10 Popular Apple Orchards In Minnesota

Minnesota’s landscape is dotted with many open-to-the-public apple orchards providing the perfect setting for a fall getaway. Apples have been produced in the state since 1858 and have continued to spark apple appreciation across United States. In fact, apple orchards are one of the state’s most distinctive feature. They provide many jobs and abundance of fresh fruits.

Whether you need produce for fall desserts or want some fresh apples for your morning juice, there are plenty of great orchards everywhere to choose from. Some have been and are family operations while others commercial enterprises. Some offering fall fun activities such as hay rides, corn mazes, live music, face painting etc.

But how do you know which one to visit? What should you look out for? And what’s the best way to spend a fall day at an orchard in Minnesota?  Well, this article will answer these questions including the history and varieties of apples grown by these orchards. All information is based on my personal experience and what others who patronize these orchards have written and said about them.

So here is a List of apple orchards in Minnesota: 

  • Apple Jack Orchards
  • Afton Apple Orchard
  • Minnetonka Orchard
  • Pine Tree Apple
  • Minnesota Harvest
  • Fireside Orchards And Gardens
  • Gilby’s Orchard
  • Deardorff Orhards
  • Whistling Well Farm
  • Blossom Hill Orchard And Farm


Apple Jack Orchards

Image Courtesy of Apple Jack Orchards

Apple Jack Orchards was founded by Mike, Kit Dekarski, John T (‘’Jack’’) and Leah Kelly. The Orchard began as a hobby in 1983 by planting 250 trees and it’s in the mid-90s when the orchard began to experience significant growth and in late-90s, the Apple Market became part of the orchard. 

In Minnesota, Apple Jack Orchards is located on the banks of Crow River in Delano. This Orchard has been in existence for more than 30 year. It is about 90 acres in size and boasts of growing over 28 apple varieties. It’s a favorite fall destination for many families in Minnesota each apple season.

At Apple Jack Orchards, visitors can pick apples, pet farm animals, pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, enjoy a rope course, wagon ride and spider web and have lunch at The Snackery, which offers hot and cold cider and caramel apples.

Landmark Building At Apple Jack Orchards

What you need to know:

Afton Apple Orchard

Afton Apple Orchard’s Playground

The Afton Apple Orchard is a 250-acre Orchard located in the heart of the St. Croix Valley. Since 1989, it has been owned and run by the Femling family. It is one of the most popular Orchard in Minnesota as the site for school field trips that provides children with best learning experience about farm setting. Other than apples, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, pumpkins, cherries, flowers, corn maize and hayrides can also be found here. Something good about this Orchard is that, it not only sells picked-for-you but also pick-for-yourself fruits.

Most of the Apple trees in this orchard are dwarf varieties while others are cultivated to be of small stature and in effect there’s no need for ladders to the Pick-for-yourself customers. Even small children can select and pick their favorite apples on multiple branches.  

What you need to know:

Minnetonka Orchard

Minnetonka Ochard’s Apple Farm. Image Courtesy of Minnetonka Orchards

Minnetonka Orchard is located in Minnetrista about 20 miles west of Minneapolis. The orchard is about 40-acres in size and was started in 1972 by Lowell and Phyllis Schaper after planting over 500 apple trees. From that time till today, the orchard has acquitted itself very well as the best place for You-pick apple activities, weekend field trips, delicious snacks, petting zoo and other fall-themed activities like weddings etc.

Though in 2021, the ownership of the Orchard changed from its original founders to Esther and Frank Weigel, the quality of relationship between the community and the business together with everything being offered in this place keeps improving each year. Even as of today, the Minnetonka Orchard describe itself as an excellent fall-themed ‘’first class tourist destination for families in the twin cities and beyond’’.

What you need to know:

Pine Tree Apple

Pine tree Apple orchard farm

Pine Tree is 300-acres in size and located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota just northeast of the Twin Cities. This Orchard has been owned and run by Jacobson family since 1958 it grows apples, strawberries, pumkins and corns. Many indigenous apple varieties are still growing in this farm till today alongside other varities such as Duchess, Paula Red, Beacon, Zestar, Sweetango, Fireside, Golden Delicious Honey gold and SnowSweet.

In the fall, there will always be plenty varieties of apples and crabapples in this farm. Both Pick-your-own and picked-for-you options are available. In September, the orchard then opens its corn maize farm, which runs until late October. Pick-your-own pumpkin patch is also usually available during this time of the year. More importantly, Pine Tree Apple Orchard have a joint partnership with the University of Minnesota to develop and test new apples, something that keeps them at the apex of new developments in the apple industry.  

What you need to know:

Minnesota Harvest

Image Credit: Biz Journals

Minnesota Harvest is also a popular Orchard in Minnesota. It was first established by the Sponsel family in 1971 and has been a reliable fall destination and source of apples for communities around Jordan area and Minnesota at large. Today, the orchard sits on a 300-acre and is managed and run by Skip and Terri Cook who have excellently made the place a beautiful experience for today’s visitors.

At Minnesota Harvest, there are a wide variety of apples and crabapples to choose from. The good thing is that the orchard offers u-pick and pre-picked apples. Therefore, when you visit the place the choice of what to do in this regard will actually be upon you. Other than apples, while at the orchard you can engage in horse riding, visit sunflower fields, enjoy on-site cidery, pastries and while in company of children, there’s an Orchard Barnyard where they can see goats, sheep and even peacocks.   

What you need to know:

Fireside Orchard And Gardens

Fireside Orchard and Gardens

Fireside Orchard and Gardens was started in 1971 by Robert Harvey and is located about 30 minutes south of the Twin Cities metro area, in Northfield, Minnesota. A favorite apple orchard growing many varieties of apples. It is also a great destination for a fall fun day trip with the kids. While at this place you can enjoy pies, cider, fudge, caramels, soup mixes, pickles, popcorn, sauerkraut, apple butter, muffin mixes, cheese, drinks, jellies and jams etc.

 What you need to know:

Gilby’s Orchard

Gilby’s orchard

Gilby’s orchard was established in 2003 by David and Janet Gilbertson with the goal to provide the best quality apples and a wonderful family experience for Minnesota community. The Orchard began with 300 apple trees but over time it has managed to increase the number to over 1300 trees and diversify into growing pumpkins, squash and managing a nursery from where customers can order their own plants and fruit trees.  

What you need to know:

Deardorff Orchards

The Deardorff Orchard

The Deardorff Orchard is a legendary farm that began in 1888. It is family owned and located near Waconia. The orchard sits on 125 acres and has approximately 3000 apple trees of different varieties. While at the orchard fun activities include Pick-your-own apples, tractor wagon rides, red wagons for kids, petting farm, kid’s haystacks and picnic areas.  

What you need to know:

Whistling Well Farm

Whistling Well Farm, image Courtesy of Facebook

Whistling Well Farm is also another orchard that is very much loved by Minnesota community. It is located in St. Croix River Valley, Hastings, Minnesota. The name Whistling Well is derived from the farm’s actual well, which produces a soft whistle. The farm begun in 1972 and today boasts of more than 5000 apple trees of different varieties, with harvest times ranging from September to late October. Customers can visit the farm any time for apple picking. Both U-pick and Pre-picked apples are available.

 What you need to know:

Blossom Hill Orchard And Farm

Blossom Hill Orchard and Farm

Blossom Hill Orchard and Farm is a small, family owned farm just located outside of Preston, Minnesota in the heart of Driftless Region. It is owned by Dane Diede and Baker Hillary since 2014. During the apple season, any customer can walk-in and pick their own apples including well-known varieties like Mclntosh, Honeycrisp and Red Delicious and more unique flavors like Wolf River, Sweet 16 and First Kiss. More than 30 varieties of apples can be found growing on this farm, so no matter your preference, there will always be something for you.

What you need to know:   

Leave a Comment