Lynchburg’s local orchards offer up fall fun
By Brandy Centolanza
Fall isn’t complete for me without a visit to an orchard for pick-your-own apples. There is nothing better than a bowl of homemade applesauce or apple crisp prepared with freshly picked apples. Lynchburg has an array of orchards nearby that are worth a trip on a brisk fall day. During your next visit to Lynchburg, consider including one of these orchards as part of your stay.
Gross’ Orchard specializes in pick-your-own apples as well as pick-your-own peaches in season. The orchard, a family-owned business that has been in operation since before the turn of the century, has roughly 15 different tart and sweet apples to choose from. My favorites are Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, and Stayman. On select Saturdays, guests can celebrate the harvest with wagon rides pulled by horses through the orchard. Pumpkins, the other quintessential fall fruit, are also available. Gross’ Orchard is located at the foot of the beautiful Peaks of Otter Mountains. The Apple Valley Country Store is also nearby. Don’t miss thier annual special event calendar with the Apple Harvest Festival in October and the Apple Valley 5k in November.
6817 Wheats Valley Rd., Bedford | grossorchards.com
If you want a glass of wine with your fresh-picked apples, then head over to Johnson’s Orchards, located on the same property as Peaks of Otter Winery. The five-generation family-owned farm boasts roughly 150 different kinds of apples, of which eight to ten are available for picking or purchasing at any given time; trails for hiking with breath-taking views; an area for picnicking; farm animals; and selfie photo ops with a 15-foot statue of Johnny Appleseed as well as the orchard’s unique “Love” sign made with apple bins, wine bottles, and a fiberglass apple representing the letter “O.” Don’t forget to grab a cup of fresh, unpasteurized cider and a cider doughnut while you are there. Cider doughnuts are a real treat for my kids. Dogs are also welcome.
2122 Sheep Creek Rd, Bedford | johnsonsorchards.com
Looking to pick-your-own pumpkins instead? Pack up the family and trek over to Yoders’ Farm for a fun-filled day. Here, you can visit the pumpkin patch; wind your way through a corn maze, where you’ll find items highlighting the unconventional year of 2020 such as a roll of toilet paper, a farmer wearing a mask, and a medical cross within a heart in show of support of medical personnel and first responders; and eat and shop to your heart’s content. Try an apple cider slushie or a funnel cake at the Snack Shack and don’t leave without stopping at the Yoders’ Farm Store. The store offers a variety of jams and jellies, local honey, and baked goods. And, while you may not be apple to pick your own apples at the farm, you can buy a variety of them including Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, and Golden Delicious.
1134 Browns Mill Rd, Rustburg | yodersfarm.com
Apples, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, and pumpkins are grown on the farm at Morris Orchards. During the fall, you can indulge in pressed apple cider, slushies, and doughnuts when you visit. Apples are sold prebagged in the orchard store or you can pick your own on select weekends this season. Among the apples you can pick or purchase for snacking or baking are Crispin, Sun Crisp, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, Jonagold, Empire, and Russet. Morris Orchards also has a pumpkin patch, so stop by and grab the perfect one for making that jack o lantern or that pumpkin pie you’ve been craving.
226 Tobacco Row Ln., Monroe | morrisorchard.com
Brandy Centolanza is a freelance writer who covers health, family travel, and the hospitality industry.
She writes from her Virginia home surrounded by her husband of 20 years and their two teens, three cats,
and a bearded dragon named Craig.
See More of her work HERE