Off the Beaten Track in Apple Hill
October 2, 2019

Off the Beaten Track in Apple Hill

It’s October, and that means one thing in the Sacramento area: it’s Apple Hill season! Although many of the farms and ranches are open year-round, apples are at their peak this time of year, and locals flock to the scenic mountaintop to get their fill of Braeburns, Galas and Gravensteins.

Apple Hill season is also the unofficial start of the holiday eating season, and Apple Hill has just about every kind of apple-related treat you can imagine: pies, turnovers, crisps, cakes, donuts, crumbles and fritters. If you can wrap it in pastry or cover it with caramel, you’ll find it in Apple Hill. If desserts are on your list, check out our list of the must-try bake shops in Apple Hill.

There are dozens of growers in Apple Hill, and the major players have everything you could ask for in a one-stop shop: bakeries, crafts, picnic areas, wine tasting and of course plenty of fresh fruit to take home. But sometimes, you just want to get off the beaten track. Luckily, Apple Hill has many smaller farms where you won’t have to battle the crowds for your piece of the pie (pun intended). Following are some of the lesser-known farms in Apple Hill.

O’Halloran’s Apple Trail Ranch
Daily 9 a.m.­–4 p.m. through November | Directions

O'Halloran's Apple Trail Ranch. Apple Hill FarmsPhotos courtesy of Apple Hill Growers Association

This family-run farm grows 14 varieties of apples and four types of pears. They also have a pumpkin patch where you can cut the perfect gourd right off the vine. There’s also a grassy picnic area, nature trail and fresh cider, applesauce and apple butter to take home.

Delfino Farms
Fri.–Mon. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. through Nov. 25 | Directions

Delfino Farms Camino, CAPhoto courtesy Delfino Farms

In addition to apples, Delfino Farms sells pumpkins, gourds and a variety of baked delights from their onsite bake shop. The kiddos can check out the sheep, chicken and rabbits or run through the corn maze, and mom and dad can pick up a bottle of hard cider or wine.

Bodhaine Ranch
Daily 9 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. through Nov. 26 | Directions

Bodhaine Ranch, Apple Hill FarmsPhotos courtesy of Apple Hill Growers Association

This organic farm has seven varieties of apples, as well as grapes. You can pack a picnic or pick up a homemade lunch onsite, such as chicken pot pie, empanadas or gluten-free tamales. For dessert, try a homemade raspberry apple cream cheese pie or blackberry apple sour cream pie.

24Carrot Farm
Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. through November | Directions

Photo courtesy 24Carrot Farm

This organic farmstand has much more than just apples. Onions, lettuce, broccoli, squash, peppers and local honey is also available. You can even pick your own apples, pumpkins, tomatoes and flowers. Those who have green thumbs can also purchase a few organic veggie starts to take home.

Sloan Winters Mountain Orchard & Garden
Fri.–Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. through November | Directions

Sloan Winters Mountain Orchard & Garden, Apple Hill FarmsPhoto courtesy of Valerie Buell via Sloan Winters Mountain Orchard & Garden

This you-pick farm is chock full of organic fruits and vegetables. Apples, pears, blackberries, plums, lemons and all types of veggies are available. They also make their own jams and preserves, with flavors such as cinnamon plum, cranberry pear and triple berry. Take a tractor ride and visit with the goats and chickens.

Goyette’s North Canyon Ranch
Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. through Nov. 2 | Directions

Goyette's North Canyon Ranch, Apple Hill FarmsPhoto courtesy of Apple Hill Growers Association

You can walk through the orchards and pick your own pears and apples (Fuji, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious) at this small, family-run farm. You can also find Indian corn, pumpkins and sunflowers.

Smokey Ridge Farm
Fri.–Sun. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. through Nov. 17 | Directions

Photo courtesy of Apple Hill Growers Association

This farm lets you taste-test their 17 varieties of apples side-by-side. You can also pick your own pumpkins and chestnuts. They produce several wine varietals, including Syrah and Zinfandel, and serve farm-to-table lunches on a patio overlooking the vineyard.

Grandpa’s Cellar
Thurs.–Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. through Dec. 8 | Directions

Grandpa’s Cellar is all about the food. They specialize in pies, dumplings, turnovers and just about every baked item you can think of. They even have gluten-free options! Have a picnic in the apple orchard, enjoy the live music on weekends and explore the nature trail.

Denver Dan’s Apple Patch
Daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. through Dec. 15 | Directions

Denver Dan's Apple Patch, Apple Hill FarmsPhoto courtesy of Apple Hill Growers Association

In addition to apples galore, Denver Dan’s has tours, apple peeler demonstrations and cooking workshops for kids. There’s a shaded picnic area, bake shop and homemade jams and jellies for sale too. There are also goats, ponies and alpacas for the little ones to pet.

Apple Pantry Farm
Thurs.–Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. through October

Apple Hill Farms, CaliforniaPhotos courtesy Apple Pantry Farm

Apple Pantry Farm is all about the pies! Flavors include classic apple as well as Dutch apple and blackberry apple. You can enjoy a slice (with or without ice cream) under the turning trees or grab a frozen pie to go. They also sell homemade tamales and pumpkin butter.

Category Local Events

Elizabeth Penney

Elizabeth Penney is a content writer for Lyon Real Estate and the Lyon Local blog. A Sacramento native with a marketing background, she shares her insider knowledge on restaurants, attractions and outdoor activities throughout the greater Sacramento area and beyond.