7-Dog Friendly Apple Orchards
Visiting an apple orchard is one of fall’s most beloved activities, and fortunately for pet owners, many locations around the country allow dogs. Check out these seven orchards where you and your dog can enjoy apple picking—and everything else than an orchard has to offer—together.
Terison Apple Orchard in Cumberland, Maine
Pull over on on the side of the road in Cumberland, Maine, and stroll up and down the rows of apple trees, picking fresh fruit along the way, at Terison Apple Orchard. Co-owner Annette Terison also owns a pet sitting business and believes in letting customers bring their dogs.
Dogs can enjoy the outdoors and sip from a water bowl that’s usually provided for them. The only rules? Dogs must be on leashes and owners must pick up after their dogs.
If you’re unsure of what to pack before you head to an orchard, certified professional dog trainer Robin Bennett recommends you bring dog poop bags, water and dog food for your dog (if you plan on picnicking) and keep them on a non-retractable leash. You’ll also want to keep their ID and collar on them at all times.
Deardorff Orchards in Waconia, Minnesota
Dog owners can pick apples at the sprawling 125-acre Deardorff Orchards, just outside of the Twin Cities. The farm features more than ten varieties of apples on over 3,000 trees. The orchard is also home to 13-year-old Smoky, a British Black Labrador and you’ll most likely see Smoky next to Lin Deardorff, the orchard’s owner.
Dogs can enjoy water stations around the orchard, waste bags and treats for good behavior. The orchard staff asks that pet parents pick up after their dogs and keep their pets out of the on-site barn.
“We welcome furry friends with open arms, and they will likely get an overly-enthusiastic greeting from any one of our barn employees,” says Jessica Sanford, an orchard employee.
In general, Bennett recommends making sure your dog is laid back enough to visit an orchard before you go. Dogs that are more willing or able to thrive in new environments will do well in the orchard, she says, and if your dog is more anxious and doesn’t do well in large crowds, it’s probably best to leave him at home.
B.J. Reece Orchards in Ellijay, Georgia
B.J. Reece Orchards is in the rolling North Georgia roughly two hours north of Atlanta. Pet owners can pick more than 20 different varieties of apples over 60 acres with their dogs by their side. Dogs must be on a leash, however, and can’t go inside the market building. The staff asks that owners clean up after their dogs. Owner John Reece also says that this location is the only dog-friendly orchard in Ellijay.
Orchards are also family friendly, so be mindful of your dog near children, Bennett says. If your dog is good with kids, Bennett suggests having the dog face you and directing the child specifically where to pet the dog (on his side, for instance).
Photo courtesy of B.J. Reece Orchards
Kiyokawa Family Orchards in Parkdale, Oregon
One of the top reasons to visit Kiyokawa Family Orchards? The stunning views of Mt. Hood, the tallest mountain in Oregon. Not to mention that you can enjoy the vistas and bountiful produce at the 125-acre farm with your dog. Visitors can pick more than 90 varieties of apples and pears here.
“We welcome all well-behaved dogs on leashes everywhere except inside our fruit stand and where fruit is being displayed in bin or boxes,” says owner Randy Kiyokawa. Dogs can frolic in an on-site large open field and the orchard supplies dog waste bags and water dishes.
Although dogs can eat apples, they shouldn’t eat too many, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for them as you walk the orchard grounds. Bennett suggests teaching your dog the “drop it” command before heading to an orchard as well.
Photo courtesy of Kiyokawa Family Orchards
Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon, New Hampshire
Poverty Lane Orchards specializes in heirloom and antique apple varieties, and dogs are allowed to roam throughout the orchard to check out these specialty apples.
“Apple picking is family fun and dogs are family,” says Louisa Spencer, co-owner.
Weekends do get busy at the orchard, however, so it’s important to keep your dog under control and on leash among the crowds. Bennett cautions that puppies—who are prone to heat exhaustion—should be left at home. She also advises that senior dogs also are probably better off at home too.
Photo courtesy of Poverty Lane Orchards
Hilltop Orchards in Richmond, Massachusetts
Located in the Berkshire region of western Massachusetts,Hilltop Orchards offers some of the best views of fall foliage in the country. Hilltop is currently the largest producer of fresh-pressed cider in the region—last year the orchard produced 150,000 gallons of cider.
Dogs and their owners can enjoy hiking trails and apple picking at the orchard throughout the sprawling 200-acre property. You can pick 26 different types of apples here. Besides the trails, you might spot dog clothing or treats in the shop.
“We have 16 acres of apple trees. Who wouldn’t want to bring their dog for a walk in the orchard?” says David Martell, manager of Hilltop Orchards.
Dogs are also welcome in the indoor tasting room of the on-site Furnace Brook Winery.
Photo courtesy of Hilltop Orchards
Justus Orchard in Hendersonville, North Carolina
The Justus family has been growing apples for more than a century in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Visitors can pick a range of apple varieties, including Granny Smith, Rome, and Candy Crisp, with their dogs in tow.
You and your dog might also encounter owners Don and Margo Justus’ mixed breed dog, Izzy, wandering around while searching for fresh apples.
Photo courtesy of Justus Orchard
Teresa K. Traverse is a Phoenix-based writer, editor, traveler and dog mom to Chihuahuas Autumn and Rocket.