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Apple picking in New Hampshire

West Hollywood...
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Apple picking in New Hampshire

We (two young adults) are planning a drive from southern Maine thru southern New Hampshire into southern Vermont at the end of Sept. and would like to do some apple picking along the way. Does anyone have recommendations or want to share their experiences with any good apple orchards or farms? Also, comments on good scenic drives or roads for our route would be helpful as well!

Antrim, New...
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1. Re: Apple picking in New Hampshire

There are two basic routes across southern NH - 4/9/202 - the "northern" route - includes Portsmouth, Dover, Durham, across to COncord. Or you could do 101 from the Hampton area across to Manchester, which is all superhighway, and then continue through Bedford, Milford, Peterborough, Keene and across to Brattleboro, VT on Rte 9.

4/9/202 is the scenic route across the state. When you get to Concord, you have several choices. Drop down I-93 to Manchester (about 20 minutes) and get on 101 West as described above. Or, you could take I-93 in Concord to I-89 (all within the city), and get off at Exit 5, which is Rtes 9 and 202. You could stay with 9 all the way to Keene, or drop down on 202 in Hillsboro through Antrim and into Peterborough, where you would pick up 101. For a very scenic route across the western part of the state, stay on rte 9 a few miles past Hillsboro to Rte 123 west. This will take you through Stoddard, Alstead and Walpole, and you could take either Rte 10 or 12 south to Keene.

So, you can see that all the roads connect, especially out in the Monadnock, or southwestern section of the state. This is a beautiful section of NH, very quaint and full of small towns, local festivals (depending on the weekend), lots of arts, crafters, eateries both casual and upscale, apple orchards and chocolatiers. I don't know where all these chocolate shops have come from, but it seems that every time I turn around, there is another. The most well known, and a former darling of the New York Chocolatsia, is Burdick's in Walpole. They also ahve an excellent cafe. But there are also several in Keene, and others in Peterborough, Wilton, Marlborough (I think) and I cannot remember where else I have seen them lately. Also several in COncord on Main Street.

There are plenty of apple orchards. I'll mention a few that appeal to me. One is in Hancock on Norway Hill. It is up on a small hill in an old section of old homes in town. It is an old family orchard and the folks are very friendly and welcoming. Norway Hill can be reached from within towen, or coming along Rte 202, turn west on Forest Road (there is a blinking light.) Then bear right up the hill and it will take you to the orchard. By the way, if you turn east it will take you to a lovely covered bridge.

There is also an organic orchard in Concord, but I do not recall the name. There is an orchard in Peterborough, I don't recall the name, as I have not been there in years. I am sure other folks will have other orchards to suggest.

One attraction in the area that you'll want to see is the Trebuchet at The Yankee Farmer on Rte 31 in Greenfield. This is a medieval style catapult that the farmer uses to launch pumpkins over 1000 feet. What could be more entertaining? Check them out at http://www.yankeesiege.com/ They actually hold the record at the World Punkin Chunkin Championships 1658 feet.

Great food in the area. Breakfast at the Good day Cafe in Antrim is generous and excellent, and their burgers for lunch are fresh and rival any upscale restaurant. If you go to Norway hill, stop at Fiddleheads Cafe in Hancock for a meal or a cup of coffe and a fresh pastry. Peterborough is a excellent destination with the excellent Sharon Arts gallery and shop, Toadstool Bookstore (with locations also in Milford and Keene) with Aesop's Tables Cafe in the P'boro location, and a host of other shops in the downtown area, including Ava Marie Chocolates. There are also a number of excellent restaurants if you are there for dinner and a local night spot with live bands - Harlow's.

I am going to leave it off here, but will recommend exploring Jaffrey, as well. Keene has a wonderful Main Street with great shops and dining, etc., as well as the Colony Mill Mall and Keene Center for non-box store shopping. Also great hiking, if that interests you, or a drive to the top of Pack Monadnock at Miller State park on Rte 101 in Temple, if you are more inclined that way.

Peterborough, NH
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2. Re: Apple picking in New Hampshire

NextStopIs suggested a route that goes through Walpole, Alyson's Orchard would be an excellent stop as well. www.alysonsorchard.com

NewEngland
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3. Re: Apple picking in New Hampshire

I would second the choice of Norway Hill in Hancock. It is a real family run orchard with beautiful views and delicious apples. Their prices are more reasonable and I like to support real, locka farmers. Fiddleheads Cafe is a great spot to have lunch.

Boston
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4. Re: Apple picking in New Hampshire

Another really good apple orchard is "Applecrest Farm" in Hampton Falls, NH, which is part of the seacoast region of the state over in the southeast corner on your map!

www.applecrest.com

NewEngland
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5. Re: Apple picking in New Hampshire

There is another one just north of Keene, Maple Lane Orchards, great apples and they make their own cider.

West Hollywood...
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6. Re: Apple picking in New Hampshire

WOW!! Thank you for all your help! And a special thanks to NextStopIs!!!

Since I posted, we decided to reverse the direction of our trip. We will now be starting in Vermont, from Curtis' BBQ in Putney, going across NH to Ogunquit in Maine.

Thank you for all the suggestions for the apple picking places. One thing, tho...if you could specify the exact name of the places, that would defnitely help a lot. It seems there's a gazillion apple orchards out there! I'm very interested in the one near HANCOCK, but I'll need a name so can I get directions and hopefully a website. We're definitely interested in ones on hills that have good views.

Has anyone been to Gould Hill Farms in Contoocook? That one looks interesting too. http://www.gouldhill.com/

Antrim, New...
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7. Re: Apple picking in New Hampshire

It is, in fact Norway Hill Orchard. And Gould Hill might be the place I was thinking is the organic orchard, though their website does not appear to support this. But it is a special place, nevertheless, with all the apple varieties they grow.

West Hollywood...
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8. Re: Apple picking in New Hampshire

thank u! I found Norway Hill Orchard...they're at

5 Duncan Rd

Norway Hill

Hancock, NH 03449

no website unfortunately, and not much on the web about the place. Would you say Nowway Hill has prettier scenery than Gould Hill? Or about the same?

NewEngland
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9. Re: Apple picking in New Hampshire

They probably don't have a web site, but they are very good about putting up apple signs so you should not have any trouble finding them.

Concord, New...
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10. Re: Apple picking in New Hampshire

Gould Hill is great, although I am not sure if they are certified organic? It is just outside the Concord city line.

I also like Apple Hill in Concord which is where I get my cider to make homebrew cider with.

www.applehillfarmnh.com

The folks over at Carter Hill are great as well.

www.carterhillapples.com