North Salem, NY

SYNOPSIS:  My favorite time to visit Outhouse Orchards is in the fall, to go apple picking.  The farm sits on a beautiful hillside, and offers a ‘day in the country’ that will make you want to buy a tractor and a pair of overalls.

APPROXMIATE TIME: 1 to 4 hours.

DIFFICULTLY:  Easy, but you will do a lot of walking at Outhouse Orchards.

DIRECTIONS:  From Route 684, either direction, take exit 8.  Turn right at the end of the ramp.  Go 1.3 miles.  Outhouse Orchard is on the right, just past Harvest Moon Farm & Orchards.

THE HIKE/VISIT:  After exiting the car, the kids made a beeline for the tractor and the sunflower patch.  We were there on a beautiful September day, and it was absolutely spectacular.  After spending some time working the controls of the tractor, we purchased our apple sack and ‘rented’ an apple picking pole (if you return it, you get your $1 back).  Being a guy, I was convinced that we had to go to a far corner of the field to find the apple tree no one else had found.  My wife and kids had other plans, and just went to the first two or three trees they saw.  To my amazement, and their joy, those front and center trees had not been picked dry.  Quite the contrary, they were full of ripe apples.  The kids took turns using the long pole and basket to pick the higher-up apples.

Then, we each grabbed an apple and plopped down in the tall grass.  Biting into a fresh apple, just off the tree, is awesome.  My wife laughs at me, because every year I say the same thing – “Apples are delicious!  Why don’t we eat them more often?”  And yet, the apples on our kitchen counter the rest of the year end up in the compost pile instead of my stomach.

After apple picking, the kids and I went through the corn maze.  Before we went in, we paid the ‘maze master’ and got a map and crossword puzzle.  We spent the next 45 minutes or so following the map to different ‘clues’ to complete the puzzle.  We heard a dad off in the distance trying to scare his kids, so I jumped on the bandwagon and told my kids there were zombies in the maze chasing people around.  They were now on a mission, and I had fun teaching them about how to read a map.

After the maze, we hit the store.  Plants, pumpkins and other goodies.  The one thing they don’t have here that Salinger’s Orchard and Harvest Moon have is fresh donuts.  (What?!  I’m a sucker for fresh donuts in the fall.)  But the ambience of Outhouse Orchards is my favorite of these types of places.  There are some great views of the countryside from the top of the hill.  I hope my kids remember these times.

HISTORY:   Outhouse Orchards main building used to be located across the street, in what is now Harvest Moon Farm & Orchards.  I think it too me a couple years to figure it out.

MAP & ADDITIONAL INFO:  For more info visit or call them at 914/277-3188.

Source:  Accessed 09.24.12

– Personal visit 09.23.12