phone: 518-499-1766. Roadside Stand, Cider.
  • Hand Melon Farm – Pick your own strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, Fall raspberries. 533 Wilbur Avenue, State Route 29, Greenwich, NY 12834. Phone: 518 692-2376. Fax: 518 692-2376.
  • Hicks Orchard – Apples, cherries, blueberries, and raspberries at New York’s oldes U Pick Farm. 18 Hicks Road, Granville NY, 12832. Phone: 518-642-1788. Farm Market, Art Gallery, and Slyboro Cider House too.
  • Sbardella Orchards – apples.141 Manchester Road, Hampton, NY. Phone: 802-345-2704.
  • Winney Blueberry Farm – Blueberries. 113 Winney Road (Rt 32), Schuylerville, NY 12871. Phone: (518) 695-5547.