It's decorative gourd season! Let's pumpkin spice literally everything! And, hey, while we're at it, let's get out of the city to find our own great pumpkins and crisp apples, sip local ciders and ice wines, sample all the piesand enjoy autumn's glorious show before the snow falls. Here's a starter list of tasty spots for your autumnal adventures.
Verger Lacroix, Deux Montagnes
You can take the commuter train or enjoy the short drive out to this lovely spot to pick many apple varieties, and sample the squash fries and ice cider. Plus, you're just minutes from Oka National Park if you want to hike along the beach at Lac des Deux Montagnes.
Marc Gibouleau Pomiculteur, Laval
Who knew there was a 100-year-old orchard in Laval with over 15 varieties of apples, as wel as pumpkins, delicious pies and picnic tables for a lunch beneath the trees? At 30 kilometres from Montreal, this apple farm is even a nice bike ride for the (hyper)active.
Quinn Farm, Ile-Perrot
Another family-friendly spot with tractor rides out to fields where you can pick your own apples and choose a pumpkin or two to take home with you. Don't miss the apple butter and homemade relishes, either. Yelpers suggest you consider packing up goodies for a picnic at nearby Parc Point du Moulin.
Vergers Écologiques Philion, Hemmingford
In a beautiful area of southern Quebec near the Vermont border and just 35 minutes from Montreal, you'll find this lovely orchard with younger trees for easy apple picking with the kiddos, and gold medal-winning apple and pear wines for the rest of us.
La Magie de La Pomme, Saint-Eustache
A pretty spot to pick apples and ride the tractor out to the back fields where you can gather your own gourds of all kinds. On the weekends, try home country products like ostrich hot dogs from a nearby farm. Throughout the week you can buy cider vinegar and homemade maple syrup, lavender soup and tons more from their country store.
Verger du Flanc Nord, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
An orchard that practices organic and sustainable farming in the rolling hills of Mount-Saint-Hilaire, the Verger du Flanc Nord goes the extra distance as Halloween approaches: witches lead pumpkin-picking tours by twilight. Don't forget your flashlight!
Rulfs Orchard, Peru NY
And one across the border: if you're rolling south, peeping the brilliant performance of the changing leaves along the Adirondacks, consider stopping at Rulfs Orchard on the New York side of Lake Champlain. If it's warm enough, don't skip the homemade ice cream -- otherwise, fortify your soul with hot apple cider and donuts, explore the rolling acres of trees and green houses and maybe even chill in the pumpkin patch to get a little closer to your inner Linus and Charlie Brown.
Good grief... and Happy Halloween!
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